WVU Sports with Tom Bragg

(photo by Sean McNamara)

West Virginia safety Tykee Smith has been named to the Shaun Alexander-Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America team, announced Monday.

Smith, a Philadelphia native, finished the 2019 season with 53 tackles, one forced fumble and two interceptions — one of which he returned for a touchdown against Iowa State.

Check out the full FWAA Freshman All-America team here. 

(photo by Sean McNamara)

The new AP Top 25 poll is out for the week, and West Virginia moved up five spots to No. 12 after winning at Oklahoma State and beating a ranked Texas Tech team at home.

The Mountaineers are also currently at No. 10 in the NCAA NET rankings. The full AP Top 25 poll is below.

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ men’s college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Jan. 12, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week’s ranking:

Record Pts Prv
1. Gonzaga (30) 18-1 1574 1
2. Baylor (31) 13-1 1567 4
3. Duke (4) 15-1 1529 2
4. Auburn 15-0 1359 5
5. Butler 15-1 1299 6
6. Kansas 12-3 1286 3
7. San Diego St. 17-0 1266 7
8. Oregon 14-3 1163 9
9. Florida St. 14-2 1093 10
10. Kentucky 12-3 960 14
11. Louisville 13-3 943 13
12. West Virginia 13-2 911 17
13. Dayton 14-2 842 15
14. Villanova 12-3 822 16
15. Michigan St. 13-4 735 8
16. Wichita St. 15-1 629 23
17. Maryland 13-3 616 12
18. Seton Hall 12-4 496
19. Michigan 11-5 358 19
20. Colorado 13-3 345 25
21. Ohio St. 11-5 270 11
22. Memphis 13-3 232 21
23. Texas Tech 10-5 111 22
24. Illinois 12-5 109
25. Creighton 13-4 97

Others receiving votes: Iowa 88, Stanford 77, Arkansas 65, Indiana 50, Virginia 41, Penn St. 36, LSU 30, Arizona 20, Wisconsin 19, Liberty 11, N Iowa 10, Purdue 10, Duquesne 9, Washington 9, TCU 8, Rutgers 8, Virginia Tech 5, Oregon St. 4, Houston 4, BYU 3, ETSU 2, Saint Mary’s (Cal) 1, Harvard 1, Akron 1, Southern Cal 1.

BOX SCORE: WVU 55, Oklahoma State 41

(AP photo)

I’m trying something new tonight and posting a PDF of the WVU basketball box score here on the blog. We’ve had some calls about including the box scores online, and this is an easy way to do it and keep it out from behind the paywall for y’all.

Check out the full box from the Oklahoma State Statbroadcast below.

Download (PDF, 498KB)

(photo by Sean McNamara)

The West Virginia University men’s basketball team dropped one spot following a loss at No. 3 Kansas. The Mountaineers (11-2) check in at No. 17 this week with two games on the schedule — tonight at Oklahoma State and Saturday at the Coliseum against No. 22 Texas Tech. It is the 103rd week West Virginia has appeared in the AP Top 25 under Bob Huggins.

WVU also fell two spots in the most recent batch of the NCAA’s NET rankings to No. 12. That full list can be found here.

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ men’s college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Jan. 5, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week’s ranking:

Record Pts Prv
1. Gonzaga (54) 16-1 1607 1
2. Duke (9) 13-1 1545 2
3. Kansas (2) 11-2 1513 3
4. Baylor 11-1 1386 6
5. Auburn 13-0 1317 8
6. Butler 14-1 1181 11
7. San Diego St. 15-0 1130 13
8. Michigan St. 12-3 1129 14
9. Oregon 12-3 1075 4
10. Florida St. 13-2 966 18
11. Ohio St. 11-3 924 5
12. Maryland 12-2 863 15
13. Louisville 11-3 844 7
14. Kentucky 10-3 811 17
15. Dayton 13-2 614 20
16. Villanova 10-3 604 10
17. West Virginia 11-2 599 16
18. Virginia 11-2 556 19
19. Michigan 10-4 502 12
20. Penn St. 12-2 456 21
21. Memphis 12-2 455 9
22. Texas Tech 10-3 287 22
23. Wichita St. 13-1 252 24
24. Arizona 11-3 184 25
25. Colorado 12-3 81

Others receiving votes: Iowa 63, Seton Hall 48, Arkansas 38, Marquette 25, Xavier 18, Wisconsin 17, Houston 8, Creighton 6, Washington 6, VCU 5, Saint Mary’s (Cal) 3, N Iowa 2, Liberty 2, Purdue 1, Stephen F Austin 1, BYU 1.

Hey y’all! I’m back from some needed vacation time and the holidays, and there is no time to tip-toe back into things. WVU has climbed to No. 16 in the AP Top 25 and opens Big 12 play at No. 3 Kansas on Saturday. Just how impressed were the voters by the Mountaineers’ upset win against then No. 2 Ohio State last week? Every single ballot this week had WVU in the Top 25 and one voter had West Virginia as high as No. 4 in the country. For what it’s worth, I had West Virginia at No. 11 on my ballot this week.

Bob Huggins hopped on the phone with the media this morning ahead of his team’s trip to Phog Allen Fieldhouse this weekend. Audio from the call is below if, say for instance, you’re back at work for the first time since the holidays and need something to steal your attention for 15 minutes this afternoon.

(photo by Sean McNamara)

West Virginia University football coach Neal Brown will have to replace at least one member of his inaugural coaching staff with the Mountaineers.

Xavier Dye, the wide receivers coach for WVU in 2019, announced tweeted on Saturday that he was leaving West Virginia and a short time later was named the new receivers coach at South Florida.

https://twitter.com/USFFootball/status/1208432342261542912

At USF, Dye will reunite with newly-named Bulls coach Jeff Scott — one of Dye’s coaches when he played at Clemson and then one of the coaches Dye worked under when he was a graduate assistant at Clemson.

Dye, who was due $200,000 in 2020 from WVU, recruited all of South Carolina along with parts of Charlotte and Maryland for the Mountaineers.

Asked earlier this month if keeping the staff together was the plan, Brown said he intended to but was well aware that this is the time of year when some coaches get shuffled around.

“You never know what will happen in the next two months, but that’s the intent,” he said. “I tell my staff that I’m for them personally, but my greater responsibility is to our university and the football program. So, my hope here is that it’s a working environment they want to be part of, they see where we’re going and how we’re going about getting there and we’re giving them an opportunity to grow in the profession. We want to continue to develop them as coaches to whatever their end goal is, whether it’s coordinator or head coach.”

Brown tweeted Saturday afternoon that the search for Dye’s replacement has started.

(photo by Tom Bragg)

West Virginia University senior offensive tackle Colton McKivitz was named a third-team All-American on Monday by the Associated Press.

McKivitiz, who was named to the Walter Camp All-America team last week, was a 2019 Big 12 co-Offensive Lineman of the Year and a first-team all-conference pick this season. The Ohio native played nearly every snap for West Virginia this season — 792 of 801 — and was consistenlty graded as one of the best pass protectors in the Big 12.

With his selection last week to the Walter Camp team, McKivitz became West Virginia’s 41st All-America pick since 2002 and 106th overall. As a senior in 2019, McKivitz started every game at left tackle for WVU. For his career, McKivitz appeared in 50 games with 47 starts — the third most in program history.

See the full AP All-America team lists here. 

(photo by Tom Bragg)

The West Virginia University men’s basketball team is ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time this season and in doing so hit some milestones on Monday afternoon.

The Mountaineers check in at No. 25 this week on the AP’s list. It is the 100th week West Virginia has been ranked under veteran coach Bob Huggins and also the 234th week WVU has been ranked in school history.

WVU appeared on 25 ballots this week and was voted as high as No. 20 on one submission. Of those 25 ballots, 12 (including mine) had the Mountaineers at No. 24. It is the first time West Virginia has appeared in the basketball version of the AP Top 25 since the 2018 preseason poll.

(photo by Tom Bragg)

Prior to last season, the NCAA did away with the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) system it used to help determine postseason tournament bids in favor of its NET ranking system. The first batch of those rankings for the 2019-2020 college basketball season were released Monday, with West Virginia appearing pretty high up the list.

The Mountaineers check in at No. 12 in the initial NET rankings with a No. 9 Strength of Schedule. Only Kansas, which comes in at No. 2 overall in the NET rankings, has played a tougher schedule (ranked No. 3 in SOS) than WVU among the top 25 teams on the initial list — which will be updated each day for the rest of the season.

WVU also moved up to No. 25 in the KenPom ratings after hovering in the 30s for a while. The Associated Press Top 25 is out this afternoon and it will be interesting to see if West Virginia can crack the list this week after multiple blowout wins — notably against lesser competition — last week. I have a vote in the AP Top 25 and will update this post will all of that information once the poll is released in a few hours.