Good morning! This is the Shotgun Throwdown, your daily West Virginia sports roundup.
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West Virginia senior defensive lineman Dante Stills has been named to the watch lists for the 75th Outland Trophy, which signifies standout interior linemen in college football, and the Bronko Nagurski Award, given to the nation’s top defensive player. In 2020, he finished with 35 tackles, including 15 solo stops, two sacks, and led WVU in tackles for loss with 10.5.
West Virginia junior tight end Mike O’Laughlin has been named to the watch list for the John Mackey Award, which is awarded to the most outstanding tight end in college football. O’Laughlin finished the 2020 season with 15 catches for 137 yards and one touchdown for the Mountaineers.
West Virginia football fans will be given the opportunity to get autographs from Mountaineer players and coaches and watch practice at the team’s annual Fan Day on Saturday, August 7th.
The West Virginia men’s basketball team lost two of its top contributors this offseason, but head coach Bob Huggins is still reloading for 2021-22.
West Virginia Athletics
On this episode of “Three Guys Before The Game,” Tony Caridi and Brad Howe provide the latest news and offer commentary regarding the dramatically changing landscape of collegiate athletics.
West Virginia has announced the 2021-22 rifle schedule. It features seven contests at home, five on the road, and one neutral-site matchup. WVU finished the 2020-21 campaign with a record of 7-1, including a 5-1 mark during the GARC regular season.
Between a sudden turn to conference realignment, the start of the Olympics, the upcoming NBA Draft and more, there has been a lot to keep up with across the West Virginia sports world. Here is a recap of the recent developments.
West Virginia’s Miles “Deuce” McBride has steadily increased his standing on NBA Draft boards across the league since the season’s end. The sophomore guard finished the season leading the Mountaineers in minutes and scoring, picking up All-Big 12 Second Team honors along the way. How early will Deuce be drafted? And what team is going to draft him?
The West Virginia men’s basketball program has had 40 players selected in the NBA Draft dating back to 1947, including six first-rounders. Will Miles “Deuce” McBride be the seventh? Some analysts have Deuce going in the mid-first round, while others see him as a second-rounder.
Former West Virginia guard James Long has spent two seasons as the men’s basketball head coach at WVU Tech, and this summer he gained more coaching experience by being Best Virginia’s coach at The Basketball Tournament (TBT).
Around the Big 12
Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby has accused ESPN of playing a role in the joint departure of Texas and Oklahoma in a cease-and-desist letter. He later specified how he believes that the network broke its contract with the conference.
Rumors were confirmed on Tuesday as Texas and Oklahoma officially applied for SEC membership in a letter to the league, but it is likely that these talks have been going on for much longer than the rumors suggest.
One day after both schools notified the Big 12 Conference that they would not renew their grant of media rights with the league upon its expiration in 2025, Oklahoma and Texas have formally requested an invite to join the Southeastern Conference that same year.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has accused ESPN of encouraging other conferences to pick apart the league so Texas and Oklahoma can move to the Southeastern Conference more quickly and without paying a massive buyout.
Eight schools remain in the Big 12 Conference. Will they all try to find new landing spots in other conferences, or could they stick together by adding other schools with large audiences, such as BYU?
Around the NCAA
The Texas A&M board of regents voted 8-1 to direct president M. Katherine Banks to vote in favor of extending invitations to Oklahoma and Texas to join the SEC.
The 2005 Heisman Trophy will not be returned to former USC running back Reggie Bush. Recent changes to name, image and likeness regulations have not changed the fact that Bush and his family members illegally accepted cash, travel expenses, and a home in the San Diego area while he was a student-athlete.
The U.S. team of Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum, and Jackie Young took an early lead against the Russian Olympic Committee team, then held on for an 18-15 victory to win the title in the debut of 3-on-3 basketball at the Olympics.
U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky claimed the first-ever gold medal in the women’s 1,500-meter freestyle at the Olympics.
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