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Mountaineer Morning Links: Monday (3/31/14) Edition

Baseball takes two from Baylor, football holds second open practice, Staten staying, wrestling coach Turnbull fired, WVU Pros report on Charles Sims, Big 12 roundup & 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 Hook Norton Brewery's Old Hooky Ale.

What You May Have Missed:

Gold and Blue Now: Monday, March 31 - WV MetroNews
Dana Holgorsen discusses what has impressed him most this spring. We also hear from offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson after the Saturday practice as he shares his take on Paul Millard’s progress during the offseason.

Luck Announces Staff Change - WVU Athletics
West Virginia University Director of Athletics Oliver Luck announced today that Craig Turnbull’s contract as head wrestling coach will not be renewed for next season.

Furfari: Firing of Turnbull not justified - Martinsburg Journal
I am absolutely appalled by such treatment as Luck seemingly, in my opinion, unjustifiably dishes out. And obviously the Board of Governors at WVU allows the former Mountaineer quarterback a free reign.

Turnbull: Luck called me ‘too old’ to coach - Times West Virginian
Turnbull charged that Luck became angry during the 2013 meeting — the first of three meetings that culminated with his being immediately discharged and banned from the facilities — and twice placed his hand on Turnbull’s chest.

Baseball Sweeps Big 12 Series Against Baylor - WVU Athletics
Back-to-back home runs by senior first baseman Ryan McBroom and senior left fielder Jacob Rice led the WVU baseball team to a 4-1 victory over Baylor on Sunday afternoon at Appalachian Power Park.

Mountaineers complete sweep of Baylor - Charleston Daily Mail
"Getting out and getting those wins on the West Coast were big," McBroom said. "It got our confidence and team morale up. We kind of figured out who we were as a team, to go over there and beat those teams. We came back with a little swagger."

With Carley dealing, WVU wraps up 2-game sweep of Baylor - WV MetroNews
Right-hander fires five-hitter, backed by McBroom and Rice's back-to-back homers.

Randy Mazey: Baylor Postgame Remarks - YouTube
Comments from Randy Mazey, after the Mountaineers defeated Baylor on Sunday afternoon, 4-1, in the Sunday finale.

Photo Gallery II: WVU vs Baylor - BGN
Photos from West Virginia's 4-1 baseball win over Baylor

FURFARI COLUMN: Herbie Brooks one of Catlett’s early standouts at WVU - Times West Virginian
Herbie Brooks, a native of Beckley, was an All-Stater at Mullens High School and demonstrated his talents at West Virginia University from 1984-89 in men's basketball.

Obituary: Bernard 'Bernie' Galiffa / Record-setting quarterback was the pride of Donora - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
His school passing record lasted 26 years until Marc Bulger eclipsed it in 1998, and it still remains the fifth best single-season passing performance in school history.

News of Note:


Staten Returning For Senior Season - WVU Athletics
Guard led team in scoring with an average of 18.1 points per game.

Staten wants to chase NCAA bid while improving NBA stock - WV MetroNews
The All-Big 12 point guard explains why he's returning to West Virginia for his senior season.

Staten's return a boost for Mountaineers - Charleston Gazette
Juwan Staten went through exactly the process he had in mind in order to make a decision regarding his basketball future. And Bob Huggins supported him all the way.

WVU’s Staten decides to return for senior season - Times West Virginian
"I have a lot of respect for Coach Huggins and the basketball staff. I have never been to the NCAA tournament and I want to get Coach Huggins and my teammates back to the NCAA tournament," Staten said.

Staten’s return huge for Mountaineers - Register-Herald
Less than a week after being dealt a big blow with the announcement that sophomore guard Eron Harris was leaving the program, the West Virginia University basketball team got a big shot in the arm late Saturday night when junior point guard Juwan Staten announced that he will return for his senior season instead of entering the NBA draft.

Staten’s return the right move - Daily Athenaeum
Staten’s decision is not only the right one for him personally, but it also keeps hope alive that West Virginia can become a tournament team again next season, despite the recent departure of Eron Harris.

Some good news out of WVU - Parkersburg News and Sentinel
Finally, some news coming out of Morgantown that doesn't involve a coach not being rehired or a player electing to transfer.


Dana Holgorsen News Conference Quotes - WVU Athletics
Coach Holgorsen addressed the media Saturday. (audio, transcript and video; video also embedded below).

WVU Wraps Up Third Week of Spring Practice - BGN
As the West Virginia football team opened its second practice of the spring up to fans and members of the media Saturday afternoon, it looked as if it was going to be one of the nicest days of practice so far.

Quick Hits: WVU Holds Open Football Practice in Morgantown - WVillustrated
News and notes from a padded spring practice, including a look at Oklahoma drills for the Mountaineers.

Open Football Practice Coaches and Players Quotes - WVU Athletics
Coaches and Players addressed the media after open practice today.

Players Enjoying Open Practices - EerSports
Mountaineer fans are not the only ones excited about open practices this spring. Players are enjoying the trips and atmosphere as well.

Gibson puts his stamp on Mountaineer defense - Charleston Daily Mail
"Call it what you want to, it doesn’t really matter to me, but it’s going to be an odd defense that’s going to be able to get in the backfield," he said.

WVU plans to keep it simple on defense - Times West Virginian
In today’s game of football there is an information overload.

WVU defense wants to be multiple but simple - Register-Herald
There’s a fine line in college football between a defense being too simple and too complex.

West Virginia defense will utilize 'odd' look in 2014 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Mountaineers have indeed employed a 3-3-5 or "odd stack" defense. The 3-3-5 is a subset of the 3-4 scheme they ran under defensive coordinators Joe DeForest and Keith Patterson the past two seasons.

For simplicity’s sake, Gibson wants fast-reacting defense - WV MetroNews
If there’s a theme arising from the defensive side of West Virginia’s spring practice, it’s simplicity rules.

Simple, Fast and Masterful - EerSports
New defensive coordinator Tony Gibson has a plan for his defense this spring and fall, and so far it's working.

HERTZEL COLUMN: Bradley asks D-linemen to be ‘muckers and grinders’ - Times West Virginian
Throw away all those conceptions that have festered in your mind from defenses past, the power play John Thornton used to bring to defensive tackle at West Virginia University, the amazing pass rush that Gary Stills or Canute Curtis brought from the end.

Ranking the Big 12's offensive triplets, lead by the Baylor Bears - ESPN
8. West Virginia - QB Clint Trickett, RB Dreamius Smith, WR Kevin White

Quarterback searches difficult for Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia - ESPN
Dana Holgorsen prefers to recruit quarterbacks who are coaches’ sons.

Versatile Dillon key to WVU defense - Charleston Gazette
There is an argument to be made that K.J. Dillon is West Virginia's most indispensable defensive football player.

WVU's Smallwood Becoming Mr. Versatile - WVU Athletics
RB Wendell Smallwood working some at slot receiver.

Smallwood, Smith Eye Big Years - EerSports
Running backs Dreamius Smith and Wendell Smallwood eye big years in their second season in Morgantown.

Pankey Comes Back Strong - EerSports
Offensive tackle Adam Pankey returned from a knee injury in the middle of last season and has quickly fought his way into the starting tackle spot this spring.

Howard’s frustrating spring part of adjustment arc - WV MetroNews
Junior college transfer's struggles through nine practices? Shannon Dawson says that's to be expected.

HERTZEL COLUMN: Speed read: After slow start, Alford finds niche - Times West Virginian
The legendary Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige used to say that his one-time Negro League teammate and Hall of Fame outfielder Cool Papa Bell was so fast so that "he could turn out the light and jump in bed before it got dark."

VIDEO: Bradley Working the DL - EerSports
EerSports' photographer Craig Gunter shares a video of Defensive Line Coach Tom Bradley works with his unit on the sled at Saturday's practice.

BGN Video: Power Game - BGN
West Virginia slogged through more than two hours of wet drills on Saturday. Here, offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, line coach Ron Crook and tackle Adam Pankey and back Cody Clay offer respective thoughts on the session and how the Mountaineers' fared in the goal line and short yardage sets. TV: Spring Practice Interviews -
Coach Bradley & Pankey

WATCH: WVU Spring Football Interviews - WVillustrated
Coach Bradley, Smallwood & Lucas

Photo Gallery: Morgantown Practice - BGN
Photos from West Virginia's spring football practice in Morgantown

Practice Photo Gallery - EerSports
EerSports photographer Craig Gunter shares a few photos from Saturday's practice in Morgantown.

Pro News:

Charles Sims NFL Draft Scouting Report - WVU Pros
Among those Mountaineers hoping to hear their names called during the annual NFL Draft in May, Charles Sims is regarded as being the one most likely to be chosen first.

Around the League (and Beyond):

Lady Bears Advance to Elite 8 - Our Daily Bears

Farewell, Cyclones - Wide Right & Natty Lite

Kansas football's potential on defense intrigues - Lawrence Journal World

K-State shows athletic surplus for fourth straight year, reports record expenses - Kansas City Star

Oklahoma football notebook: OU defensive line deep but needs Jordan Phillips back - Oklahoman (autoplay)


Top-10 player 2014 spring update: Texas Longhorns - ESPN

Spring practice taking toll on TCU running back corps - Dallas-Fort Worth Star Telegram

Tech football notes - Lubbock Avalanche Journal

What's On Tap:

Football Holds Open Practices - WVU Athletics
WVU’s practice on Saturday, April 5, will be in Charleston, at UC Stadium. The Charleston practice is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

Video of Interest:

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Brace yourselves:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is an awesome Aussie. CLICK HERE for today's gallery of Rachel Burr.