Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor, and daily distractions.
After a 2020 season in which the West Virginia football team was plagued greatly by dropped passes, displaying improvement in that area is a focal point as the Mountaineers continue spring practice. Monday marked WVU’s third practice and first in pads, and a familiar cast of characters are looking to help provide a spark to the team’s passing attack.
Versatility has been the catchphrase for West Virginia’s defense so far this spring. WVU head coach Neal Brown has said versatility up front and in the safety positions is going to be important for the defense this fall.
The NCAA’s eligibility relief decision leaves the door open for a unique opportunity to keep most of the squad intact, but West Virginia already has a couple players in the transfer portal and a few that could be wrapping up their college basketball careers. If WVU is able to keep a majority of its team together, the Mountaineers could have a great combination of veteran experience and young players that are continuing to improve.
West Virginia guard Taz Sherman has announced that he will enter the 2021 NBA Draft with an opportunity to return to college if he chooses. In two years with the Mountaineers, Sherman started 10 games and averaged 9.1 points per game. This past season, he was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, as he averaged 13.4 points per game and shot 36% from three-point range.
West Virginia women’s basketball coach Mike Carey has announced that graduate transfer A’riana “Ari” Gray will join the Mountaineers for the 2021-22 season. She comes to Morgantown after spending the last four seasons at Xavier.
West Virginia Athletics
West Virginia senior David Dixon finished 12th overall in the 200 butterfly finals to conclude the 2021 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday. Dixon also became the 25th Mountaineer all-time to earn Honorable Mention All-America honors on the men’s side. A pair of Mountaineer divers also competed on Saturday, as redshirt junior Jacob Cardinal Tremblay and junior PJ Lenz took part in the platform diving preliminary round.
Following last weekend’s win over #5 Duke, junior forward Alina Stahl of the #7 West Virginia women’s soccer team has been named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. Stahl scored the game-winning goal in the 47th minute in WVU’s 3-2 win over the Blue Devils. She also added an assist earlier in the game.
Senior left-handed pitcher Jackson Wolf of the West Virginia baseball team has been named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week. Wolf pitched 7.1 innings of shutout ball in the Mountaineers’ 11-0 win over Kansas to open conference play on March 26th. He allowed just four hits and two walks, while tying his career high in strikeouts, with eight.
After finishing 12th overall in the 200 butterfly at the 2021 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, senior David Dixon of the West Virginia men’s swimming and diving team has been named the WVU Student-Athlete of the Week.
In the finale of its four-match homestand, the West Virginia tennis team fell to Kansas State, 4-2, on Sunday afternoon. The Mountaineers are now 3-6 this season, with an 0-6 record in Big 12 play.
Junior Kurtis Grant shot 2-under-par on Monday, while sophomore Trent Tipton remains in the top 20 after 36 holes of competition for the West Virginia golf team at The Hootie at Bulls Bay in Awendaw, South Carolina.
The Mid-American Conference has announced that the West Virginia men’s soccer team’s match against Akron on Wednesday has been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Zips men’s soccer program.
Around the Big 12
Texas Tech’s Dru Baker repeated as the Big 12 Player of the Week, while West Virginia’s Jackson Wolf was selected as the conference Pitcher of the Week and TCU’s Austin Krob was the Newcomer of the Week.
West Virginia’s Alina Stahl earned Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors, while Baylor’s Ally Henderson collected the Defensive Player of the Week award. Savannah Madden of Texas was recognized as Goalkeeper of the Week and Oklahoma State goalkeeper Amber Lockwood was the Freshman of the Week.
Top-seeded South Carolina and six-seed Texas will compete for a spot in the Final Four of the Women’s NCAA Tournament on Tuesday. The game will tip off at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN.
Around the NCAA
Houston overcame a blown 17-point lead to hold off Oregon State 67-61 on Monday night in the NCAA Tournament, reaching the Final Four for the first time in 37 years. Sophomore guard Marcus Sasser led the Cougars with 20 points and two steals.
Gonzaga has spent its entire season pushing tempo, knocking down shots, and rolling to comfortable wins with one of the best offenses college basketball has seen in two decades. Now the Bulldogs face USC in the Elite Eight.
The names UCLA and Michigan can’t help but conjure up some of the most memorable images of March and the two storied programs are facing off tonight.
Somewhere under the thick red haze floating over Bristol Motor Speedway, Joey Logano took the checkered flag for NASCAR’s first Cup Series race at a dirt track in 50 years. Visibility was next to nothing during the race, which made the action even more interesting and exciting.
The NBA trade deadline is in the books. Among the biggest deals of the deadline were Victor Oladipo joining the Miami Heat, Rajon Rondo going to the Los Angeles Clippers, Nikola Vucevic joining the Chicago Bulls, and JJ Redick going to the Dallas Mavericks. How big of an impact did it have on our latest Power Rankings update?
With the initial free-agency rush now concluded, this is the perfect time to revisit our NFL Power Rankings for the 2021 season. It has been a unique offseason to say the least, as a reduced salary cap has altered business for both players and front-office personnel.
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