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The Shotgun/Throwdown: Bob Huggins shows support for West Virginia’s new Director of Athletics

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2022 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

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

West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins is showing his support of the school’s new Director of Athletics, Wren Baker. The Hall of Fame coach started learning about Baker with the input of his friends and colleagues, saying, “Everybody who called me said you’re getting a terrific AD.” Baker is known to be a successful fundraiser and an AD with a good eye for coaching talent. Huggins also spoke to the new AD earlier this week, when he stopped by the Mountaineers’ practice.

While many WVU fans were skeptical of the hire, this support from Huggs is a big step in the right direction, at a time when the fan base needs to unite. Coach Huggins is an icon among WVU fans, so many of them trust his opinion and will get on board with Baker now that their beloved coach has started to voice his support. It will be interesting to see how their professional relationship develops over the next few years.


Sam James declares for 2023 NFL Draft

West Virginia wide receiver Sam James has decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and declare for the 2023 NFL Draft. The redshirt junior had 745 receiving yards and six touchdowns this season.


Thiesen Earns All-Region Status

Redshirt junior defender Bjarne Thiesen of the West Virginia men’s soccer team has been named to the All-Southeast Region Second Team.

WVU Athletics

Though Baker values retention, West Virginia’s new AD identifies plan for portal

WVU’s new Athletics Director Wren Baker is planning on balancing talent acquisition and retention in the portal era. The NCAA Transfer Portal will create situations where WVU teams lose players, but it also presents opportunities to build rosters in all sports.


Alek Manoah earns first team All-MLB nod

Former West Virginia pitcher Alek Manoah has been named to the First Team All-MLB Team. The Toronto Blue Jay star was a finalist for the American League Cy Young Award this season.

Around the Big 12

No. 17 Illinois rallies late, beats No. 2 Texas 85-78 in OT

The #2 Texas men’s basketball team lost to #17 Illinois in overtime at the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday night. Senior forward Timmy Allen led the Longhorns with 21 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds.

What time is Iowa State vs. Iowa? Here’s how to watch Thursday’s Cy-Hawk men’s basketball game

#20 Iowa State is facing rival Iowa tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET on FS1.

Around the NCAA

Hepburn, Crowl pace Wisconsin past No. 13 Maryland 64-59

#13 Maryland was upset by the Wisconsin men’s basketball team on Tuesday, thanks to 13 points from sophomore guard Chucky Hepburn and 12 points from junior forward Steven Crowl.

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