The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: Manderson Leaves Team; Baseball Upgrades; Smith Talks Recruiting

Isaiah Manderson leaves the men’s basketball team. The baseball field will receive some upgrades. Mike Smith tells recruits to stick to their commitment.

Lady Raiders Set to Play Abilene Christian. The Lady Raiders will host Abilene Christian tonight at 5:30 pm. Head coach Candi Whitaker talks about ACU and what they bring:

“Abilene Christian is a very good team, and we’re going to have to be focused,” Texas Tech head coach Candi Whitaker said. “We’re going to have to guard them well. They can score a lot of points, so we have to make sure we are guarding the dribble, getting to three-point shooters and staying out of rotations. Offensively, I think we need to be aggressive and share the basketball, along with continuing to execute the other things we have been doing well.”

Beckie Named Hermann Award Semifinalist. Via the official site, congrats to senior forward Janine Beckie for being named a Hermann Award semifinalist. This is a big deal and it is essentially the player of the year in soccer.

Stone Named NSCAA Central Region Coach of the Year. Via the official site, congrats to soccer head coach Tom Stone for being being named the Central Region Coach of the Year by the NSCAA! Huge honor for Coach Stone and he really did do an amazing job of coaching this year.

Changes Coming to Rip Griffin. It was announced yesterday that changes are coming to Rip Griffin Park including adding the old Jones AT&T scoreboard as well as a new state-of-the-art playing surface, which totals nearly $1 million in renovations. Here’s coach Tim Tadlock:

“These enhancements to Rip Griffin Park can’t be understated, and doing both projects at once says a lot about Texas Tech’s commitment to our student-athletes and fans,” Texas Tech head coach Tim Tadlock said. “The new FieldTurf surface being installed on Dan Law Field is an incredible investment in our student-athletes safety and performance, and it will also be a big selling point as we continue to recruit future Red Raiders here to Texas Tech.”

If you click the link you’ll see how the field will have a striped pattern. I’ve also always disliked the field turf playing field, especially considering how Texas Tech has a strong turfgrass program, although I get the idea that the cost of keeping a natural grass field is sometimes prohibitive. Maybe this will be better than the last one.

Manderson Leaves Team. Texas Tech and head coach Tubby Smith released a statement stating that center Isaiah Manderson has left the program:

“Isaiah has a lot of potential that we were hoping to help him reach,” Smith said. “Unfortunately, he has decided to leave Texas Tech. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

#9 in RPI. You probably won’t see this for much longer, especially considering Texas Tech’s schedule coming up, but as of right now, Texas Tech is #9 in RPI.

Texas Tech to Host Sam Houston State. Via the official site, Texas Tech will host Sam Houston State tonight at 8:00 pm, game is on FOX Sports Southwest Plus. I’ve got a preview coming up later today and Dan will have his weekly basketball post as well. Here’s Tubby Smith on the Bearkats:

“Every game is important, and this is an important game against Sam Houston State,” Smith said. “They’re a quality opponent, and they’ve played a lot of tough competition. Coach Hooten’s teams always play hard and play smart. Henderson is the guy who can put it on the floor or shoot the long range jumper. I’ve been impressed watching him on film, as well with the rest of their team. I know they’ll give us a real test tomorrow.”

In Home Visit for Jackson. Davit Gibbs and Emmett Jones visit Amarillo DT Ivory Jackson:

Williams on Haverty and Smith. LAJ’s Don Williams has some of those quotes that I linked to yesterday via Twitter from Trey Haverty who was officially let go yesterday, along with Kevin Curtis and Mike Smith. At the end of the article was some quotes from Smith, who has been telling recruits not to waiver from their commitment to Texas Tech:

“Like I told them, you fell in love with Texas Tech,” Smith said. “I know we had a great relationship, but don’t forget: You fell in love with Texas Tech. You love Lubbock and you love Texas Tech — the tradition, going to the games and seeing the crowd. Don’t forget that.”

The Red Raiders’ recruiting class for 2016 is nearly full, and some of the team’s future hopes are pinned on a core of young defensive players who have shown promise.

“They can’t afford to lose any of those guys,” Smith said. “Calling these guys the last couple of days, I just tell them to hang on and it’s going to be fine. ‘You won’t have a better head coach than Kliff Kingsbury. He’s a head coach that loves his players, and that’ll never change. I promise you Kliff will bring in somebody that’s a good person.’ ”

Checking in on Dyer. LAJ’s Don Williams checks in on redshirt freshman Conner Dyer, and offensive line coach Lee Hays thinks that Dyer is a future guard or center and is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered in August. Here’s Hays:

“Run blocking now, he comes downhill and is one of those kids that plays as hard as I like,” Hays said. “He’s not one that I have to stand behind and play drill instructor the whole practice. He likes the physical part of it.

“I think he’s about 275 right now. I’m looking forward to the day he’s a 300-pounder and can get his hands on some guys.”

Playoff Rankings. Sports On Earth’s Matt Brown breaks down last night’s release of the final four for the college football playoff, Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Iowa. Obviously, there’s lots that can happen with games happening this week, but it appears that the Big 12 will be represented with Oklahoma, but I’ll still take Ohio State having the better resume, at least over Michigan State (yes, even though Ohio State lost to Michigan State). Should be fun.

Mandel Predicts Texas Tech vs. LSU. FOX Sports’ Stewart Mandel is predicting that Texas Tech will play LSU in the Texas Bowl, not Texas A&M, so stopping Leonard Fournette would be a blast.

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