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The West Virginia women’s basketball team is headed to Mexico this fall. The Mountaineers will be playing in the 2022 Women’s Cancun Challenge, one of the premier holiday tournaments in women’s basketball.
WVU has been selected for the “Riviera Division” with five other teams. NC State, Vanderbilt, Tulane, Central Michigan, and Northern Iowa will join the Mountaineers in the division, but WVU will only play against Central Michigan and NC State during the weekend trip.
This event could be the first real test for new head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. After coming to WVU from South Dakota, Plitzuweit has spent much of the offseason rebuilding the depleted roster with players from the transfer portal. Some of her portal signees include senior forward Tavy Diggs from TCU, fifth-year senior Sarah Bates from Georgia Tech, and junior forward Kylee Blacksten from Colorado. Plitzuweit’s South Dakota teams reached the NCAA Tournament or WNIT every season she was there, with the exception of the COVID-19 year where the postseason was canceled, so she has experience coaching teams in neutral site games against strong opponents. Hopefully the Mountaineers’ trip to Cancun will result in a couple of wins, so Plitzuweit can get her first season at WVU off to a good start.
Former West Virginia pitcher Alek Manoah made history at the 2022 MLB All-Star Game this week. He became the first Mountaineer baseball player to ever play in the All-Star Game. There has been one other former WVU player to be named an All-Star, but Manoah is the only one to actually participate in the game. He also became the second Toronto Blue Jays player to throw three or more strikeouts in the All-Star Game in franchise history.
Best Virginia has added one more player before the team starts The Basketball Tournament (TBT) play this weekend. The team added WVU Tech standout Tamon Scruggs. Joining Best Virginia gives Scruggs another opportunity to play for his former coach, James Long, who played at West Virginia before going into coaching. Best Virginia begins TBT play at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday in the Charleston Coliseum.
Around the Big 12
The Big 12 Conference had 47 players drafted in the 2022 MLB Draft. Oklahoma led the conference with 11 players drafted, including first-round pick Cade Horton who was selected seventh overall.
The Big 12 has eight football players on the Maxwell Aware preseason watch list. Among those players is West Virginia quarterback JT Daniels.
Around the NCAA
ACC commissioner Jim Phillips shared some common sense this week when he discussed how the current style of conference realignment is damaging college athletics as a whole. At the same time, Phillips said that the ACC will explore all available options to reduce the revenue gap with the SEC and Big Ten, which could put his league in the same arms race that he is supposedly against.
The American League extended its MLB All-Star Game winning streak to nine games this week. Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees was named the 2022 MVP of the game.
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