Monday, January 30, 2023

WVU Lands Local Talent

(Photo via WVU Recruiting) Nathaniel Flower, a 2023 football prospect from Fairmont Senior High School, has committed to play for Neal Brown and the Mountaineers via Twitter. Flower, who comes to WVU as a preferred walk-on, will be a kicker and punter for the Mountaineers. He will complete a position room that is wide open heading into 2023 with the departure of Casey Legg. If recent history has proven anything it’s that West Virginia is no stranger to playing a walk-on kicker when they have to. Though we may not see him on the field this season, don’t write Flower off just because of his walk-on status. Crazier things have happened.

Charles Barkley Ate His Own Words

Charles Barkley is never one to shy away from sharing his opinion. Well, it seems as if that mentality has come back to bite him. According to WVU Assistant Coach DerMarr Johnson, was in a bar in Morgantown last night telling WVU fans that his Auburn Tigers were going to kick their “you know what.”   Following an 80-77 victory for WVU, those who had to endure his wrath can now laugh in his face. Barkley made a special guest appearance last night at Bob Huggins’ Fish Fry.

JUCO Edge Rusher Visits WVU

(Photo via WVU Recruiting)  Neal Brown and his coaching staff are hot on the recruiting trail as of late. As many of you have probably seen all over social media, several players have been paying West Virginia University an official visit. Yesterday, one of the best edge rushers in the JUCO ranks shared that he has visited and been offered by the Mountaineers.   Jefferson Adam is a Hocking College (Michigan) prospect that holds a three-star rating by 247Sports. The site has him rated as the fourth best edge rusher in Junior College, and the 25th best overall player in the nation. He currently holds 23 offers with 4 being in the Power Five rankings - Indiana, Iowa State, California and West Virginia. Adam stands at 6-feet-5-inches tall and weighs 230 pounds.  His physique will make him a huge addition to whichever team he decides to commit to, both physically and metaphorically. His official highlights are in the Twitter link below; There is no timetable set for his decision. Stat tuned to The Voice of Motown for updates.

Why Nicco Marchiol and the Mountaineers Will Be the Surprise of the Big 12

(Photo by WVU Athletics) The bar is as low as it has been in several years for the Mountaineers. In a season that will be make-or-break for Neal Brown in Morgantown, things have to turn around in a hurry. Should the direction of this program continue downward, we should expect Wren Baker to make a head coaching change following the 2023 season. Though the ultimate demise of the “Climb” will be what many fans expect, I am in the minority. I actually believe the Mountaineers will be the surprise of the Big 12 Conference next season. This is something I have wrestled myself over since the conclusion of the 2022 season, but I can’t help but still have faith this thing will turn around. Let’s start with the first and most obvious reason - nobody is expecting anything out of the Mountaineer. If history has shown us anything, it’s that this is when WVU makes the biggest splash. They have no expectations, so nobody will see them coming. Opponents will go into each game with WVU expecting a pushover…and that’s just not what West Virginia is. Next, Nicco Marchiol is WVU’s best quarterback since Will Grier. Though he hasn’t proven anything on the field yet, his talent is simply undeniable. This is the position that has been lacking the most for West Virginia under Neal Brown. Now that he has his man in Marchiol (assuming he beats out Garrett Greene), he will finally have something to build around. Last but not least we have to take a look at the defense. They were absolutely horrendous in 2022. The defensive unit was easily as bad as it has been since 2012 under Joe DeForest. However, a lot of that was because the unit was very young - particularly the secondary. Now that they have more help and experience in that area, the only way to go is up. If they can once again force turnovers like we know they can under Jordan Lesley, they will give the team chances to win in games they should be outmatched in. Their back is against the wall, they have their quarterback and the defense should be better. This is all a recipe for a surprising breakout season in Morgantown. It is a scenario we have seen play out before and I have no doubt it will happen again in 2023. Buckle up, Mountaineer Nation - as Bob Huggins once said, “we ain’t dead yet.”

Outlet Ranks WVU Last in Their 2023 Big 12 Predictions

(Photo by WVU Athletics) It should be no shock to anyone that the Mountaineers will have virtually no expectations going into 2023. Following a 2022 season that saw the boys in Gold and Blue finish with a 5-7 record, the program will be under a plethora of scrutiny and Neal Brown will be firmly on the hot seat. As outlets begin to release their 2023 predictions, we can expect West Virginia to be ranked towards the bottom of virtually all of them. Athlon Sports, a magazine that is usually very friendly towards the Mountaineers, wasn’t so kind to them in their latest Big 12 Power Rankings. According to the outlet, WVU will be going into 2023 as the WORST team in the Big 12 Conference. Here are all 14 teams ranked, according to Athlon; 1. Texas 2. TCU 3. Oklahoma 4. Kansas State 5. Texas Tech 6. Baylor 7. UCF 8. Kansas 9. Oklahoma State 10. Iowa State 11. Cincinnati 12. BYU 13. Houston 14. West Virginia This did not sit particularly well with Mountaineer Paul, a fantastic WVU focused YouTuber. He shared his thoughts on the matter in the link below. If history has proven anything, it’s that these predictions are more often than not wildly incorrect. Don’t sweat it, Mountaineer Nation. Our boys are NOT the worst team in the Big 12 going into 2023.

Do WVU Fans Still Believe in Bob Huggins?

(Photo by WVU Athletics)  With the struggles of the WVU Men’s Basketball team, Bob Huggins is now the center of attention for Mountaineer Nation. Many fans have started to question if the 69-year old Half of Famer is still the man for the job in Morgantown - and rightfully so. Over the last two seasons, the Mountaineers have struggled. The team has accumulated a 6-20 record in Big 12 play since the beginning of the 2021-22 season. Ask any fan in the Mountain State and they will tell you that’s simply not good enough. I took it upon myself to run a poll on Twitter to see if fans still believe Huggins can win it all with West Virginia. A total of 85 people cast their vote. It was a narrow race but the ultimate answer was “no,” fans do not believe Bob Huggins can still win a National Championship with the Mountaineers. Here was the final count; 51.8% = NO 48.2% = YES   It’s a narrow margin but the fans who participated are obviously beginning to lose hope in Huggins. Could it be time for WVU to turn to a younger face to run the basketball program? Only time will tell. Huggins isn’t getting any younger and the gauntlet isn’t getting any easier. It’s apparent that his championship window with the Mountaineers has passed.

Date For 2023 WVU Gold-Blue Spring Game Seemingly Revealed

(Photo by WVU Athletics)  This April, WVU will hold their annual Gold-Blue Spring Game to wrap up their spring portion of the 2023 season. While an official announcement of the game’s date is still likely weeks away, it appears one youngster on WVU’s roster has spoiled that information. Jaheim White, a running back and early enrollee of the 2023 recruiting class, recently tweeted pictures of himself during winter workouts. While this is pretty common for all players, it was his caption that caught our eye. “85 days until the Spring Game.”   This would put the Gold-Blue Spring Game approximately twelve weeks away. If White is correct, this would schedule the game on the weekend of April 22nd. If we had to guess, this actually is the correct date of the spring game. All players and coaches likely know the date, but White probably wasn’t supposed to share that information with the public. Nonetheless, it is probably safe to go ahead and book your trips to Morgantown on April 22nd, 2023.

Where Does WVU Rank Among Party Schools?

(Photo by WVU) West Virginia University is a big time party school - that’s no secret. For students all across the nation, this is a big draw to the school. Barstool Sports, one of the biggest names in the sports entertainment industry, recently revealed their top 25 party school rankings. As expected, WVU was near the top. West Virginia University came in second, just behind of the University of Alabama. Though the Old Gold and Blue may be struggling on several levels right now, partying is not one of their shortcomings!  

What Should Happen If WVU Loses to Texas Tech

(Photo by WVU Athletics)  The West Virginia University Men’s Basketball team travels to Lubbock, Texas tonight to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders. After losing six of their last seven games, this matchup with the Red Raiders has become a must-win for the Mountaineers. Texas Tech is currently the worst team in the Big 12 Conference, sitting with a 10-9 record and an 0-7 mark in league play. This is a winnable game for the Mountaineers for obvious reasons, however, crazier things have happened. If we have learned anything, it is West Virginia that these crazy things ultimately happen to. There is a possibility that WVU could lose to Texas Tech tonight. Should that come to fruition, it would place Bob Huggins and company squarely in last place in the Big 12. This will be enough to raise up a stir from Mountaineer Nation as well as the devoted student base at West Virginia University. A loss should mean that Head Coach Bob Huggins is placed squarely on the hot seat and thrown the hard questions from the media. But as we have learned, there is a difference between expectation and reality. We expect the media members to give the general public the answers they desire, but the reality is they would rather be buddies with the coaching staff and ask peculiar questions that carry no weight in the overall scheme of things. The problem with WVU Athletics right now is that nobody is being held accountable. You can argue the Larry Harrison firing, but that move was questionable to say the least. If the entire program is struggling, that starts at the top with the head coach. This is not to say he needs fired by any means, but the work must be put in to find out just what is going on. With a loss to Texas Tech tonight, it should be time for Bob Huggins to be held accountable. The fans are fed up and losing interest, and nothing seems to be changing. The hard questions have to be asked, the challenging decisions have to be made and we need answers. It is far past time.  

Someone in Morgantown Has to Make the Tough Decisions Eventually

(Photo by WVU Athletics)  Sitting at 11-8 overall and 1-6 in Big 12 play, it’s hard to find anything good about the WVU Men’s Basketball team right now. Despite a 10-2 start, dropping six of the last seven games has really brewed a lot of turmoil amongst Mountaineer fans. The 1.8 million West Virginians that support the Old Gold and Blue want answers and they want them now. An attempt at change was finally made when the university decided to move on from Assistant Coach Larry Harrison. However, a change that minor will not mean much in the grand scheme of things. This program is in need of a much greater overhaul. If the administration at WVU has proven anything, it is that they are afraid of change. They are afraid to make the call when the athletics teams are at their lowest. With this blatant neglect, the teams continue to suffer and fans lose interest. This is why West Virginia has been at the bottom of the Big 12 standings in virtually every sport. If this program wants to stay afloat in the collegiate athletics of today, this cannot go on. Someone has to make the important and difficult calls. Let’s take Bob Huggins for example. He’s a legend and has given his heart and soul to the Men’s Basketball program. However, things have not been good under his watch as of late. Seemingly everyone has been held accountable except Huggins - THE ONE WHO RUNS THE PROGRAM. Despite his legendary status, can someone please explain to me how this makes sense? If something isn’t working, it isn’t working. Given West Virginia’s record over the last two seasons, it is evident something is off with the gentlemen on the hardwood. So why has the university been mum on anything else than an assistant coaching change? Why are we, the fans, the ones who spend our hard-earned money to watch this team, left in the dust? It doesn’t make sense - and quite frankly, it’s frustrating. Mountaineer Nation deserves answers and we deserve an administration who cares enough to make changes for the betterment of the program. No matter what it may be, many of the athletics in Morgantown are in need of an alteration. Someone, please, step up to the plate and be willing to save our Mountaineers from the cellar. The longer it is put off the deeper this hole is going to continue to get.

Former Mountaineer Commits to Play For Dana Holgorsen

(Photo by WVU Athletics)  West Virginia Tight End Mike O’Laughlin entered the NCAA Transfer Portal following the 2022 season. After having another year cut short by injury, the Illinois native felt that it was in his best interest to move on. O’Laughlin, who caught 37 passes for 292 yards and one touchdown during his time with the Mountaineers, has found his new home. According to his Instagram, Mike O’Laughlin will be transferring to play for Dana Holgorsen and the Houston Cougars. With the Cougars set to join the Big 12, it is likely that O’Laughlin will go up against the Mountaineers in 2023. As if the matchup couldn’t be interesting enough given Holgorsen’s involvement, having a former Mountaineer player on the sideline will only add to the intrigue. The 2023 Big 12 Football schedule is expected to release by the end of January.

The Bob Huggins Era is Running Out of Steam

(Photo by WVU Athletics)  The West Virginia University Men’s Basketball team has backed themselves into a corner. Following a 10-2 start, the Mountaineers have dropped six of their last seven games and now will likely be heading into the home stretch on the outside of the NCAA Tournament looking in. The team is in jeopardy of missing the tournament for the second straight season, and just may be left out of all postseason tournaments should they continue to trend downwards. While there has been a lot of turnover with West Virginia’s roster over the last two seasons, many of the same issues that have plagued them over the last several seasons still remain. For some reason they just can’t seem to get over this metaphorical hump that is hindering them. Though it is easy to blame the players on the court for this, at some point you have to look at coaching. The Mountaineers addressed this when they parted ways with Assistant Coach Larry Harrison earlier this season. However, it is hard to fathom a change that minor will really influence a better outcome in the end. To put it lightly, it’s not going to. I’m going to say what a lot of people are thinking - the Mountaineer Men’s Basketball team needs a major overhaul. Bob Huggins is a West Virginia legend, nobody is denying that. The recognition that he has brought to the school has been monumental and his presence will be felt for many years to come. But it’s time to face the facts - this simply isn’t working anymore. The magical Huggins era is clearly running out of steam before our eyes. In what seemed like overnight, the 2022-23 season has unraveled before our very eyes. The team is undisciplined, struggling from the free throw line and going through major droughts on offense. All of this is recipe for a 1-6 start in Big 12 play. This style of Mountaineer Men’s Basketball isn’t good enough - I won’t sugarcoat it. Huggins is 69-years old and will turn 70 in September. He’s not getting any younger and his style of coaching is quickly becoming a thing of the past. This is evident with the product on the court. It’s not a question for the athletic department, but one for Huggins to ponder. How long? How long will he let this go on? He has always said that he wants to leave the Mountaineers in a better spot than where they found them. Well, this certainly isn’t it. This basketball team is a far cry from where they were when Huggins took over in 2007. With the direction that the program is going, it is hard to imagine them ever getting back to that level under Huggins. No, I’m not saying he should be relieved of his duties. He’s far too accomplished and has done way too much good for the program. What I am saying, however, is that it may be time for him to start looking forward to life after coaching. I would love nothing more than for him to get this turned around and start winning at a high level again, but how realistic is that, really? What are the chances a fast-aging Huggins can build a national title contending program in the numbered amount of time he has left in his career? Not very high, folks. I’ve always been one to call it how I see it. What I’m seeing is a men’s basketball struggling and in need of something fresh. All good things must come to an end, and if the writing on the wall is clear enough, we may be in the final days of the Bob Huggins era. That is if he is true to his word and won’t leave the Mountaineers in worse shape than he found them. I hope I’m wrong. I really do - but it’s a wrap. The future of West Virginia University Men’s Basketball has to be right around the corner. The relevance of the program may rely on it.  

Randy Mazey’s Son Commits to WVU

The West Virginia University Baseball team welcomed a familiar face to the 2025 recruiting class. Weston Mazey, son of Head Baseball Coach Randy Mazey, committed to the Mountaineers yesterday via Twitter.   Mazey, who is a product of Morgantown High School, goes by the nickname “Wammer.” In true Mountaineer fashion, “Wammer” Mazey has defied odds and found himself in a much better position following a terrible injury last year. He will fit in just great in Morgantown. LET’S GO!  

Ryan Switzer Lands Coaching Job

(Photo by Tar Heel Times) According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, West Virginia native Ryan Switzer has landed his first coaching gig as receivers coach of Tulsa. Switzer, who played his collegiate career at North Carolina, was a fan favorite to be West Virginia’s next receivers coach. However, the Mountaineers decided to go in a different direction in hiring Bilal Marshall.  

Pat McAfee Reacts to WVU Hiring Blaine Stewart

Cover Photo: ESPN From his roots with the Mountaineers, Pat McAfee has grown to become one of the most iconic figures in the sports world today. He had a pretty good career with the Indianapolis Colts, hosts the wildly popular Pat McAfee Show on SiriusXM, is an analyst for ESPN's College Gameday, and is a commentator for the WWE. Despite his very busy schedule, McAfee always comes back to discussing his beloved Mountaineers. He hasn't held back his disappointment about the 2022 season, which led to Neal Brown angrily responding to his statements during a post-game press conference. But the hiring of Blaine Stewart has seemingly helped McAfee trust the climb once again. “I’ve literally known Blaine since he was a child.. His dad, a legend, was my coach at WVU.. The facility was a 2nd home for Blaine when he was growing up… Now he has his own room there. This is really cool. I’m so incredibly proud of you my brother. Let’s GOOOOO,” McAfee tweeted in response to the news. The announcement came just two days after Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette broke the news of Stewart leaving the Steelers to join WVU Stewart, the son of the late former WVU head coach Bill Stewart, was in his second season with the Steelers as assistant wide receivers coach. He had spent two seasons as a coaching assistant before being promoted to his most recent role. Stewart is coming to the Mountaineers after a recent change in the wide receiver coach position with the hiring of Bilal Marshall. Prior to embarking on a career in coaching, the Morgantown, West Virginia native played wide receiver at the University of Charleston in 2016 and 2017, after beginning his collegiate career at James Madison University (2013-15).

Next Game: 1/31 at TCU 9:00pm on ESPNU