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Derek Culver named to All-Big 12 First Team

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

NCAA Basketball: Baylor 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.

Football

Neal Brown to focus on defensive versatility in spring practice

Spring practice will begin soon as Neal Brown and his coaching staff continue to put the pieces together for Brown’s third season at West Virginia. When the Mountaineers eventually take the field for the first of fifteen official spring practices, Brown will challenge many of his veteran defensive players to become more versatile by learning different spots within their position groups.

Having worked his way up the coaching ranks, ShaDon Brown excited to be with Mountaineers

Nearly a month into his tenure as co-defensive coodinator and defensive backs coach at West Virginia, ShaDon Brown says he could not pass up on the opportunity to join Neal Brown’s staff ahead of his third season with the Mountaineers. During his first month in Morgantown, ShaDon Brown has begun acclimating himself with WVU’s 4-2-5 defensive scheme.

New DL coach Andrew Jackson enjoying family atmosphere at West Virginia

Six weeks into his tenure as West Virginia’s defensive line coach, Andrew Jackson is gearing up for the start of spring football. While Jackson has the luxury of guiding a unit that returns several proven and promising players, he will evaluate the group based on the present.

Football Spring Work to Conclude This Year With Gold-Blue Game on April 24

West Virginia football coach Neal Brown held a virtual media session with media last week to preview spring practice, which will get a later start than anticipated because of some COVID issues his team experienced during winter workouts in early February.

Men’s Basketball

Derek Culver headlines list of Mountaineers honored by Big 12

West Virginia forward Derek Culver was named to the All-Big 12 First Team after a strong junior campaign, finishing the regular season averaging 14.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Culver also scored his 1,000th career point on Saturday against Oklahoma State. Sophomore Miles “Deuce” McBride was picked for the All-Big 12 Second Team. Sharpshooting guards Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil were both named as All-Big 12 Honorable Mentions and Gabe Osabuohien was selected for the All-Big 12 Defensive team. Jalen Bridges rounded the honors out on the All-Big 12 Freshman Team.

Bob Huggins named Naismith Coach of the Year semifinalist

West Virginia head men’s basketball coach, Bob Huggins, has been named a semifinalist for the Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year award. Huggins is one of 10 coaches to be named to the list. He also recently won his 899th career game as a Division I head coach with a win over TCU.

Fairmont native Jalen Bridges has excelled on bigger stage

Since entering the starting five, West Virginia freshman Bridges is averaging 24 minutes and 8.5 points per game. The Fairmont native started the season by going 1-for-11 from three-point range, but has made 50 percent from beyond the arc since. Bridges has also been a key to WVU’s rebounding efforts.

Three Guys Before The Game – Big 12 Tournament Preview (Episode 27)

The #10 West Virginia men’s basketball team will enter this week’s Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship with a question mark next to its name. On this episode of “Three Guys Before The Game,” the guys analyze the Mountaineers’ chances in their rematch against Oklahoma State and dissect issues that need immediate correction after Saturday’s loss.

WVU stays in top ten, Big 12 honors announced

After a 1-2 week, the West Virginia men’s basketball team has slipped four spots in both national polls, but remains in the top 10. The Mountaineers check in a #10 in the AP poll and #9 in the coaches’ poll. Six Mountaineers also received Big 12 honors this week.

Men’s Big 12 Conference Tournament field set

The 2021 Big 12 Conference Tournament field is set. #10 West Virginia finished the regular season tied for third in the Big 12 and will be the #4 seed in the conference tournament. The Mountaineers will have a rematch of its regular season finale against Oklahoma State on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Huggins on team’s energy in loss: ‘We had no bounce, we had zero bounce’

It was a rough showing for the #10 West Virgnia men’s basketball team on Saturday. The Mountaineers finished shooting 25-of-60 (42%) from the field and allowed Oklahoma State to shoot 33-of-57 (58%) from the floor. The Cowboys also outrebounded WVU, 38-29.

Mountaineers fall in regular season finale against Oklahoma State

#10 West Virginia’s loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday was one of its most disappointing losses of the year considering the Cowboys were without Cade Cunningham, who could potentially be the #1 pick in the NBA Draft, and Isaac Likekele.

West Virginia Athletics

No. 7 West Virginia begins spring season with win over Saint Joseph’s

The #7 West Virginia women’s soccer team opened its spring campaign with a 3-1 win at Saint Joseph’s. The Mountaineers had control throughout the entire contest, outshooting the Hawks, 22-3, including 15-2 in shots on goal. WVU returns to play with an exhibition match against Racing Louisville FC of the National Women’s Soccer League on March 13th.

Lenz Breaks Record to Lead Final Night at Big 12s

Propelled by a program record in platform by junior PJ Lenz, the West Virginia men’s and women’s diving teams completed the third and final night of competition at the 2021 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championship. In the final team standings, the WVU men finished in second place. On the women’s side, the Mountaineers finished in fourth place.

Six West Virginia wrestlers finish on podium at Big 12 Championships

The West Virginia wrestling team placed six finishers on the podium at the Big 12 Wrestling Championship over the weekend. Redshirt juniors Killian Cardinale and Noah Adams came away with third-place finishes in their respective weight classes. Freshman Peyton Hall placed fourth in the 165-pound weight class.

WVU women move up in AP Poll

Ahead of its regular-season finale, the West Virginia women’s basketball team has climbed three spots in the Associated Press Poll. Mike Carey’s Mountaineers now check in at #17. The only other Big 12 Conference team ranked is Baylor at #6.

WVU cross country headed to NCAA Championships

The West Virginia cross country team has been selected as one of the teams to compete in the 2021 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The championships are scheduled for March 15th at Oklahoma State.

WVU men’s soccer defeats Northern Illinois in conference opener

Head coach Dan Stratford and the West Virginia men’s soccer team continue their success with a 1-0 win against Northern Illinois at home on Saturday, notching their second win in two matches under a new coaching staff. Stratford has been impressed with his team so far, crediting the defense and their effort to the team’s success.

West Virginia gymnastics earns victory over Pittsburgh

The West Virginia gymnastics earned their first win of the 2021 season in the Backyard Brawl against Pittsburgh, 195.900-194.175 on Friday night. The Mountaineers were able to come out on top in three out of the four events winning uneven parallel bars, balance beam, and floor exercise, as well as hitting their season-high total score.

WVU overcomes late deficit to defeat VCU

The West Virginia tennis team was able to overcome a 3-2 deficit to defeat VCU 4-3 on Friday afternoon in Morgantown. The Mountaineers are now 3-0 this season. WVU will now prepare to begin conference play against Texas on March 12th.

Mountaineer baseball keeps pace at No. 23

The West Virginia baseball team remained at #23 in this week’s D1Baseball.com Top 25 Rankings. WVU is off to a 4-3 start to the 2021 season and finished with a winning record in February for the fifth time in the last six seasons.

Tekesky Named WVU Student-Athlete of the Week

After helping the West Virginia men’s soccer team tally its second straight shutout of the season, senior goalkeeper Steven Tekesky has been named the WVU Student-Athlete of the Week.

Around the Big 12

Big 12 Championship in Kansas City Must-See Basketball

Has there ever been a better Big 12 men’s basketball tournament than the one we are about to watch this week? Seven of the 10 teams in this year’s Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship are likely going to be playing in this year’s NCAA Tournament, which could possibly be the highest percentage of teams to make the tournament out of any conference in college basketball this season.

Big 12 Snapshot: (Finally) Goin’ to Kansas City

After one of the strangest seasons ever in the Big 12, it is finally time for the conference tournament in Kansas City. Here is the final edition of the Snapshot for the Big 12 basketball season.

Teague 35 points as No. 3 Baylor beats No. 18 Texas Tech

Senior guard MaCio Teague scored 35 points while matching a school record with 10 made 3-pointers, to help #3 Baylor finish the season undefeated at home for the first time in 73 years with an 88-73 win over #18 Texas Tech in the regular season finale Sunday.

Around the NCAA

Garza gets 21 points, No. 5 Iowa tops No. 25 Wisconsin 77-73

Luka Garza scored 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead #5 Iowa over #25 Wisconsin 77-73 on Sunday. After the game, Iowa athletic director Gary Barta announced that Garza’s jersey #55 will be retired after the season.

NBA All-Star 2021 grades: The best and worst from Team LeBron, Team Durant and every event

For the first time ever, the NBA packed events that typically take place over two nights of All-Star Weekend into one night of action in Atlanta. Check out these grades for all of the competitors in the skills challenge, 3-point and slam dunk contests, as well as the All-Star Game.

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