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THE SHOTGUN THROWDOWN: Taz Sherman named Big 12 Player of the Week

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

NCAA Basketball: Kent State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

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

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

For the second time this season, West Virginia guard Taz Sherman has been named the Big 12 Player of the Week. Sherman led WVU to wins over #15 Connecticut and Kent State this past week, with 23 points and three assists against the Huskies and 27 points and three assists against the Golden Flashes.

Taz has stepped up as the Mountaineers’ leader offensively this year. He is averaging 21.8 points and 3.2 assists per game, which are both team highs. Sherman is also shooting 45.7% from the field and 33.3% from three-point range. And although WVU has struggled from the free throw line this season, he is leading the team with his 76.6% average at the line.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN

The West Virginia men’s basketball team is receiving votes in the Associated Press (AP) Poll, but the Mountaineers are still on the outside looking in. WVU is 9-1 this season, with a six-game winning streak. The Mountaineers return to action on Saturday evening when they travel to UAB to face the Blazers on CBS Sports Network.

WEST VIRGINIA ROUNDUP

  • After signing a four-year deal with FanDuel reported to be worth approximately $30 million annually, former West Virginia football player Pat McAfee has pledged to donate $1 million to WVU Medicine Children’s new hospital.
  • Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil have been West Virginia’s leaders offensively this season. Can the Mountaineers find a third consistent offensive contributor?
  • The West Virginia women’s basketball team went on the road and defeated James Madison, 75-68, in overtime on Sunday.

AROUND THE BIG 12

  • Then-#2 Baylor held then-#6 Villanova to just 36 points in its 57-36 win on Sunday. The win helped push the BU men’s basketball team to the #1 spot in the national polls, while the Wildcats fell to ninth. The Bears’ win also closed the gap in the Big East-Big 12 Battle and now the Big 12 has a chance to tie the series in the final game between TCU and Georgetown on Saturday.
  • The Oklahoma State men’s basketball team avoided an upset to Cleveland State with its 98-93 overtime win. Senior guard Bryce Williams and junior guard Avery Anderson III both scored 29 points for the Cowboys.

AROUND THE NCAA

  • The Purdue men’s basketball team narrowly avoided another upset on Sunday at the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational. The Boilermakers needed overtime to squeak past NC State, 82-72. Thanks to a buzzer-beater, Purdue was upset by Rutgers last week, 70-68.
  • The Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational did see one upset with Maryland’s 70-68 win over then-#20 Florida.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • In the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, and Green Bay Packers are at the top of the NFC, while the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots are battling for the top spot in the AFC.

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