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THE SHOTGUN THROWDOWN: Jerry West named to NBA 75 List

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Good morning! This is the Shotgun Throwdown, your daily West Virginia sports roundup.

Baylor v West Virginia Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor, and daily distractions.

THE LOGO

West Virginia basketball legend Jerry West has been named to the NBA 75 Team, a list of the NBA’s greatest players in honor of the league’s 75th anniversary. The list was released in alphabetical order, so it is unclear where exactly West ranks among the players on the list, but it is still an incredible honor to be named one of the greatest players in the history of professional basketball.

West was an All-American at WVU, where he played from 1957 to 1960 and won 81 games during his college career. He also led the Mountaineers to the National Championship game in 1959, where they lost by one to California. Despite the loss, West was named the Most Outstanding Player at the 1959 Final Four. He was then drafted second overall by the Lakers in 1960.

In the NBA, West was a one-time NBA Champion, one-time Finals MVP, 14-time All-Star, 12-time All-NBA player, and a five-time All-NBA Defender. He averaged 27 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.8 rebounds per game during his 14-year career. He was also known for his incredible playoff performances, as he averaged over 29 points per game in the playoffs and helped the Lakers reach 10 NBA Finals. West’s legendary career in the NBA helped him become the iconic logo of the league.

BIG 12 HONORS

Following West Virginia’s 29-17 win over TCU, two Mountaineers have earned Big 12 weekly honors. Junior place kicker Casey Legg was named the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week. Legg made three field goals, from 49 yards, 38 yards, and 27 yards. He also added two extra points, to account for 11 of WVU’s 29 points. Legg earned an additional honor from the Lou Groza Collegiate Place Kicker Award as a Star of the Week.

Junior cornerback Charles Woods was named the Big 12 Co-Newcomer of the Week. Woods snagged an interception against the Horned Frogs and returned it for 32 yards. He also recovered a fumble and made five tackles for the Mountaineers.

TOP BASKETBALL CONFERENCE

With all of the news about conference realignment, most remain fixated on how the changes will impact college football. But what about college basketball?

It seems that over the years West Virginia has become more of a “basketball school.” The Bob Huggins era has had a large influence on that, but so has WVU’s move to the Big 12. The Big 12 is commonly college basketball best and toughest league, top to bottom. And even with conference realignment on the horizon, that is not going to change any time soon.

WEST VIRGINIA ROUNDUP

  • The West Virginia football team finally got its ground game going this week. The Mountaineers had a season-best 229 rushing yards on 41 attempts in their win over TCU on Saturday. Senior running back Leddie Brown led the way 111 of the rushing yards, while freshman quarterback Garrett Greene added 69 yards.
  • The #25 West Virginia men’s soccer team improved to 8-2-4 this season after a 3-1 win over Elon. The Mountaineers were down 1-0 after the first half, but redshirt sophomore defender Bjarne Thiesen helped them tie the match at 1-1 in the 56th minute. Sophomore forward Ciro Bourlot Jaeggi scored on a penalty kick in the 75th minute to give WVU the lead and fifth-year senior midfielder Pau Jimenez Albelda added another PK goal in the final minutes of the match.

AROUND THE BIG 12

  • Iowa State shook up the Big 12 on Saturday with its 24-21 upset win over formerly undefeated Oklahoma State. Senior quarterback Brock Purdy led the Cyclones with 307 passing yards and two passing touchdowns, and they are now ranked #22 in the Associated Press (AP) poll, while the Cowboys fell from #8 to #15.
  • Oklahoma almost suffered a shocking road loss at Kansas. The Sooners fell behind 17-7 late in the third quarter, but scored four touchdowns in the last 16 minutes of the game to win 35-23.
  • Elsewhere in the conference, Kansas State came back on the road to knock off Texas Tech, 25-24.

AROUND THE NCAA

  • One of the most notable games from this past weekend of college football was the first game to reach nine overtimes! Illinois and then-#7 Penn State were tied 10-10 at the end of regulation. Both teams made field goals in the first and second overtime periods, they then went into a back-and-forth battle of two-point conversions, thanks to the NCAA’s new overtime rules. The Fighting Illini escaped with a 20-18 upset win after nine overtimes.
  • Freshman quarterback Tyler Van Dyke led Miami to an upset win over then-#18 NC State on Saturday. Van Dyke had 325 passing yards and four passing touchdowns to give the Hurricanes a 31-30 win.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • The 2021 MLB World Series matches up the Atlanta Braves from the National League and the Houston Astros from the American League. Game One in Houston tonight has veteran Charlie Morton starting at pitcher for the Braves and Framber Valdez starting for the Astros. The entire series will be nationally televised on Fox and tonight’s game starts at 8:09 p.m. ET.
  • In honor if its 75th anniversary, the NBA has released the list of the greatest players in the history of the league. Which players were the most deserving of their spots? Who were the list’s biggest snubs?

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