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West Virginia wide receiver Steven Smothers absent from newly released Spring depth chart

The redshirt freshman is still listed on the official roster, so it’s worth keeping an eye on this situation.

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NCAA Football: Russell Athletic Bowl-West Virginia vs Miami Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome, By-Godders, to the Shotgun Throwdown your one stop shop for the latest WVU news and information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions.

Smothers? Smothers? Smothers?: West Virginia released the 2017 WVU Spring football prospectus over the weekend, and one thing that stood out is the disappearance of redshirt-freshman wide receiver Steven Smothers from the depth chart. The Baltimore, Maryland native is still listed on the official roster, which may mean Smothers has been suspended for the Spring, similar to the situation with Jovon Durante last year. This will be something to keep a close eye on heading into the annual Gold-Blue Spring Game on April 15th.

The Old Men And The D(efense): After watching his Fighting Irish fall to the Mountaineers on Saturday, Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey had nothing but kind words to say about Bob Huggins and the “old dudes” he puts on the court.

“They’re really good. They got the look. They can play for a while. Bob’s done an unbelievable job like reinventing with full-court pressure. It’s brilliant and really a unique preparation to try and deal with it.” - Mike Brey

The Mountaineers are back in the Sweet Sixteen for the second time in three years, and will head out to San Jose this week to take on the No. 1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs on Thursday at 7:39 PM EST on TBS.

Quick Hits:

WVU Falls to Maryland in NCAA Second Round | WVU Athletics
The No. 6-seed WVU women’s basketball team couldn’t overcome a second quarter run by No. 3-seed Maryland, as the Mountaineers fell, 83-56, to the Terrapins in the NCAA Championship Second Round on Sunday.

WVU Drops Finale, Wins Series at No. 10 Baylor | WVU Athletics
The West Virginia University baseball team lost the final game of a three-game series at No. 10 Baylor, 5-1 on Sunday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark. Despite the loss, the Mountaineers (10-8, 2-1 Big 12 Conference) return home with a series win in their first Big 12 series of the year after a 7-1 win on Friday night and a 6-5 victory on Saturday.

National Champions Open WVU Rifle Range | WVU Athletics
The 2017 NCAA National Champion West Virginia University rifle team will host an open house at the WVU Rifle Range on Tuesday, March 21, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

West Virginia held their second Junior Day on Sunday, and hosted several recruits from the 2018, 2019 and 2020 classes. The Mountaineer staff extended a few offers to some of the prospects in attendance, but the biggest news on the recruiting front was a visit from one of the country’s top defensive back recruits earlier in the week.

The Mountaineer staff are in the middle of the Spring quiet period, and can only contact recruits if they are on unofficial visits to campus or through email or written correspondence.

Geno And The Giants?: Former West Virginia quarterback, and New York Jets pariah, Geno Smith is expected to sign with the New York Giants sometime today, provided his physical goes well. Smith tore his ACL in on October 23rd against the Baltimore Ravens, and had surgery to repair it in November. If Geno does sign with the Giants, he’s likely to lock up the backup role behind Eli Manning.

Lankster’s Last Chance?: Former West Virginia defensive back Ellis Lankster has bounced around the NFL and Canadian Football League since being drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 7th round in 2009, and the free agent has his sights set on the NFL once again. Lankster will join former Mountaineer wide receiver JD Woods in The Spring League this April, as they look to impress NFL scouts enough to get a second chance in the league. Woods last saw action in the NFL in 2013, before the Pittsburgh Steelers cut him before the final week of the preseason.

The Spring League will be held next month at The Greenbrier Sports Performance Center at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV, and will consist of six games played in a three week span. Joining Lankster and Woods in The Spring League are one-time Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner, tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., former Auburn Tigers running back Ben Tate, and troubled defensive end Greg Hardy. Tickets to The Spring League are on sale now through their website, and the games will be broadcast online.

Too Sweet: Half of the Big 12 Conference teams that made it into the NCAA tournament are still alive and moving on to the second week of action. The Kansas Jayhawks and Baylor Bears will join the Mountaineers in the Sweet Sixteen. The Jayhawks rolled over an Eron Harris-less Michigan State Spartans on Sunday after surviving a late second-half scare from the Spartans, surging back for a 90-70 win. The Jayhawks will play the Purdue Boilermakers next Friday.

Baylor survived a scare of their own against Southern Cal, as they found themselves trailing the No. 11 seed Trojans with less than five minutes remaining in the game. The Bears turned to their Junior guard Manu Lacomte, who sparked a comeback and scored 12 of Baylor’s next 13 points to help hold off the Trojans. Baylor is in the Sweet Sixteen for the fourth time since 2010, and will play the South Carolina Gamecocks on Friday.

Speaking of the Gamecocks, Frank Martin’s team knocked off the No. 2 seeded Duke Blue Devils late Sunday night to get to their first ever Sweet Sixteen, and I’ll just leave you with this...


What’s Goin’ On In Stillwater?: I’m not sure what’s happening at Oklahoma State, but it is a circus out in Stillwater. If you haven’t been paying attention, their new head basketball coach pulled a Todd Graham and left the Cowboys high and dry after losing to John Beilein’s Michigan Wolverines on Friday. Oklahoma State AD Mike Holder is now considering hiring Doug Gottlieb to replace Underwood, and I can’t think of a more perfect situation for non-Oklahoma State fans.

On the football side of things, their mullet-rocking, singlet-wearing head coach is now wrangling rattlesnakes somewhere in Oklahoma with a dude named Wild Bill. At this rate, I’m fairly confident that Mike Gundy is going to show up to the Cowboy’s home opener against the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes on September 2nd in an IROC Z, blasting RATT’s greatest hits, and start doing donuts on the 50-yard line.

At least they have their awesome wrestling program to fall back on, I guess.

Conference Realignment Back! Kinda: The conference realignment wheel never stops turning, it seems. This time, it’s not the Big 12 that’s rumored to be pursuing a couple American Athletic Conference teams (or Pac-12 teams, depending on who you’re listening to). No, this one isn’t even football driven, which is a surprise considering everyone knows who drives the bus.

Wichita State is supposedly close to leaving the Missouri Valley Conference, and the rumored landing spot is in the AAC, according to Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel. SB Nation’s Matt Brown broke down why this does and doesn’t make sense for the Shockers to make the jump to a larger conference.

We all know it’s just a matter of time now before David Boren is flapping his gums and going back on what he last said about the Big 12 being fine where it’s at now.

What does TJ Ford know anyway?

If you’re not following us on Twitter (@SmokingMusket), you missed what is possibly the greatest idea that has come from this site since its creation (or at least since I took over as site manager last year).

Late Friday night, Matt Kirchner, the brains behind the Smoking Musket Food Tournament had an epiphany while watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix, and coming sometime this Spring/Summer...

That’s right. We’re going to attempt to make this thing happen at some point after the spring game. There’s plenty of terrible West Virginia game tape for us to riff on, and the series will be complete with its own theme song.

In the meantime, what better way to distract yourself than with a classic episode of MST3K?

I would have been drawn and quartered if I got rid of this feature, so without further ado...

Today’s Miss Throwdown is UFC ring girl and model, Brittney Palmer. Follow Brittney on Instagram for some seriously great content. You’ll thank me later.