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West Virginia is one of the few teams outside the top 10 that could win the National Championship

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

NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

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

Football

ShaDon Brown added to WVU defensive coaching staff

Neal Brown has added former Louisville assistant coach ShaDon Brown to his defensive coaching staff at West Virginia. ShaDon Brown spent the past two seasons as the safeties coach at U of L, and it is possible that he will be named a co-defensive coordinator with the Mountaineers.

Men’s Basketball

Dribble Handoff: College basketball teams ranked outside the top 10 that can win 2021 NCAA Tournament

There are a few college basketball teams ranked outside the top 10 that analysts believe can win the 2021 National Championship, and #14 West Virginia is one of those teams. The Mountaineers rank 11th in points per possession, thanks to their three sharpshooting three-point marksmen Miles “Deuce” McBride, Sean McNeil, and Taz Sherman. WVU junior Derek Culver’s dominance in the post could also help the Mountaineers make a run in the postseason.

Huggins on WVU’s win: ‘They did a better job defensively of knowing what to do than on offense at times’

#14 West Virginia handled #7 Texas Tech with an 82-71 victory on Tuesday night for its first road win against a top-10 Big 12 opponent since joining the conference. WVU head coach Bob Huggins was impressed with the effort of the Mountaineers, especially defensively. On offense, Sean McNeil scored a career-high 26 points after hitting five three-pointers.

Notebook: WVU has answered challenge from Bob Huggins in last two wins

Bob Huggins was noticeably displeased with West Virginia’s defensive effort a week ago at Iowa State in a 76-72 win. In the two games since, a 12-point win over Kansas and an 11-point win at Texas Tech, it appears the Mountaineers have answered Huggins’ challenges for better efforts on the defensive end of the floor.

WVU Downs No. 7 Texas Tech, Wins in Lubbock for 1st Time Since 2016

The #14 Mountaineers defeated #7 Texas Tech 82-71 on Tuesday night. It was West Virginia’s first road win over a top-10 ranked opponent since defeating #6 Virginia in Charlottesville in 2016. WVU’s next game will be against #12 Oklahoma in Morgantown on Saturday.

Women’s Basketball

WVU survives test from Kansas, wins 11th in a row

The West Virginia women’s basketball team earned its 11th win in a row on Wednesday night against Kansas, 69-61. WVU guard Kysre Gondrezick led the team with 19 points. Sophomore forward Esmery Martinez added 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Fellow forward Kari Niblack also had 17 points and pulled in six rebounds for the Mountaineers. WVU’s next game will be against Oklahoma on Sunday and will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

Gondrezick Named to Naismith Trophy Midseason Watch List

Redshirt senior guard Kysre Gondrezick of the West Virginia women’s basketball team has been named to the midseason watch list for the 2021 Naismith Trophy for the Women’s Player of the Year. One of 30 nominees in Division I, Gondrezick is one of five players in the Big 12 Conference included on the midseason list.

Mountaineers Move Up to No. 21 in Coaches Poll

The West Virginia women’s basketball team has moved up two spots to rank #21 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll. WVU is one of two Big 12 teams featured in the poll with Baylor ranking #9.

West Virginia Athletics

Shirk named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week

Following an impressive showing in the Mountaineers’ final regular season meet of the year, freshman Roanoke Shirk of the West Virginia men’s swimming and diving team has been named the Big 12 Men’s Newcomer of the Week. This is Shirk’s first career Big 12 honor. WVU will return to the pool at the 2021 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championship later this month.

Mountaineers Sit at No. 4

The West Virginia rifle team remains #4 in the College Rifle Coaches Association Poll. The Mountaineers will return to action for their last match of the regular season on Saturday, as they travel to Lexington to face #2 Kentucky.

Mountaineers Move Up in Floor Exercise Rankings

Following an impressive 49.150 showing on floor exercise last week, the West Virginia gymnastics team has moved up four spots to #20 on floor in this week’s Road to Nationals Rankings. As a team, WVU is ranked #30 nationally.

WVU Preps for No. 7 Denver

Following a season-best performance, the West Virginia gymnastics team plays host to #7 Denver today. The Mountaineers are looking to get their first win over a ranked opponent this season. The competition will be carried live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

Sullivan enters national rankings

Redshirt freshman Ryan Sullivan of the West Virginia wrestling team has entered the national rankings for the first time in his career. Sullivan joins redshirt juniors Noah Adams and Killian Cardinale, along with freshman Peyton Hall in this week’s polls.

Around the Big 12

Jones scores 24, No. 13 Texas outlasts Kansas State 80-77

Andrew Jones scored 24 points and #13 Texas held off Kansas State 80-77 on Tuesday night. Greg Brown added 17 points and Courtney Ramey had 14 for the Longhorns, who snapped a three-game skid.

Nembhard scores 20; TCU rallies late to beat Iowa St. 79-76

RJ Nembhard scored 20 points, and Kevin Samuel had 10 points and 11 rebounds, as TCU rallied late to beat Iowa State 79-76 on Tuesday night.

ISU, WVU Collect Swimming & Diving Newcomer Awards

Iowa State’s Ashley Bengston and West Virginia’s Roanoke Shirk earned their first Big 12 Swimming & Diving Newcomer of the Week awards.

Around the NCAA

Bishop leads No. 19 Creighton past cold-shooting Hoyas 63-48

Christian Bishop scored 17 points and #19 Creighton capitalized on Georgetown’s worst shooting performance in a decade while rolling to a 63-48 win. The Bluejays avenged an 86-79 loss to the Hoyas last week and gained their fifth win in their last six games.

Petty, No. 11 Alabama hold off South Carolina 81-78

#11 Alabama bounced back from their loss to #10 Missouri on Saturday with an 81-78 victory over South Carolina on Tuesday night.

Former WVU head coach Marlon LeBlanc enters second year with Philadelphia Union II

Many coaches that step down from a job cite the need to spend more time with their family. Former West Virginia men’s soccer head coach Marlon LeBlanc is making up for a lot of lost time with his family in his new role as the leader of the Philadelphia Union II squad, the reserve team for the Major League Soccer franchise.

Tom Brady tosses the Lombardi Trophy from one boat to another

During the Tampa Bay BuccaneersSuper Bowl parade Wednesday quarterback Tom Brady was captured on video tossing the championship Lombardi Trophy from his boat to his teammates in another boat.

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