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West Virginia coach fires off trash talk at Iowa, Caitlin Clark before tournament

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West Virginia coach fires off trash talk at Iowa, Caitlin Clark before tournament


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The West Virginia Mountaineers women’s basketball team was selected as the No. 8 seed in the Albany Region 2 of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament on Sunday and may be on a collision course with No. 1 Iowa in the second round.

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At least that’s what head coach Mark Kellogg suggested in his speech to rally his fans at a Selection Sunday party.

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West Virginia head coach Mark Kellogg answers questions at the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Tipoff at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri, on Oct. 17. (Kylie Graham-USA Today Sports)

“I already told them let’s win one and send Caitlin Clark packing,” he said.

The Mountaineers will have to get past No. 9 Princeton before potentially taking on Iowa in the Round of 32. The Tigers defeated Columbia to win the Ivy League Tournament on Saturday. The Tigers have made it to the second round of the tournament in each of the last two seasons.

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Clark and Iowa will have a target on their back entering the tournament given the media spotlight that has shined on the team all season long. Clark started the season in pursuit of Kelsey Plum’s all-time scoring record in NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball and ended up surpassing not only Plum but Lynette Woodard and Pete Maravich in the history books.

Caitlin Clark in Big Ten tournament

Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes reacts while playing the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship at Target Center on March 10, 2024, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

2024 NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT SELECTIONS REVEALED

The Hawkeyes’ road back to the national championship won’t be smooth. Should they get past either Holy Cross or UT-Martin, and then either West Virginia or Princeton, teams like Colorado, LSU and UCLA all have the potential to spoil their run.

But West Virginia hopes to be that team before anyone else gets to Iowa.

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Caitlin Clark cuts net

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark cuts the basket netting down after the overtime win over Nebraska in the final of the Big Ten women’s tournament on Sunday, March 10, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

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“Let’s go dancing!! Proud of our team… they’ve earned the opportunity to represent in the NCAA Tournament! Let’s do this Mountaineers!!” Kellogg wrote on X.

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.





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Zach Frazier 2024 NFL Draft: Combine Results, Scouting Report For West Virginia IOL

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Zach Frazier 2024 NFL Draft: Combine Results, Scouting Report For West Virginia IOL


The 2024 NFL Draft is getting close, making it an excellent time to highlight some of the class’ best players with scouting reports. Each report will include strengths, weaknesses and background information. 

Here’s our report on Zach Fraizer.

Zach Frazier’s 2024 NFL Combine RESULTS

  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 313
  • 40-yard dash: 5.24 (Pro Day)
  • 20-Yard Shuttle: DNP
  • Vertical jump: 28.5″ (Pro Day)
  • Broad jump: DNP
  • Arm Length: 32 1/4”

Zach Frazier 2024 NFL DRAFT SCOUTING REPORT

STRENGTHS

  • Versatile interior lineman with experience playing guard and center in more than 46 starts for WVU.
  • Looks for work when he is uncovered, playing with good physicality to help his teammates in pass protection.
  • Strong, active hands at the point of attack to control defenders with power (locks on once engaged).
  • Plays with good pad level and leverage, allowing him to anchor and prevent a push vs. powerful defenders.
  • Technically sound in his footwork as a pass blocker and run blocker, allowing him to play balanced.
  • Good recognition and vision to see and react to stunts and blitzes to trade off defenders in pass protection.
  • Ample athleticism and technique in taking proper angles to get on edge and up to the second level (run/screen game).
  • Excels on power run schemes to create movement and control blocks (duo schemes/combo blocks to the second level).
  • Good patience in his pass set, allowing him to play with good vision to see rush schemes and move his feet.

WEAKNESSES

  • Lacks top-end athleticism due to tight hips, which affects his ability to move laterally vs. quicker defenders.
  • Struggles to redirect and change directions vs. good secondary rushes, causing him to play off balance.
  • Heavy feet when changing directions and moving laterally vs. quicker defenders in space.
  • Tendency to come off blocks against active pass rushers with good use of hands and quickness (slow feet).
  • Waist bender who leans into blocks, causing him to fall off blocks due to poor weight distribution.

Sep 17, 2022; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers offensive lineman Zach Frazier (54) celebrates with fans after defeating the Towson Tigers at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

NFL TRANSITION

Frazier started 46 games for WVU with 37 of them at center from 2021-2023. He played LG in 2020, showing good position versatility on the interior. He’s a stout, strong interior lineman with the power to hold his ground against power rushes due to playing with good leverage and pad level. 

Once engaged, his strong hands allow him to control defenders, allowing him to generate movement in the run game and limit push. Frazier is most productive playing in tight spaces between the tackles (power runs: duo schemes/combo blocks). He struggled at times when playing in space with quicker defenders who forced him to react laterally. Fraizer is technically sound and takes good angles in the run game, playing with good vision to react to stunts/blitzes in pass protection.

Overall, Frazier has the size and skills to play guard and center in the NFL. He’s technically sound and powerful with strong hands to control defenders once engaged in his blocks. However, he’s not as laterally quick as some other linemen, causing him to come off blocks and struggle to play in space at times. 

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Frazier will immediately provide depth with the potential to become a solid starter by improving his lateral agility and quickness.


OTHER NOTES

Frazier came out of Fairmont, WV as a three-star recruit. He was a four-time Heavy Weight State-Champion Wrestler, only losing two matches his entire career. He initially played left guard as a freshman (nine starts) and then moved to center, starting 37 consecutive games (46 total starts). 

Frazier was a two-time All-American (2021, 2023), three-time All-Big 12 (2022, 2023 First-Team and 2021 Second-Team), and was a three-time team captain. In 2023, he was a finalist for the William Campbell Trophy — the most prestigious academic/athletic award.

In 2020, Frazier played primarily at left guard (550 of his 657 snaps at LG) and was solid. Of these plays, he had 386 pass plays, allowing only seven pressures (1.8 percent pressure rate). Frazier had 271 running plays with two blown assignments (0.7 percent bad run block rate).

During the last three seasons, he had the sixth most offensive snaps at center with all 2,477 coming there, except for two snaps at RT. Of these plays, he had 1,277 pass plays, allowing only 17 pressures (1.3 percent pressure rate). Frazier had 1,200 running plays with only 21 blown assignments (1.8 percent bad run block rate).

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West Virginia Set to Battle No. 16 UCF

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West Virginia Set to Battle No. 16 UCF


Granville, WV – The West Virginia Mountaineers (19-13, 8-4) host the No. 17 UCF Knights (21-9, 8-7) for a three-game series this weekend. Game one is set for Friday night at 6:30 p.m., Game two is slated for Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and the series finale is scheduled for Sunday at 1:00 p.m. All the action will stream on ESPN+.

West Virginia and UCF are coming off midweek losses. The Mountaineers lost in extra innings to in-state rival Marshall while UCF fell on the road to Stetson 5-3. WVU split a four-game series at Stetson to open the season.

The two also have common opponents in Big 12 foes Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Mountaineers took the series from Oklahoma in Norman and lost to Oklahoma State at home while UCF was swept in Norman and protected homefield against Oklahoma State.

Junior Matt Prevesk leads the Knights at the plate with a .365 average, 26 runs scored and a .431 on-base percentage with 20 RBIs.

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Redshirt senior Jack Zyska is second on the team with a .312 batting average with a team-high 8 doubles and is tied with Prevesk with 26 runs scored. His five home runs rank second on the team.

Catcher Andrew Sundean has missed the last six games with a leg injury, but the team is hopeful he will soon return to the lineup. The junior is hitting .311 on the season and is tied with Zyska with 26 runs scored.

Junior Andrew Estrella leads the team with six home runs but has been in and out of the lineup as of late due to injuries and former WVU second baseman Mikey Kluska has a team-high three triples.

UCF is scheduled to start right-hander Ben Vespi for the series opener. The senior is 2-1 on the season and holds a 5.00 ERA with a team-best 34 strikeouts. Junio righty Dom Stagliano is set to take the mound in game two. He is 1-2 and leads the starting rotation with a 3.74 ERA.

West Virginia will counter with junior right-hander Aidan Major. He is 3-2 this season with a 4.02 ERA and a team-high 55 strikeouts. Derek Clark is set for game two and is coming off three consecutive nine inning performances and is 3-0 on the year in five appearances with a team-leading 1.70 ERA.

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Both teams will wait to announce a starter for the series finale.

West Virginia sophomore Sam White leads the team with a .325 batting average. Senior Reed Chumley is tied with junior Grant Hussey with eight homeruns. Chumley also has team-highs of eight doubles and 23 RBIs.

2024 Preseason Big 12 Baseball Player of the Year JJ Wetherholt returned to the starting lineup in the road series against Kansas last weekend as a designated hitter after missing 24 games due to a hamstring injury. In his first game back, the junior went 3-4 with a pair of RBIs. Since, he is 2-13 at the plate, including going 0-4 in the loss to Marshall.



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950 lose jobs as Cleveland-Cliffs closes mill in Weirton, West Virginia

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950 lose jobs as Cleveland-Cliffs closes mill in Weirton, West Virginia


Work at Weirton? We want to hear from you. Fill out the form below to tell us what you think about the closure and what should be done. All submissions will remain anonymous.

Sections of the former Weirton Steel Mill have been torn down and scrapped

Cleveland-Cliffs is closing its tinplate works in Weirton, West Virginia, this month, putting 950 workers out of their jobs. This is the last mill still operating in what once was the vast Weirton Steel Works, located about 40 miles west of Pittsburgh.

The announcement is devastating news to the workers, their families and the surrounding community, which has already seen the long decline of steel production in the West Virginia panhandle and along both banks of the Ohio River.

In making the announcement, Cleveland-Cliffs placed blame on the US International Trade Commission (ITC) for failing to impose tariffs on tin products imported from Canada, Germany, China and South Korea.

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In a press release Cleveland-Cliffs stated: “The need to idle the Weirton plant is a direct result of the unanimous decision issued by all four members of the International Trade Commission (ITC) negating the implementation of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on tin mill products calculated by the Department of Commerce.”

Both Cleveland-Cliffs and the United Steelworkers filed an anti-dumping complaint last year charging that tinplate products were illegally being dumped into the US market. In January, the Commerce Department announced import duties against Canada, China, Germany and South Korea.

In particular the complaint was targeted against China, which they claim is overproducing tin products and selling them below cost to drive competition out of the market.

The reality is that those responsible for the closure are not overseas but in the United States. The company is closing the facility in order to maximize profits. US corporations have cut hundreds of thousands of jobs over the past year and a half, intending to use mass unemployment as a weapon against rising opposition from the working class.

The ITC complaint amounted to a demand by the company that its own corporate-controlled government in Washington protect its bottom line from foreign competition. When this did not arrive, the company retaliated by throwing hundreds of workers out on the street.

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In 2023, the global tin market was valued at $6.9 billion, and world output was 406.8 kilotons. The market is projected to grow to over $9.2 billion by 2031. Primarily, tin is used to coat steel for the production of cans and other products. It is also used in solder for piping and is a major component in optoelectronics, used for high-speed communications.

The ITC complaint filed by the United Steelworkers and Cleveland-Cliffs came amid a series of escalating trade war measures by the US against China. Last week, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen demanded that China cut back its production of electric cars and solar panels, on the grounds that they are “undercutting” American producers. US capitalism is embroiled in a bitter conflict with what it sees as its main rival for dominance of global markets and supply chains.

This is not limited to official enemies but also countries which, for the moment, remain American allies against China. The purchase of US Steel by Japanese-based Nippon Steel for $14.9 billion has prompted a furious backlash, with politicians from parties demanding government action to torpedo the merger.

The bureaucracy of the United Steelworkers, as with the trade unions as a whole, is drawing together with the management of “native” companies on the false claim that trade war will save American jobs. It has instead backed Cleveland-Cliffs’ proposal to buy US Steel on entirely nationalist, “America First” grounds. This has two aims: first, to cover for its own role in enforcing job cuts and pro-company contracts over decades, and second, to try to dragoon workers into supporting new wars against China and others.

Lourenco Goncalves, Cleveland-Cliffs’ Brazilian chairman, president and chief executive officer, stated, “We worked very closely with our partners at the USW on this solution to save Weirton, and together fought tirelessly for its survival. … We have been upfront and open with union leadership throughout this process and our partnership with the USW remains unbreakable.”

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Just last year, the union pushed through a massive concessions contract with Cleveland-Cliffs. At the time, the now-deceased USW President Tom Conway boasted that the contract would save the Weirton tin plant by allowing the company to make $100 million in capital improvements.

The year prior, the USW rammed through a national contract for oil refinery workers which it boasted “does not lead to inflationary pressures”—that is, keeps wages below price increases. That contract was the product of extensive collaboration between the White House and the USW.

In meeting with workers earlier this month, United Steelworkers International President Dave McCall offered no plan to mobilize workers to fight the shutdown, instead telling workers that the plant can only be saved through appealing the ITC decision.

But the International Trade Commission (ITC) rejected the company’s claim, declaring it did not find that there was significant damage to the American steel industry and that it was dropping its investigation.

Politicians both Democrat and Republican have lined up joining with Cleveland-Cliffs and the USW in denouncing the ITC decision.

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West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a right-wing Democrat who frequently sides with Republicans against his own party, said: “Today’s announcement is a consequence of the International Trade Commission’s decision to turn a blind eye to nearly 1,000 hard-working employees right here in West Virginia in favor of illegally dumped and subsidized imports. Cleveland-Cliffs’ closure is an absolute injustice not only to American workers, but to the very principle of fair competition, and it will undoubtedly weaken our economic and national security.”

Both US senators from Ohio, Sherrod Brown (Democrat) and the ultra-right Trump supporter JD Vance (Republican) issued similar statements.

The Biden administration has not issued a statement, but protectionist policies are already becoming an issue in the upcoming presidential campaign. Biden has issued a statement opposing the Japanese-owned Nippon Steel plan to purchase Pittsburgh-headquartered US Steel, citing “national security” concerns. That is, the US needs access to domestic production in order to produce tanks, bombers and other equipment for US-backed wars in Gaza, Ukraine and around the world.

Decades of job cuts

The closure of the tinplate mill will mark the end of more than a century of steel production in Weirton, West Virginia.

Weirton Steel Corporation was formed in 1909 by Ernest Weir, as an integrated steel producer. In 1929, the company merged with two other steel companies, one in Detroit and the other in Cleveland, to form the National Steel Corporation. At its height, more than 13,000 people worked at the mills in Weirton, West Virginia.

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However, by the 1970s, with the end of the postwar economic boom and the beginning of the decline of US economic dominance, American manufacturers carried out a massive program of reorganization to cut costs and boost production. Scores of steel mills were closed, and hundreds of thousands of workers were laid off.

During the 1980 and 1990s as the US steel industry was being reorganized and consolidated, the USW worked with the companies to cut hundreds of thousands of jobs, dismantling plant after plant, uprooting workers and their families and destroying communities.

Throughout this deindustrialization of Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland, Youngstown to Gary, Indiana, and Chicago, the USW worked tirelessly to prevent steelworkers from drawing the conclusions that it was necessary to unite with workers across national borders to fight the massive multinational corporations.

Instead, the union tried to turn steelworkers against their class brothers and sisters by placing the blame for the layoffs and unemployment onto the backs of their class brothers from Japan, South Korea and Brazil. This set up a global race to the bottom, enabling these companies to whipsaw workers from different countries as they moved production around the world.

In 1984, National Steel sold the Weirton mill to the employees in what became at the time one of the largest Employee Stock Ownership Programs (ESOP) in the country. Many organizations claiming to be socialists hailed employee ownership as the answer to mill closures. They saw this as an alternative to uniting workers internationally in the struggle against the capitalist system.

In reality, “employee ownership” was just another means through which the Wall Street bankers could force through further concessions, this time being done by the “employee managers.” The ESOP program meant that workers had to take a 20 percent pay cut, while saving National Steel $500 to $700 million in shutdown costs.

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At that time, the mill employed over 7,000 workers. After the first initial few years, the company cut jobs, citing the need to make a profit. By 2004, the mill employed fewer than half that number.

In 2004, after several rounds of concessions and layoffs, Weirton was sold off in bankruptcy court and bought by the International Steel Group but sold two years later to Mittal Steel, which merged with Arcelor to become ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer in 2006.

In 2020, ArcelorMittal sold its US business, including the Weirton plant, to Cleveland-Cliffs for approximately $1.4 billion.

The nationalism and chauvinism being advanced by the United Steelworkers today has an even more sinister content than what was done in the 1980s and 1990s. The aim today is to prepare the working class for war.

The shutdown of Weirton can and must be stopped. This requires that workers unite with steelworkers and other workers around the world facing mass layoffs, not unite with management against “foreign” workers. To accomplish this, workers should form a rank-and-file committee at the Weirton works to fight against management, the USW’s collusion and the corporate-controlled political setup.

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Autoworkers, educators, healthcare workers and others have already formed such committees and are working to coordinate their struggles across the country and internationally through a world movement, the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees (IWA-RFC).



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