Good morning! This is the Shotgun Throwdown, your daily West Virginia sports roundup.
Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor, and daily distractions.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior guard Sean McNeil of the West Virginia men’s basketball team has been named the Big 12 Conference Co-Player of the Week. After going scoreless in the first half, the stellar shooting guard scored 23 points to lead the Mountaineers to an 82-52 win over Youngstown State at home last week. McNeil made eight shots to go 89% from the field and went 100% from beyond the arc with four made three-pointers. He also made three out of four free throws.
The Mountaineers have had the conference Player of the Week three out of six weeks this season. Fifth-year senior Taz Sherman collected the other two honors for WVU.
FOCUSED ON THE TEAM
While many of college football’s best players are focused on themselves and their personal futures in the NFL, West Virginia defender Dante Stills is focused on the team and tonight’s game against Minnesota in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. Stills is waiting until after WVU’s bowl game to decide if he will return for a final year with the Mountaineers or pursue the NFL.
WEST VIRGINIA ROUNDUP
- Defensive lineman Taijh Alston of the West Virginia football team has been named an honorable mention for the Mayo Comeback Player of the Year.
- WVU offensive lineman Zach Frazier has been receiving All-American honors since the conclusion of the regular season. The Fairmont native has become more comfortable with being a vocal leader, despite being a younger player, and that has helped him improve this season.
AROUND THE BIG 12
- Bowl games for the Big 12 kick off with Texas Tech facing Mississippi State in the Liberty Bowl tonight at 6:45 p.m. ET on ESPN. This game puts MSU head coach Mike Leach against one of his former football teams, where he became the winningest coach in program history at TTU. WVU’s bowl game will be the second for the conference.
AROUND THE NCAA
- Central Florida asserted in-state dominance with its 29-17 win in the Gasparilla Bowl last week.
- Western Michigan blew out the Nevada football team in the Quick Lane Bowl on Monday morning. Broncos running back Sean Tyler had 146 rushing yards, 128 kick return yards, and one kick return for a touchdown.
ODDS AND ENDS
- In this week’s NBA power rankings, the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns are battling for the top spot in the West, while the Brooklyn Nets remain at the top of the East.
- Six NFL teams have clinched their playoff spots, including four teams that have won their division. Check out which teams are still in the hunt in the wild NFL playoff race.
Have any tips, suggestions or requests for what you want to see in The Shotgun Throwdown? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact us on social media.
Facebook: The Smoking Musket