The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: February 11th

More on Texas Tech’s huge upset win over Iowa State. The softball team starts their season in Las Vegas. High jumper Bradley Adkins receives the weekly Big 12 honor.

Softball

Softball Starts in Vegas. The softball team starts their season in Las Vegas against UNLV, first pitch is set for 8:00 pm:

In Adrian Gregory’s mind, “to be the best, you have to play the best.” The second-year head coach is putting that motto to the test this season as Texas Tech again boasts one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country. During the 2016 season, the Red Raiders will face seven teams ranked in the NFCA Coaches preseason top-25. Texas Tech will see their first ranked opponent on Feb. 12, when the team will face off against No. 20 Washington before turning around a day later to face 14th ranked Minnesota. Just one week later, the Red Raiders will face another ranked opponent in No. 21 California on Feb. 20 at the Campbell/Cartier Classic in San Diego, Calif., before traveling to Lafayette, La., for a double header against No. 11 ULL on Feb. 25.

LAJ’s Nicholas Talbot previews the season and writes that defense is incredibly important to what head coach Adrian Gregory wants to accomplish:

Consistency is Gregory believes will win Texas Tech its fair share of games this season, especially on defense. Texas Tech committed 54 errors in 51 games last season and had a .962 fielding percentage. In Big 12 play (18 games), though, Texas Tech only committed 10 errors and had only five in their last 12 games.

“We constantly talk about relying on defense,” Gregory said. “You are supposed to pitch smart and rely on your defense, which wasn’t super strong last year. … We need to complete the plays we are supposed to. They know what it looks like. If you live in fear, errors are what you are going to find. If you live in confidence, you won’t make errors.”

Track & Field

Adkins Named Big 12 Athlete of the Week. Congrats to high jumper Bradley Adkins who was named the Big 12 Track & Field Athlete of the Week:

Adkins racked up a first-place finish among collegiate competitors in the men’s high jump at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic on Friday. His clearance of 2.17m/7-1.5 would’ve won him the competition alone, defeating the 2016 NCAA leader, but he didn’t stop there as he cruised over 2.20m/7-2.5 on his first attempt to give him a season-best and the victory.

“Bradley is just starting to get his run more consistent and is going to be jumping some high bars,” Texas Tech head coach Wes Kittley said. “We’re very excited to see him jump over the next month.”

Baseball

Moseley Looks to Lead. College Baseball Central looks at Ryan Moseley, who looks to lead the pitching staff for Texas Tech:

If the Red Raiders are going to get back into a regional in 2016, starting pitcher Ryan Moseley will be a big part of it. Last season, the local Lubbock product had a tough-luck 4-6 record, but had a quality 3.46 ERA, and he proved to be incredibly hard to hit. Opposing batters had just a .232 batting average against him, and more impressively, he surrendered just seven extra-base hits all season, none of which were home runs.

It’s Almost Baseball Time in Lubbock. The first game is on Friday, February 19th

Men’s Basketball

That Was Fun Last Night. Texas Tech upset Iowa State last night, in a fantastic overtime thriller.

Lets’s get to some highlights.

You can read the official site recap, with additional links to stats, quotes and whatnot. LAJ’s Krista Pirtle also recaps the game. One quote that I wanted to pull from head coach Tubby Smith said after the game, which is that the switching and pressing defenses thinked helped by the end of the game:

“Well, we made some adjustments to try to make them use more time, make them go to other options. I was hoping fatigue would play a part in it, and I think that did because we really tried to keep pressure on them the whole game. We knew they had a short bench, even though their bench came in and lit it up in the first half. Jordan Ashton and Hallice Cooke made threes and Simeon Carter – guys that came off the bench played well for them. Our kids played well too, and I thought that overtime and pressure … We haven’t pressed much this season, and this year especially in league play so we wanted to try and wear them down. I think that was the key too. Switching defenses at the end too – we did some good things there and made some adjustments. Then, the one shot. That’s what you have to do to win games is get stops, defensive stops. We didn’t do a good job up until overtime.”

I do think that ISU had trouble with that last possession and wasn’t sure how to play. Texas Tech executed that defense about as perfectly as you could ask and that’s pretty impressive. If you want to read the Iowa State perspective, they were robbed on the goal-tend and this writer doesn’t see how Abdel Nader intentionally fouled Justin Gray and the entire Iowa State team can’t believe Keenan Evans hit two huge three-point shots. Let’s not forget the bad call where Georges Niang pushed off on Zach Smith, but was called against Smith as well as Evans being fouled in the wanning seconds of regulation as he’s bringing the ball up the court which could have put Texas Tech up with little time left for Iowa State. Let’s not go there. Texas Tech won, that’s it.

Two more cool things.

How about these two guys.

And how about this guy.

Keon Clergeot’s Senior Highlights. Not sure how he’s only a 2-star or not even rated, but what the heck do I know.

Football

Wide Receiver Rankings. ESPN’s Jake Trotter ranks the receiver groups in the Big 12 and has Texas Tech 5th overall:

5. Texas Tech: The Red Raiders lose record-breaking playmaker Jakeem Grant, but virtually the entire rotation returns intact. Devin Lauderdale was suspended in December, but could have the opportunity to work his way back onto the team before the fall. Ian Sadler, Dylan Cantrell and Reginald Davis are veteran commodities, but watch out for Derrick Willies, who was the No. 1 juco receiver in the country.

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