WVU Sports with Mike Casazza



Look who we found! BlueGoldNews.com, formerly under the Scout.com umbrella, which no longer exists, is off on its own.

To refresh, CBS, which owns the 247Sports network, bought Scout.com in February. On Monday, the 247Sports vertical MountaineersDaily.com appeared where you were used to finding BlueGoldNews.com. In short, 247Sports now runs that corner of the web, but Scout.com never owned the name BlueGoldNews.com, which means CBS/247Sports doesn’t own it now.

The BGN folks were free to find a new platform, which they have for print and online content.

A memo from a head honcho, BlueGoldNews.com publisher Kevin Kinder:

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Once more, with PING!

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Personally, I can’t get enough of stuff like this, and if West Virginia is going to continue this practice, I’m all for it. The stuff manager Randy Mazey opens and closes with about how a mid-week game at PNC Park is useful preparation for the Big 12 tournament is seemingly obtuse, but he’s convincing.

So, too, is his team.

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Analysts and analysis

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West Virginia, which for all of its time in the Big 12 has had the smallest football staff, or at best among the smallest staffs, in the conference (more on that in a moment), is joining the arms race and adding analysts. One was unveiled in March. Job openings for two more were posted last week.

This is part of the commitment to the coach, the program and the entire department when a coach wins 10 games and gets a contract extension, but it’s also time for the Mountaineers and Athletic Director Shane Lyons to do this.

“Our revenue stream from the Big 12 is a lot different than it used to be in the old Big East, so it’s a matter of looking at how we’re going to put resources toward the program and make it work,” Athletic Director Shane Lyons said. “This is one of the things we continued to talk about, and it seems like now is the right time to add one or two and keep moving forward with it and see what happens.

“I’m not a firm believer that just adding to the staff is going to make a difference, but if they have a specific role and function and purpose, I think we can get some good out of it.”

The analyst position, which Holgorsen desired for a few years, is common across Power 5 staffs. Teams find ways to accommodate former head coaches, coordinators, assistants, players and graduate assistants to work on offense, defense, special teams and even recruiting. Many teams will use analysts to fill future vacancies on the coaching staff.

The Mountaineers are now in the same game with a leader and two associates, and the new additions will be available to help in a variety of areas.

“Dana and I had conversations previously about what he needed and what he wanted, and I think we’re in a position where we could get a couple analysts in to help us,” Lyons said. “I have to look at it like football is my revenue sport, and in order for this entire department to go, I have to have football going in the right direction.”

Now, where do things go from here?

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Basketball enrollee

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That’s a good representation of Team APR, but that’s also a look at two guards who won’t be available for Bob Huggins next season. West Virginia is going to miss Tarik Phillip and Teyvon Myers, but help arrived Monday.

Brandon Knapper enrolled, and the South Charleston product can really score.

WVU football roster moves

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William Crest, who chose in January to transfer out of the program, has had a change of mind and heart and is back with the team. I’ve no idea where he’ll go or what he’ll do, but the fact West Virginia allowed him to do this speaks to the caliber of teammate he is. A player transfer is not uncommon. A program acknowledging the move and commending the player is, but that’s the sort of treatment Crest received — earned, I should say. He’ll be a redshirt junior in the fall.

This developed recently and quickly. It wasn’t too long ago when it seemed he was still on the way out of town, but conversations commenced and this is the conclusion. Early last week, it was a TBA deal at the Puskar Center. I’m also not sure why or how he didn’t catch on somewhere else, but he did try, and he and the football office maintained a bridge to one another.

He’s joined by a more traditional acquisition.

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Stills and no longer

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Fairmont’s Dante Stills, still a four-star prospect reaching for the sky, is nearing the point where he minimizes his interview access and realizes he can do all he needs to do via social media, but he did spend a few moments last week to dish on the process and his experience at a regional audition for The Opening, which is a big deal on the recruiting circuit. Stills aced the exam and earned an invitation to the main event in Oregon.

Still, Stills outperformed many of his defensive line mates and impressed the scouts enough that he was one of the select few to get an invite to The Opening Finals this summer.

“It was an honor. Not a lot of athletes get to experience such a big invitation,” he said. “I’m really thankful for the opportunity and I’m going to go down there and handle my business.”

What makes this invitation even more unique is that Stills is just the third player from West Virginia to ever receive an invite, joining former George Washington athlete Ryan Switzer (North Carolina) and South Charleston athlete Derrek Pitts (West Virginia).

“A lot of people doubt West Virginia because it’s a small state and not a lot of [college football recruits] come out of here,” said Stills. “I’m trying to represent my family, my city, my state. I’m going to make the best example I can. I want people to know that there are athletes in West Virginia that can compete with anyone in the country.”

While we’re here …

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It’s possible this is not the case, but you may have first learned of Alek Manoah when this play made the SportsCenter top 10. Me? I found out about him when he signed with West Virginia’s baseball team in November 2015, a criminally underreported acquisition of talent for a program that just did not and could not land a player of that caliber.

“That caliber?” you say.

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The year was twenty aught seven when we started this here site, and I remember visiting the Daily Mail (!) office. There was an impromptu seminar of sorts about how to blog. When I say seminar, it may have been three or four of us in a corner of the newsroom. But that’s not the point. The point is I needed it. You ever go back and examine the roots? First post? First F Double? First time I think I figured it out (a month into it)?

It’s brutal.

But the advice I remember the best was, “Pay attention to the comments.”

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