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Mountaineer Morning Links: Monday (4/6/15) Edition

Spring practice reports, Women fall short in WNIT finals, recruiting updates, WVUPros, Big 12 roundup & more.


Welcome, By-Godders, to the Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU's best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions. We're being brought to you today by Green Man Rambler Spring Ale.

What You May Have Missed:

Rifle Members Compete at 2015 Spring Selection - WVU Athletics
Four members of the 2015 national champion West Virginia University rifle team, as well as coach Jon Hammond, competed at the USA Shooting 2015 Rifle/Pistol Spring Selection, March 29-April 3, in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Tough loss gave way to successful run for WVU women - Times West Virginian
Three weeks earlier the situation was similar, his Mountaineers had just lost a tough game, a game in which they did not play smart, a game in which they did not play well, but there was a difference, a difference that had set West Virginia women’s basketball coach Mike Carey off then.

WVU Women Conclude Season with Promising Finish - WVillustrated
After coming up short in the WNIT Championship Game on Saturday, the WVU women's basketball team has plenty to be excited about heading into next year.

BGN Video: WVU-UCLA Postgame - BGN
West Virginia head coach Mike Carey and Mountaineers Averee Fields, Bria Holmes and Crystal Leary shared their disappointment following WVU's tough 62-60 Women's NIT Finals loss to UCLA.

POSTGAME INTERVIEWS: WVU Women Lose Heartbreaker to UCLA in WNIT - WVillustrated
The West Virginia University women's basketball team fell in heartbreaking fashion with a 62-60 loss to UCLA in the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) Championshipon Saturday

Gymnastics Finishes Fifth at Regional - WVU Athletics
Seeded sixth in the region, the Mountaineers’ (14-9-1, 1-1-1) score was their second-best showing at a NCAA Regional Championships

Staten Earns All-America Honors - WVU Athletics
Staten has been named a Senior CLASS Award Second Team All-American for Division I men’s basketball.

Hot Rod Hundley - You Gotta Love Him Baby! - WVU Athletics
Friends and family will celebrate his life in Phoenix.

FURFARI: Mike Fox was DT on great 1988 unbeaten team before NFL career - Times West Virginian
Mike Fox, one of the toughest defensive tackles ever to come out of Akron, Ohio, was a standout on football teams at West Virginia University from 1986 through 1989.

News of Note:

Mountaineers Practice at Shepherd University - WVU Athletics
Dana Holgorsen provided a spring update on his team.

Depth, versatility are plusses for WVU o-line - Charleston Daily Mail
"There’s no question this is the most depth we’ve had since we’ve been here," said Crook, who is in his third season at WVU.

HERTZEL COLUMN: Football remains king for passionate West Virginia fans - Times West Virginian
It is probably far too early to get into this, just six practices into spring drills and considering that Dana Holgorsen can’t name you one of his starting wide receivers at the moment, but he is facing the most crucial season in his coaching career.

Defense turns in impressive performance during WVU scrimmage - Charleston Gazette
"You’ll see our defense out there flying around,’’ he said just before getting started in front of a wind-chilled, but sunbaked crowd of probably a couple thousand at Ram Stadium. "Our defense looks good and they should.’’

Defense rules the day during Shepherdstown practice - WV MetroNews
First-team defense holds Skyler Howard-led offense to one touchdown on six drives from the 30-yard line.

WVU practices in Shepherdstown - BGN
West Virginia kicked off its first open practice of the spring on a windy Saturday afternoon in front of a few thousand fans at Ram Stadium - home of the Shepherd University football team in Shepherdstown.

Change of scenery good thing for WVU football - Beckley Register-Herald
The West Virginia University football team moved its entire operation to the Eastern Panhandle Saturday, holding a spring practice at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, and the change of scenery, along with a large crowd, helped give the Mountaineers an extra boost.

Easter Treat - Martinsburg Journal
Conditions better suited for fall greeted the West Virginia football team on Saturday as the Mountaineers held a spring practice at Shepherd University's Ram Stadium.

Holgorsen talks QB battle - BGN
Before his team started spring practice Saturday at Ram Stadium in Shepherdstown, head coach Dana Holgorsen talked about his team's progress up to this point in the spring.

Holgorsen Breaks Down QB Competition - EerSports
"For the time being, we’re going to have to dump all the reps into Skyler and William," he said.

QB Competition Cut in Half -
West Virginia and head coach Dana Holgorsen aren't even halfway through the spring, but it appears the four-man quarterback competition has been cut in half.

Holgorsen: "I like where we're at. I like this team." - EerSports
He not only has the depth that he has been looking for, but he has the experience to go with it – and it has him excited for this spring, especially on the defensive side.

Howard: "Still a Work in Progress" - EerSports
"Now that I’ve learned the offense, I’m really able to focus as a quarterback," he added. "I’m not learning the offense anymore and I’m able to focus on mechanics and making checks and other things like that."

Offensive line worth keeping an eye on - Exponent Telegram
As West Virginia went to Shepherdstown on Saturday to bring its traveling circus of football practices to the masses, what it was really trying to avoid was the messes that can come with uncertainty.

Crook explains Pankey's move from tackle to guard - Exponent Telegram
"From my standpoint it’s been the way to get the best five players on the field. In the past we did it to get more experience on the field. This year it’s trying to get that best five," Crook said.

WVU Offensive Player Review - BGN
West Virginia's IPO - or initial public offering, in terms of its spring drills - shed some light on one basic truth that seems to be as prevalent this year than any other: The defense is well ahead of the offense at this point. Of course, the opposite was true last season. Here, a trio of offense players note the causes, and fixes, of the problems and the goals for the coming weeks.

Quick Hits: WVU Defense Dominates in Shepherdstown - WVillustrated
News and notes from Saturday's drills at Ram Stadium as the Mountaineers kick off their 2015 spring tour in the Mountain State.

WVU's Ball Security Drills - BGN
West Virginia's renewed focus upon ball security was at the center of much offseason talk. Here, the Mountaineers begin to hone in on that skill in a variety of drills held right at the start of practice, showcasing the emphasis on both creating turnovers, and protecting the ball on the opposite end.

Arndt you glad to be home again? - Martinsburg Journal
Recruited to Shepherd as a tight end, Darren Arndt returned Saturday afternoon to Ram Stadium as a tight end as West Virginia held a spring workout. TV: Football Players -
Howard, Shell, Wellman, Kwiatkoski & Chestnut TV: Football Interviews -
Gibby, Barber, Thompson, Seider & Mitchell

WATCH: WVU Football Players Speak from Shepherdstown - WVillustrated
Barber, Howard, Thompson and other Mountaineers players update us on the spring so far and what progress West Virginia is making on the field.

Spring Drills Photo Gallery I - BGN
Exclusive images from West Virginia's spring football practice in Shepherdstown.

PHOTOS: Mountaineers Hold Open Practice in Shepherdstown - WVillustrated
See images from Saturday afternoon's practice at Ram Stadium on the campus of Shepherd University as the WVU football team opened its drills to fans ahead of the April 25 spring game in Morgantown.

Power Five college football coach rankings: Nos. 66-26 - (autoplay)
43. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia

West Virginia WR Kevin White to visit Tennessee Titans - (autoplay)
West Virginia's Kevin White is considered by many to be the top wide receiver in the 2015 NFL Draft, but he has only one team visit on the docket.


Aranda offers Orlando safety - 247Sports
"They offered first and I have a great relationship with their defensive staff," Burch said.

Hunt Has Spring Break Plans - EerSports
The 2016 prospect plans to visit Pittsburgh and West Virginia on Monday, April 6th.

Pro News:

WVUPros on the Hardwood Report: Alex Ruoff dominates as season winds down - WVUPros
This week’s edition of the WVUPros on the Hardwood Report features updates from Alex Ruoff’s dominance in Germany, the trio of WVUPros in France, Dalton Pepper in Poland, D’or Fischer in Russia, Joe Alexander in Israel, and a recap of Truck Byrant’s year in the Czech Republic.

Jets coach Bowles: 'We hope to add somebody else' at QB in draft - (autoplay)
Smith is back this season, ostensibly in a competition for the starting job with recently acquired Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Around the League (and Beyond):

Baylor Bears' Art Briles plans to wait before naming starting QB - Big 12 Blog - ESPN

Iowa State's Demond Tucker puts player of the year award in his sights - Big 12 Blog - ESPN

What caught my eye at Day 5 of KU football's 2015 Spring practices - Lawrence Journal World

Wildcats open spring football practice - Manhattan Mercury

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield making impression - Big 12 Blog - ESPN

Top-10 player spring update: Oklahoma State Cowboys - Big 12 Blog - ESPN

Top-10 player spring update: Texas Longhorns - Big 12 Blog - ESPN

Trevone Boykin will be 'ready to go' in a few weeks after minor surgery -

The Bottom of the Pit - What Happened at Hell's Half Acre - Viva The Matadors

Video of Interest:

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is an Australian beauty. CLICK HERE for today's gallery of Shainina Shaik.