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.
West Virginia safeties coach Dontae Wright made sure to carefully choose his words Monday when asked for overall impressions from his position group over the course of spring football. Wright noted that Scottie Young made the biggest impression, and he was sure to point out that it was not a surprise. Young, a redshirt senior safety, is expected to factor heavily into WVU’s defensive plan in 2021.
West Virginia assistant head coach and offensive line coach Matt Moore discussed the offensive line’s depth earlier this week, which has not been a common luxury during his tenure. The Mountaineers are finally getting to a place where they can do some planning instead of scrambling on the offensive line.
West Virginia football has announced the hiring of Chris Allen as Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning/Director of Speed Development. Allen returns to WVU after spending the past year as the athletic performance coach for football at Indiana.
West Virginia Athletics
The West Virginia women’s soccer team earned an at-large bid in the 2020-21 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship. With the selection, the Mountaineers qualified for their 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament, good for the fifth-longest streak in the nation. WVU is 23-17-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and earned the fifth overall seed in this year’s event.
The West Virginia rowing team won both Varsity 8+ races and the Varsity 4+ race to defeat Robert Morris, 3-0, in its first scored event of the season on Sunday afternoon.
The first year of the Dan Stratford era for the West Virginia men’s soccer team has ended abruptly. WVU has failed to qualify for the 36-team NCAA Tournament. The Mountaineers needed to secure one of just 14 at-large bids in order to compete in the national tournament.
The West Virginia baseball team fell to #7 Texas Tech, 10-1, in Sunday afternoon’s series finale. The Red Raiders used a six-run sixth inning to help push toward the series win. WVU finished with one run on two hits with an error, while TTU tallied 10 runs on 14 hits with no errors.
Following a career-low score of 65 in the final round of the Mountaineer Invitational, senior Mark Goetz of the West Virginia golf team has been named the WVU Student-Athlete of the Week. His 12-under-par total was the lowest in school history, in relation to par, and helped him win his first individual title.
Veteran West Virginia assistant athletics director and head Olympics sports athletic trainer Randy Meador was virtually inducted into the West Virginia Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame last Saturday.
Around the Big 12
Three Big 12 women’s soccer teams earned national seeds in the 48-team field of the 2020 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship. Big 12 regular-season champion TCU earned the #4 seed. West Virginia punched its 21st ticket to the NCAA Championship and will be the #5 seed. Oklahoma State also earned an at-large selection and the #10 seed.
The #4 Texas volleyball team defeated #5 Nebraska in four sets on Monday afternoon to advance to the NCAA national semifinals for the 13th time in program history. The Longhorns will play in their ninth final four in the last 13 years, the most in the nation during that span.
Eastern Washington transfer Tanner Groves, one of the breakout stars of the NCAA tournament, has committed to the Oklahoma men’s basketball team. Groves earned Big Sky Conference player of the year honors after averaging 17.2 points and eight rebounds per game this past season.
Around the NCAA
Gonzaga freshman guard Jalen Suggs, who is the third-rated player in ESPN’s Top 100 prospects, is entering the 2021 NBA Draft. Suggs averaged 14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.9 steals for the Bulldogs in less than 30 minutes a game. He was also voted a consensus second-team All-American.
Former Michigan quarterback Joe Milton plans to transfer to Tennessee. Milton entered the transfer portal in February and is scheduled to graduate in May, which would make him eligible to play for the Volunteers this season.
Chet Holmgren, the top-ranked senior in the country and the projected #1 pick in the 2022 NBA draft, committed to Gonzaga on Monday. Holmgren’s dominant highlights are a must-see.
Longtime quarterback Alex Smith announced his NFL retirement Monday, capping a 16-year journey that started as a #1 pick in the NFL draft and ended after his improbable return from a gruesome injury. Smith was the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2020 for getting back on the field after an injury two years earlier that nearly cost him his right leg.
Attorney Rusty Hardin has filed an answer to the 22 lawsuits filed against Deshaun Watson that says the Houston Texans quarterback’s legal team has “already uncovered evidence that numerous allegations in this onslaught of cases are simply not true or accurate.”
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Seattle Seahawks defensive end Aldon Smith for an alleged second-degree battery that occurred in the New Orleans area on Saturday evening.
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