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Mountaineer Morning Links: Baylor Pre-Game (2/21/14) Edition

Baylor previews, women's hoops, rifle & baseball in action, varsity report, pro updates (including WVU Pros), Big 12 roundup, weekend hoops guide & more


Welcome, By-Godders, to the Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU's nationally recognized best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions. We're being brought to you today by Actual Brewing's Orthodox Winter IPA.

What You May Have Missed:

Gold and Blue Now: Friday, Feb. 21 - WV MetroNews
the “Voice of the Bears” John Morris discusses Baylor’s recent 3-game winning streak and Juwan Staten tells us what he expects to see Saturday out of the Bears.

West Virginia Student-Athlete Spotlight: Asya Bussie - Big 12 Conference
A student-athlete's senior year can be bittersweet. However, having a winning season and a clear focus of where you're headed after life as an athlete can make it a little sweeter. That's what West Virginia University senior women's basketball player Asya Bussie has to look forward to as she wraps up her last season as a Mountaineer.

HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU’s Harlee has been a quick study in the classroom, on the hardwood - Times West Virginian
Mike Carey had been recruiting a lot of years at Salem and West Virginia University, stretching all the way back to 1989, but he’d never seen numbers like the ones that were on his desk the day he began recruiting Jess Harlee out of Baltimore.

Watch the WVUSportsBuzz - WVU Athletics
This week's WVUSportsBuzz, with Amanda Mazey, features interviews with Juwan Staten of the WVU men's basketball team and Kaja Mrgole of women's tennis, plus, a behind-the-scenes look at last weekend's Beauty and the Beast meet at the WVU Coliseum.

WVU travels to San Diego State - Daily Athenaeum
A week after opening the 2014 campaign, the West Virginia baseball team will be headed west for a three-game weekend series with San Diego State beginning Friday.

WVU opens postseason at NCAA qualifiers - Daily Athenaeum
The West Virginia University rifle team opens the postseason Saturday at Murray State for the NCAA qualifiers match.

Big 12 pre-spring wide receiver breakdown - ESPN

Former Gridders Supporting Local United Way - WVU Athletics
Benefit dinner for local United Way on March 1.

Jim Ritchie was WVU basketball standout in Jerry West era - Register-Herald
Jim Ritchie, a resident of nearby Pt. Marion, Pa., was an outstanding basketball player at West Virginia University on the highly successful teams in 1958-59, 59-60, and 60-61.

News of Note:

WVU to Battle Baylor on Saturday - WVU Athletics (autoplay)
West Virginia looking to remain on the NCAA tournament bubble.

Mountaineers look to bounce back against Baylor - Charleston Daily Mail
In the past three wins, Baylor has outrebounded teams by 27, 14 and 15 and scored 28, 38 and 28 points in the paint. Huggins likened the challenge of playing the Texas frontcourt to playing the Baylor frontcourt.

West Virginia-Baylor rematch has elimination-game feel - WV MetroNews
Two NCAA bubble teams in desperate need of a win will face off Saturday at the WVU Coliseum.

Huggins: ‘We’ve put ourselves behind the 8-ball’ - WV MetroNews
Coach knows West Virginia's game against Baylor potentially carries big postseason implications.

Now or never for WVU men’s basketball - Times West Virginian
“Right now it’s tournament time,” said guard Eron Harris, and in truth there really isn’t any other way to put it.

GAME PREVIEW: WVU hosts Baylor - WVillustrated
The West Virginia Mountaineers will battle the Baylor Bears on Saturday in Morgantown at 1:30p.m at the WVU Coliseum. The game will be televised on the Big 12 Network.

How will break affect Mountaineers? - Charleston Gazette
"I don't know until we play and see if it helps us,'' sophomore guard Eron Harris said Thursday, just as he and his teammates were getting back into the grind. "All I know is we need to win this game.''

Huggins on Baylor, Staten, NCAAs - EerSports
After losing seven of eight, Baylor has bounced back to win three straight games in Big12 play. With the Bears coming to town, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins knows exactly the reason Baylor is rejuvenated.

Rest, Rowdy Crowd to Help WVU - EerSports
With five games left in the season, the Mountaineers have a chance to make a strong case to go dancing.

WVU postseason starts with Baylor - Daily Athenaeum
With five regular season games remaining, West Virginia is likely on the outside looking in in terms of receiving an NCAA Tournament bid.

West Virginia looks to start late season surge against visting Baylor Bears Saturday - Daily Athenaeum
West Virginia (15-11, 7-6) will meet Baylor (17-9, 5-8) in a matchup that defines the proverbial NCAA Tournament bubble Saturday at the Coliseum. Both teams need a win Saturday to keep NCAA tournament hopes alive.

Staten knows importance of strong finish - Daily Athenaeum
While many coaches may shy away from questioning postseason bids and tournament resumes, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins and his team couldn’t be any different.

Staten: Time off allowed Mountaineers to rejuvenate - WV MetroNews
Point guard says West Virginia should be rested and ready for Saturday's game against Baylor.

BGN Video: Scouting the Bears - BGN
Huggs, Staten & Harris

Pro News:

Devin Ebanks traded to the Springfield Armor - WVU Pros
Less than a week after dropping 27 points against the NBDL's elite in the D-League All-Star Game, Devin Ebanks is moving from Texas to Massachusetts.

WVU Sports Podcast: Kevin Jones - WVU Athletics (autoplay)
This week's Podcast features NBA D-League all-star Kevin Jones.

Thornton ventures to other side of combine curtain -
John Thornton, who went to his first NFL Scouting Combine near the turn of the century as a prospect and went to the most recent ones as a member of the media, comes to another one this week in his third different role.

Around the League (and Beyond):

2014 OLB Commit Cordell Dorsey Cleared of Charges - Our Daily Bears

Who’s That Guy? Meet Melvin Ejim - Grantland

KU basketball guard Wayne Selden Jr. follows coach's advice, comes through in clutch - Topeka Capital Journal

Tournament Thursday: Avoid the bubble - Bring On The Cats

Sooners hoping for productive break - Oklahoman

Markel Brown, The Heart of Oklahoma State Basketball - Cowboys Ride For Free

Texas Basketball Report 7.5: Into The King's Lair - Burnt Orange Nation

Longtime TCU cornerbacks coach headed to Arkansas - Dallas-Fort Worth Star Telegram

Webb site: Tech QB has job to himself this spring - Lubbock Avalanche Journal

What's On Tap:

Baylor Bears vs. West Virginia Mountaineers - ESPN
1:30 pm Saturday from the Coliseum on MASN & ESPN3

(13) West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Kansas State Wildcats - ESPN
Women's basketball, 6 pm Saturday from Bramlage

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys - ESPN
1:30 pm Saturday from Gallagher Iba on MSG+, MASN2, Altitude & ESPN3

(17) Iowa State Cyclones vs. TCU Horned Frogs - ESPN
4 pm Saturday from DMC on ESPN2/3

Kansas State Wildcats vs. Oklahoma Sooners - ESPN
4 pm Saturday from the Lloyd Noble Center on MSG+, MASN, Altitude & ESPN3

(19) Texas Longhorns vs. (8) Kansas Jayhawks - ESPN
7:30 pm Saturday from the Phog on ESPNU/3

Video of Interest:

In this edition of the Bob Huggins United Bank Playbook, the coach talks with Tony Caridi about preparations for this Saturday's home game against the Baylor Bears.

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is probably best known for her NSFW stint in the video for Blurred Lines, but she's also a SI Swimsuit rookie this year. CLICK HERE for today's BODY PAINT gallery of Emily Ratajkowski. HERE'S A BONUS GALLERY in case the video get's removed.