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    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    Alex Ruoff makes us proud again. He is on the 2008-09 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Men's Basketball First Team

    West Virginia guard Alex Ruoff has been named as one of five players selected to the 2008-09 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Men's Basketball First Team as chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

    Ruoff earns first team honors for the first time after being chosen to the third team last season. He joins Jason Holsinger of Evansville, Aaron Linn of Gardner-Webb, Bryan Mullins of Southern Illinois and Brett Winkelman of North Dakota State on the first team.

    Ruoff is a history major with a 3.79 G.P.A. A native of Spring Hill, Fla., he is a three-year starter at guard who became the 42nd player in WVU history to score 1,000 career points. His the Mountaineers’ second-leading scorer with a 16.1 average. An outstanding three-point shooter, he has 245 career three-pointers, a mark that is just shy of the school record.
     
    Rouff, who also leads WVU with 3.6 assists per game and a .793 free throw percentage, is the only senior on the Mountaineers team and has led them to a 19-8 record. He was selected as the recipient of the 2008 BIG EAST Scholar Athlete Sport Excellence Award and spent time this past summer visiting a camp for kids with cancer.

    Monday, February 23, 2009

    Pat White still impressing at combine.

    In a video evaluation of the qbs at the combine Pat White was given a little love. I have read in other locations that he is looking more and more like a 2nd rounder. Way to go Pat!

    From the Chas Gaz today:
    NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock met with reporters after Sunday's quarterback workouts and wasted no time in singling out White's impressive performance as one of the best of the day.
    "He threw the [heck] out of the ball,'' Mayock said.
    For White, the workout was essential to his draft hopes.
    Many scouts considered him too small for the NFL, with his listed height and weight at 6-foot-1, 192 pounds last season at West Virginia.
    Some also wondered whether he could run an NFL offense after working out of the Mountaineers version of the spread.
    But with things changing in the NFL, White may be the beneficiary. Last year, the trendy offense was the "Wildcat,'' a design that seems perfect for a player with White's skills.
    Even Colts general manager Bill Polian, whose team is not looking for a quarterback, acknowledged White was one of the more impressive players in workouts Sunday.
    "He's an intriguing guy,'' Polian said. "He can throw it. We've seen it with Slash [Kordell Stewart] and with Antwaan Randle El, and I think we'll continue to see that in the game.''

    Sunday, February 22, 2009

    Evaluating the 2009 WVU Football Slate

    WVU will play host to Liberty (9/5/09),  Colorado (9/26/09), Marshall (10/3/09), East Carolina, Louisville, Connecticut, and sPitt

    WVU will travel to Auburn, Syracuse, Rutgers, South Florida, and Cincinnati

    As I look prematurely at this slate of games I am forced to ponder at least 3 things. (1) Is it winnable? (2) Is it a program growing? and (3) Is it an entertaining for the home crowd?

    (1) Is it winnable?

    Admittedly, how the heck could that be evaluated at this point.  We only know when 3 of those games are going to be played at this point so the "timing element" can't be evaluated.  We don't really no how to evaluate our own team, and we only have historical data on the opponents. The truth is that this evaluation is nothing but contemplation but this is a blog and we are in the football off-season so here-goes:  

    Liberty is a 1AA (FCS) school that we should mop the floor with.  At least that should be the case on paper.

    Colorado should be competitive next year but playing them in Morgantown should bode well for the Eers.  

    Marshall simply better be a W.

    East Carolina has lost just about everything that made them competitive last year.  And they have not won in Morgantown.  I am feeling that the W at home is going to happen.

    Louisville is coming off one of their worst seasons in recent memory.  They also have lost Hunter Cantwell so this game looks good for WVU particularly at home.

    UConn is arguably problematic as they have the most Senior laden team on our Big East Home slate.  However, they have not beaten us to date so I think this game is a winner.

    sPitt is never one that anyone should bet the house on but this season with Shady McCoy gone I am feeling better than I do in most years.  

    Auburn is a big question mark as they have fired Tommy Tuberville (idiots), I really don't know but they are in a state of flux so it certainly is a good time to play them there.

    Syracuse well what can I say it is Cuse home or away no matter this is a winner.  New coach same team.

    Rutgers this game should be a winner even away.  Mainly because they have lost so much offensively.  

    South Florida is going to be the prohibitive favorite to win the conference next year.  Senior QB makes them problematic. Playing them in Tampa is a problem.  This game has a big ole "?" around it.  

    Cincinnati has lost much of its defense to graduation, however they return 2 time Big East Coach of the Year Brian Kelly thus they will be tough to contend with I would think that they are another "?". 
    So of course my early prediction is a prayer 12-0, a hopeful 10-2, and a likely 8-4. 

    (2) Is it program growing?

    With 10 plus wins any schedule can be program growing.  
    With 9 or less wins another evaluation is necessary.  I will attempt to grade this slate with an A-F scale.  (F is 0 pts. A is 4 pts. so the overall grade will be measured by total points divided by 12)

    Liberty F   There is simply no upside to playing a FCS opponent short of filling the 12 games. This is the curse of being in an 8 team conference, our school must always schedule 5 out of conference foes.  Even if WVU was trying to recruit someone from Lynchburg VA this game is really no help in that endeavor as we are playing in Morgantown.

    Colorado B  This is a good game for WVU against another BCS conference foe.  The only downside to this game is that we are likely not competing with Colorado for many recruits thus why it is not graded as an A game.

    Marshall D  This is a game that really has no upside for WVU except maybe ticket sales.  It is a Non-BCS foe with no real recruiting implications.  

    East Carolina C  This is a team that we unfortunately still compete with for recruits.  Thus it is an important game for us. The major downside to this foe is that it is against a Non-BCS foe.

    Louisville B  This is a Big East foe that we battle with for recruits.

    UConn   B  Some Big East Foe New York area recruiting.

    sPitt  A  Rivalry game Big East Foe and our biggest rival on recruiting trail.  Always on television.  

    Auburn A  While this is arguably the second "down" year for Auburn it is an SEC opponent in a region that we recruit.  This game should be regionally televised.  Obviously more valuable as a win but this game does nothing but help the program.

    Syracuse C  this game does nothing to help us on recruiting trail as they are not a factor there right now.  It is a Big East foe though.

    Rutgers B  Even though we have had their number in recent years they are a Big East Foe and we recruit heavily in the same places.  

    USF  A  This team will as I said above be the prohibitive favorite to win the Big East next season they are a Big East Foe and they reside in Florida this game is always important as a program builder, but this season maybe even more so.

    Cincinnati B  Big East Foe  Recruiting rival and becoming a relevant team nationally.

    The overall schedule grades out at a C+ (2.667)  So short of 10 wins this schedule could do little to help us as a program builder.  

    (3) Is it entertaining for the home crowd?  Scale is Great-4; Good-3; OK-2; Bad-1; Ugly-0.

    Liberty  UGLY  (I am not even sure as the season opener that this will sell out.)
    Colorado  GREAT (Novelty game against Big 12 foe)
    Marshall  OK (Evaluated as OK, not so much for the game as for the tailgating.)
    East Carolina GOOD (We have played them for so long that it has become relevant to crowd.)
    Louisville GOOD (Regional rivalry game.)
    UConn OK  (This game has some growing to do before it will move into the Good category.)
    sPitt GREAT (What can I say always interesting against our most hated rival.)  

    Overall this is an OK+ (2.57) slate of home games.

    As you can see from this admittedly flawed and early evaluation of next years slate of games I have come down to this it is a likely 8 or better win season with an average schedule in terms of program growth with an average home slate for the Mountaineer faithful.  I look forward to a vigorous debate on the same.

    DaGeek
     

    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    Frosh go off for 23 points and 19 rebounds in impressive 79 to 68 win over Irish.

    In a game that started out very slow for the eers on the offensive side, the Mountaineer frosh forwards decided to dial it up yet another notch. Devin Ebanks (who was named rookie of the week for the second time this season, on Monday) scored 6 early points to slow the onslaught and Kevin Jones ended the first half with 6 of his own as the Mountaineers came from 10 down to be 2 up at half. Kevin also turned in his first double double, 12 and 10. The real story from these two new-comers was there contributions on the board. They were able to come down with 19 timely rebounds on both the offensive and defensive sides. Truck had a bad scoring evening but was able to deliver the ball effectively in the game too. Nice to see the young guys really deliver. Huggs demonstrated his masterful coaching again deciding to scrap the switching style of the man-to-man to go to a more effective assignment man-to-man and then in the second half he brought out a very effective 1-3-1 to stifle the Irish. The older guys came to play as well. Alex led all in scoring with 22. DaSean (who was on Big East Player of the week honor roll) put in 19 of his own. And Wellington Smith may have delivered his best game to date matching up with the big hacker from ND. While Luke Harangody got his points he had to earn all most all of them. Bottom line the team came to play and got a very important win against a nemesis that has all but owned them on the court. Probably the most telling stat of the night was the turn overs the Mountaineers only had 6 of them. An evening to remember.

    DaGeek

    Sunday, February 15, 2009

    Big East Bubble Watch

    With three weeks remaining, the Big East teams competing for bids has taken a little more shape.  Even with Villanova's loss to WVU on Friday, their impressive run over the past three weeks has made the Wildcats the 5th team to lock up a bid.  That leaves 4 teams left trying to secure a bid.  It's quite possible that all 4 of these teams can win enough games to get in.  The key thing these teams are competing for is to not finish 9th so that they don't have to play on day one of the Big East tourney and cause the committee to think twice about them.

    Providence (8-5) - The Friars won two of their must wins this week to improve to an impressive 8-5.  With 5 games remaining, Providence will have to win at least two of them to be considered and then not lay a huge egg in the conference tournament.  However, that will not be easy since 3 of those game are against Big East locks. [@Louisville, Pitt, and @Villanova]  That leaves little room for error against Notre Dame and @Rutgers.  Providence has the lowest RPI of the teams left fighting for a spot so they will not win any tiebreakers.

    Syracuse (7-6) - Syracuse had a huge win yesterday to avoid going under .500 and in the process all but eliminated Georgetown.  Syracuse could very possibly get in at 9-9 due to out of conference wins over Florida, Kansas and Memphis.   There is a strong possibility for that given their final 5 foes. [Villanova,  @St. Johns, Cincinnati, Rutgers, and @Marquette]

    Cincinnati (7-6) - Cincinnati appears to be in a similar situation as Providence.  With a lower RPI, they need to get to 10 wins to be considered.  That makes their matchups w/ WVU and Syracuse very large.  Without winning one of those, the Bearcats have very little chance at getting to 10 wins.  [Louisville, WVU, @Syracuse, @S. Florida, Seton Hall]

    WVU (6-6) - The 'Eers have finally hit the easier part of their schedule.  WVU should go 4-2 and have a chance at winning 5 of their final 6.  WVU will need to win 4 because going 3-3 against this part of the schedule may not convince the committee even with their impressive RPI.   Beating Cincinnati on the road will be key in order to finish ahead of them in case the committee decides to take only 8 teams.  Other games are Notre Dame, @Rutgers, @S. Florida, DePaul, and Louisville.  

    There are three more teams that still think they have a chance, but most likely don't.  Notre Dame could get themselves back in the discussion if they win today vs. S. Florida and then beat WVU on the road this week.  But they would still have a very difficult time getting into the top 9 and I personally don't believe that the Big East is going to be given 10 teams.  They may not be given 9 teams, but 8 seems likely to me.  Georgetown and Seton Hall will both have to finish 5-1 to be considered and given their schedules, that just isn't going to happen. 

    Saturday, February 14, 2009

    WVU 93 Nova 72; Ebanks scores Double Double and Butler just scores and scores...

    Da'Sean Butler goes from jest to best in a tail of two ball games, with his explosion of 43 points at home on Friday night. On Monday he simply never got it going, against the most hated Panthers, however on Friday night he found the range; he found the touch; he found just about every way conceivable to place the round-ball into what was a very elusive cylinder. (Post game photo published by MSNSportsnet.com) He truly had one of the greatest scoring outputs of a Mountaineer ever recorded. You have to go back in time 31 years to find another Mountaineer in the 40+ club. He now is has posted the best single day output for the Big East this season. Even Nova Coach Jay Write was compelled in his usual classy way the exploits of Mr. Butler, "... we just didn't have an answer for Da'Sean Butler, ... He was great and when we got down and we were trying to come back, we left him open a lot. ... He was just a great player tonight." Point being, well done Da!!! That performance overshadowed what was a very nice performance by our up and coming frosh, Devin Ebanks who scored a double double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Mountaineer defense as a whole was absolutely dominant, and the shots were falling. It was a night to remember. The only thing that seemed to slow the Mountaineer's dominant performance were the officials. They seemed to blow their whistles like they were in a parade, leading a marching band. But even with the zebra blowhards making their ugly appearance, the Mountaineers were able to get their biggest win of the season when they surely needed it. There yet remain 6 regular season games to build that NCAA resume'. Let us hope that our beloved team is up to the task. Friday night's performance indicates that not only can they play with the Nations elite, but rather, they can defeat them as well. With the ugly Irish coming to town on Wednesday they need to be ready to deliver this kind of performance again.

    Da Geek

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Rifle team back on top... as it should be.

    When Weezie, Kerri Dee and DaGeek were matriculating at this finest of institutions the WVU Rifle team was in its hay-day of dominance. It appears that they are trying to reestablish themselves once again. This week they are Ranked #1.

    For more on this story I have copied in its entirety this story from MSNSportsNet.com.

    WVU Rifle Ranked No. 1

    by Shannon McNamara for MSNsportsNET.comFebruary 10, 2009
    Jon Hammond
    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – For the first time in over a decade, the West Virginia University rifle team is ranked No. 1 on the pre-qualifier College Rifle Coaches Association (CRCA) Poll, as announced Feb. 9.
    The Mountaineers (10-1 overall, 5-1 GARC) opened the season at the No.2 spot, and maintained that rank on the mid-season poll. WVU is still the only Division I team this season to shoot 4670-plus, having shot as chool record 4677 in the win over NC State on Jan. 18.
    The squad is the first No. 1 WVU ranked team since the` football program earned the ranking on Nov. 25, 2007.
    “It’s really nice to earn the No. 1 ranking,” says Coach JonHammond. “The team’s main focus is still winning the remaining matches this season, but this is a great achievement and I hope to remain at the No. 1 spot for the rest of the year.”
    WVU earned the No. 1 ranking on the strength of its 4654.27 season average. The team pushed ahead to No. 1 in smallbore rankings (2308.18average) and remains at No. 2 in air rifle rankings (2346.09 average).
    “The team has shot really well since the semester break,” Hammond continues. “Since that break, everyone has been maintaining good form through each match and is much more focused.”
    Redshirt-junior Bryant Wallizer continues to pace the Mountaineers in air rifle, leading the team with a 588.91 average through 11 matches.Sophomore Kyle Smith leads the smallbore crew with a 579.91 average,while classmate Andy Lamson holds a team best 1164.55 aggregate average.
    The Mountaineers jumped previous No. 1 Kentucky (4649.33 average),which ranks No. 2. WVU fell to the Wildcats, 4649-4639, in Lexington on Nov. 15. Kentucky owns the No. 1 air rifle rank with a 2348.00 average.
    Alaska-Fairbanks (4642.33 average) is ranked No. 3. WVU picked up its first victory since 1991 over the three-time defending NCAA champion Nanooks on Jan. 25, winning 4653-4634.
    TCU is ranked No. 4 (4621.50 average), while Jacksonville State is No.5 (4617.45 average).
    The Mountaineers return to the range this Saturday, Feb. 14, and hostNC State in a NCAA qualifying match. Competition is set to begin at 8a.m., and fans are encouraged to attend throughout the day.


    Proud as always to be a Mountaineer,

    Da Geek

    Sunday, February 8, 2009

    WVU rebounds from Cuse loss in big win over Friars

    Quote of the day from our beloved coach, “I don’t know, it’s a lot more fun watching them make shots I know that.”

    This was a very necessary and big win for the beloved gold and blue. They finally were clicking on both Defense and Offense again. A very encouraging reawakening of Alex Ruoff, with 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting and 6 of 7 from behind the arc. Da’Sean Butler, finished with 17 points and a team-leading nine rebounds. The Frosh came to play and contribute. Devin Ebanks also notched double figures, scoring 13 points he pulled down six boards. “Truck” Bryant added 10 points in 22 minutes. Kevin Jones contributed 8 points himself. With four players in double figures the Eers were able to put up simply too many points for the Friars to overcome particularly when they held them to 59 almost 25 points under their average. It was simply a well needed dominant performance from the Mountaineers. Big Picture this game could have significant roll in determining the Big East Seeding as well as NCAA selection. Eers are currently 9th but with this win hold the ever important tie-breaker over Providence. It may come down to just that. 8 games left to determine who is in the coveted top 8 and who must play on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

    Now on to sPitt II, at the Zoo.

    DaGeek

    Wednesday, February 4, 2009

    Big East Matchups

    Tonight holds the remaining key matchups of the week in the Big East until the weekend.  Syracuse hosts WVU with the winner assured of 7th place in the conference.  Villanova will be traveling to Providence where the winner of that game takes a key step in assuring a bid.  Meanwhile, Notre Dame will play at Cincinnati and the loser of that game will have a very difficult time trying to secure a bid over the next 5 weeks.  

    2009 Signing Day!!!

    Commits as they come in:
    Player, Pos, Ht., Wt.,
    1. Logan Heastie, WR, 6'3", 192 lbs. (also offered by Virginia Tech, Penn State, Florida, Alabama, Oregon, Boston College, Tennessee, North Carolina and NC State)
    2. Jordan Weingart, OL, 6' 2", 290 lbs. (also offered by East Carolina)
    3. Curtis Feigt, DL, 6'6", 270 lbs. (also offered by Boston College)
    4. Branko Busick, LB, 6'1", 215 lbs.
    5. Cole Bowers, OL, 6'6", 280 lbs. (also offered by Marshall and Virginia)
    6. Christopher Snook, TE/FB, 6'3", 220 lbs. (also offered by Cincinnati and Wake Forest)
    7. Nick Kindler, OL, 6'7", 280 lbs. (also offered by Boston College, UConn, Illinois, Maryland, Rutgers and Virginia)
    8. Curtis Feigt, DL, 6'6", 270 lbs.
    9. Shawne Alston, RB, 6', 222 lbs. (also offered by Penn State, Maryland, Illinois and East Carolina)
    10. Darwin Cook DB, 5' 11", 185 lbs. (also offered by Cincinnati, Wisconsin and Purdue. )

    11. Ryan Spiker, OL, 6' 4", 280 lbs. (also offered by Cincinnati, Michigan State, Indiana, NC State and Wake Forest)

    12. Brodrick Jenkens, CB, 5'10", 175 lbs. (also offered by Wisconsin, Boston College, Iowa, Wake Forest, Louisville, NC State, Pitt and USF)
    13. Jonathan Scott, S, 6' 4", 190 lbs. (also offered by LSU, Alabama, Clemson, Auburn, Florida State, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Rutgers and South Carolina)

    14. Pat Miller, CB, 6', 170 lbs. (also offered by Kentucky, Mississippi State, Oregon and Oklahoma State)
    15. Pat Eger, OL, 6'5", 275 lbs. (also offered by Maryland and Pitt)
    16. Dominik Davenport, DL, 6'1", 265 lbs. (also offered by Florida State, Maryland and Virginia)
    17. Terence Garvin, S, 6' 2", 210 lbs. (also offered by Maryland, Virginia, Syracuse, Boston College and NC State)
    18. Daquan Hargett, RB, 5' 10" 190 lbs. (also offered by Clemson, Iowa State, Minnesota and USF)
    19. Eugene Smith, QB, 6' 3", 190 lbs. (also offered by Michigan, Alabama, Auburn, Kansas, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Florida, LSU, Oregon, Louisville and USF)
    20. Stedman Bailey, WR, 5' 1'', 186 lbs. (also offered by Illinois, Iowa, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Ole Miss)
    21. Tavon Austin, RB, 5' 9", 170 lbs. (also offered by Boston College, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pitt and Rutgers)
    22. Taige Redman, LB, 6' 2", 215 lbs. (also offered by Marshall and Ohio University)
    23. Deon Long, WR, 6', 175 lbs. (also offered by Michigan State, Duke, Illinois, Maryland, Pitt and Syracuse)
    24. Terrance Moore, WR, 6' 3", 185 lbs. (JC)
    25. Tevita Finau, DL, 6-5, 290, (also offered by Auburn, California, Colorado, Florida, Louisville, Oklahoma, USC, Tennessee and Oregon)

    The official school release is found at MSNSportsNet.com It provides little blurbs and highlight films on each of these fine new additions to the Mountaineer football family. Please check it out.

    Very Happy Indeed,

    DaGeek

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    Letter of Intent Day for Football is tomorrow:

    I will keep you all posted on the signees as they come in tomorrow so keep following this blog for the updates. I will try to post a little blurb on each of the new-comers. I am hopeful that we will have a top 20 to maybe even a top 15 class.

    DaGeek

    Sunday, February 1, 2009

    WVU Still Looking For First "Good" Win.

    We thought it was Ohio State on Pat White Day.  But they turned out to be overhyped and have since faded.  Then we thought it was the Hoyas.  But that only turned out to be a bump in the middle of a landslide.   Those are nice wins.  Ohio State and Georgetown are still good teams.  But they aren't they caliber of team you need to knock off in order to gain some recognition that is still meaningful in March.  WVU has had 4 opportunities against the top 4 teams in the league (2 at home and 2 on the road) and has come up short 4 times.  Meanwhile, the 4 teams we have victories against rank at 14, 13, 12, 10 in the Big East standings.   

    As the middle of conference season approaches, it is an appropriate time to see where the league is in regards to the NCAA Tournament.  The top 4 teams in the league have become locks.  Marquette, Louisville, Pitt, and UConn will all reach the requisite number of victories in the league to ensure themselves a bid.  The bottom 5 in the league as well have all but been eliminated.  Seton Hall, St. John's, South Florida, Rutgers, and DePaul are all 2-6 or worse and have only a miracle's shot at getting to 9 or 10 wins.  That leaves the 7 teams in the middle fighting for anywhere from 4 to 6 spots (likely 5) available for the NCAA Tournament.  Let's look at a breakdown so far of those teams.

    Providence has 6 wins in the conference already which is a huge advantage.  4 more conference wins and they will likely finish high enough to merit a bid.  They don't have any signature wins.  Beating Syracuse is their best win.  They have bad losses against Northeastern and Boston College.  The conference record of their remaining schedule is only 35-40 and that includes Rutgers twice and South Florida.   

    Villanova is next at 5-3.  They have a signature victory over Pitt.  They have no bad losses.  Their remaining opponents are 41-47 in conference play.   They only have two "easy" games left versus Rutgers and DePaul. 

    Syracuse is 5-4.  Their best win of the season is at Memphis.  They have a loss to Cleveland State.  Their remaining opponents are 41-37.  Their only easy game remaining is Rutgers. 

    WVU is 4-4.  We don't yet have a signature victory. We also don't have any bad losses.  Our remaining opponents are 41-37.  Our easy games remaining are Rutgers, DePaul and South Florida.  

    Cincinnati is 4-5. They also don't have any signature victories or bad losses.  Their remaining opponents are 36-40.  Their only easy game left is South Florida.

    Georgetown is 3-6.  They have wins over UConn and Memphis.  They have also lost to Tennessee and Seton Hall.   Their remaining opponents are 35-37.  They have easy games left against Rutgers, South Florida and Depaul.

    Notre Dame is 3-6.  They have a win over Texas.  They have also lost to St. Johns.  Their remaining opponents are 41-36 not including UCLA.  They have easy games left against South Florida and Rutgers.  

    And that's it in a nutshell.  Villanova appears to be in a very strong position and Providence would have to completely fall apart to not make it.  Everyone else, however, appears right in the thick of things and it will be an interesting battle.  



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