Basketball

Texas Tech Hoops – “Breaking .500”

I have never had the luxury to write about a winning regular season for the Texas Tech men’s basketball team. That is about to change.

I have been a college basketball junkie since before I was born in Louisville, Kentucky. It was always in my bloodline. Although I consider Houston my hometown, a number of my family members are still in Kentucky. A few of them are alum of the Kentucky Wildcats, but my folks were graduates of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. In that part of the country basketball is a way of life, the same as football in Texas. With my relatives being rabid college basketball fanatics it sunk in and stuck with me my entire life. I had studied and played the game up until I went to Texas Tech. At that point I had the pleasure to finally sit back and cheer on the game of basketball, win or lose. I had a chance to watch it for the love of the game. Still to this day cheering on the Red Raiders is my favorite hobby.

When Seth first asked me to start writing posts about Texas Tech basketball, I was sort of shocked. It was back around 5 seasons ago in 2011. I told him that I was far from even pondering becoming a sports blogger. He assured me that he had no doubts that I would succeed. Seth told me that I had passion flow through the words in my writing, and he said that was half the secret to being successful in telling a story. So, with absolutely no clue how to effectively communicate my basketball thoughts into stories… I immediately dove right into analyzing stats on Double T Nation.

It has not always been crystal clear, yet along the way I have found it easier to portray my basketball ideas and opinions from my mind to the keyboard. I go back to my first article ever written on DTN and think to myself how lousy it really was. All it took was patience, time, and experience to get better. Kind of like the process of growing the fallen Texas Tech men’s basketball program into a winner.

When I wrote my first official post in November of 2011 it was an exciting time with Billy Gillispie at the helm. That excitement crumbled into disappointment as the wheels fell off and BCG left the basketball program in worse shape than when he arrived.

I have been writing and writing about Texas Tech for 5 straight seasons waiting for the wins to start overtaking the losses. It has been rough trying to stay positive, I have had my moments of weakness where I thought I was at wit’s end more than once. In those long years I have accomplished a few of life’s milestones. Aged from my late twenties to the mid-thirties. Bought my first house. Switched jobs by giving my resignation at work (twice). Got engaged/married, started a family, and had a beautiful baby girl.

In all that time and all that’s happened in my life since I started writing posts about Texas Tech basketball, one thing had not changed. Tech had always finished with a losing regular season record. In fact, the last time I had the pleasure of even just cheering for a winning Texas Tech squad was in the 2009-10 season. I was living in Kansas working my first job out of college at that moment in time.

That is the past. Now is the future. Tubby Smith has been building the program and bringing stability over those years. Slowly things have been accumulating and the energy has been gaining momentum. It all took a major turn this past weekend when Tech destroyed #21 Baylor in Waco. Just previously we were all on cloud nine after the #14 Iowa State upset in Lubbock.

With those two victories it was the first time to beat Top 25 ranked opponents back-to-back in 9 years since we beat #5 Kansas and #6 Texas A&M (2006-07 season). Also, with that win on Saturday it has clinched Tech at the very least of finishing the regular season with a .500 record. We are guaranteed not to have a losing regular season record. Something that I have never been able to write about until this very moment. It only took around 5 years for that to happen. In the moment that we do secure breaking a .500 record, in my own world I will feel like I am the happiest Red Raider fan alive.

On that note; let’s get a victory over the #3 Oklahoma Sooners. Let’s guarantee a place in the NCAA tournament; and assure a WINNING regular season record on Wednesday night. Let’s pack the USA with deafening roars from our fellow Red Raider fans. This may be the most important game in Lubbock in the past decade. You won’t want to miss it. Wreck ’em Tech!!!

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