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The Shotgun/Throwdown (12/24/18): For West Virginia’s defense, ‘meaningless’ is not in their vocabulary

Fans can say what they will about West Virginia’s defense — and they certainly have in recent weeks — but they best not call the Camping World Bowl “meaningless” to any Mountaineers on that side of the ball.

NCAA Football: Kansas State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

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Football

‘Meaningless’ not in vocabulary for Gibson and West Virginia defense | WV MetroNews
Fans can say what they will about West Virginia’s defense — and they certainly have in recent weeks — but they best not call the Camping World Bowl “meaningless” to any Mountaineers on that side of the ball.

Hot Reads: The Future is Now | West Virginia University Athletics
He's been called college football's tent revivalist. Maybe for good reason.Three seasons later, Babers has Syracuse ranked for the first time since 2001 and prepared to play for just the seventh 10-win season in program history when the No. 20 Orange (9-3) face No. 16 West Virginia (8-3) in the 2018 Camping World Bowl on Friday.

WVU recruiting: Areas of focus for Mountaineer football | Charleston Gazette-Mail
he early signing period, one of two windows when recruits can sign their letters of intent, has passed for college football recruits. West Virginia signed 18 players during the first period – 16 recruits and two players that had already been on campus – leaving the coaching staff seven spots to fill “between now and sometime in the summer,” as coach Dana Holgorsen put it. Here’s a look at which spots those will be.

Basketball

Harris' Career-High 20 Boosts WVU on Saturday | West Virginia University Athletics
Wesley Harris followed up a career high with another career high. The junior forward was two points better than the 18 he scored last Sunday against Rhode Island to help West Virginia defeat Jacksonville State 74-72 in front of 8,231 at the WVU Coliseum this afternoon.

Huggs, Schaus on 2019 Naismith Hall of Fame Ballot | West Virginia University Athletics
December 21st, marks the Birthday of Basketball – the game that was invented by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts and has grown into an international pastime. As part of the celebration of this momentous day, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced the eligible candidates for the Class of 2019, including the addition of a new direct-elect category for Women Veterans.

WVU basketball: Freshman Culver's effort 'good' in Mountaineer debut | Charleston Gazette-Mail
Freshman forward Derek Culver, a highly-touted recruit who was suspended on Nov. 15 for a “violation of team rules,” made his debut for the West Virginia University men’s basketball team in Saturday’s 74-72 win against visiting Jacksonville State.

Derek Culver admits ‘I had to get my priorities straight’ | WV MetroNews
Derek Culver’s introduction to college basketball literally came by the seat of his shorts.The start to Culver’s career isn’t what he wanted, either.

WVU staff on hand as Tshiebwe impresses with 25 points, 13 rebounds | WV MetroNews
If not for a friend of his older brother, Oscar Tshiebwe may be the best soccer player in Congo that you never heard of. He likely would have been just as popular back home playing soccer as he is now playing high school basketball for Kennedy Catholic in Hermitage, Pa.

West Virginia Athletics

Pair Named Distinguished Scholar-Athletes | West Virginia University Athletics
Juniors Sebastian Garcia-Herreros and Ryan Kellogg of the West Virginia University men's soccer team have been named Distinguished Scholar Athletes by the Mid-American Conference, the league announced on Saturday.

Around the NCAA

Why are so many college football players sitting out bowls? Just look at the numbers | SBNation
It’s no longer new for players to skip bowl games. Now there’s contract data to back up a point that was already simple.

Swatting away one of the worst arguments against expanding the Playoff | SBNation
Increasing access would not mean letting terrible teams win national titles.

Houston head coach Major Applewhite’s future in doubt after devastating bowl loss | SBNation
The Cougars finished a second straight five-loss season with one of the worst postseason showings ever.

How in the hell is Neal Brown still at Troy? | SBNation
Are Power 5 ADs now more worried about the air raid stigma than NFL GMs are?

Ranking the Good, Bad, and Absurd ‘Monday Night Football’ Graphics | The Ringer
The ESPN team leveled up this year and produced art more in line with Picasso’s than that of their the peers in the broadcast industry. Which cut scenes were the most inspired?

Actually, This Is the Best Christmas Song of All Time | The Ringer
Forget "O Holy Night" and say hello to the Waitresses’ "Christmas Wrapping"

O Holy Brine: The Strange, Joyous Legend of the Christmas Pickle | The Ringer
Many years ago, someone—possibly German?—decided to put a pickle ornament on a Christmas tree, and a tradition of sorts was born. Here’s why the Christmas pickle is worth preserving.


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