The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: March 7th

Your morning roundup of all things Texas Tech athletics.

Miscellaneous

Good to be Back. Hey everyone. Had a great weekend away. Much thanks to Michael_LSRR, Dan and Dorothy for posting over the weekend and Brian for helping out on the Facebook.

Softball

Softball Splits Sunday. Texas Tech finished 4-2 for the weekend and split Sunday, falling to SFA 20-1 and beating UTSA, 6-4.

Baseball

Texas Tech Drops Deciding Game to Fullerton. Texas Tech split the first two games and then lost the final game, 4-1. Fullerton is a tough team and I haven’t had time to look at the box scores, but their pitching was supreme before the series and that appeared to be the case yesterday as well as Texas Tech only managed 4 hits. And Texas Tech’s pitching is probably good, but not great by any means.

Basketball

Not Worthy. Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Eisenberg writes that with Tubby Smith being named the Big 12 Coach of the Year, the system doesn’t reward the high profile coaches enough:

Credit Smith for engineering a turnaround in just three seasons at one of the toughest major-conference jobs in the country, but the selection of him over Self reflects a systemic flaw in the way coach of the year awards are chosen. Coaches at top-flight programs seldom receive recognition because voters tend to reward those who overachieve at schools with lesser pedigree instead.

Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski is typically regarded as college basketball’s greatest active coach, yet he has only won ACC coach of the year five times in 36 seasons in Durham. In the 16 years since Krzyzewski last was his conference’s coach of the year, Duke has captured three national championships won a combined 12 ACC regular season or tournament titles.

I commented last week that I wouldn’t have had a huge problem if Self would have won this award, but cry me a river. I certainly don’t feel sorry for Self for not winning, but I don’t at all feel bad that high profile coaches aren’t rewarded enough. Maybe having the biggest paychecks will help them get over not winning an award.

Looking So Good.

Robinson on Special Teams. LAJ’s Don Williams writes about how new spcial teams coach Joe Robinson is taking control over special teams and if you see someone with a blowhorn, that’s him.

Robinson has coached special teams in tandem with other positions, most often defensive line, but that’s not what Kingsbury wanted. Neither did Robinson.

“It’s done a million different ways, and you can be successful doing it any way you want,” he said. “But my personal favorite way of doing it is to just focus on the (special) teams and not be involved in another position. I think it warrants a full-time coach and that’s the way I like to do it.

“And so from the very beginning, not only just the personalities (at Tech) and the very good people that are here, but I think the fit of the job requirements are what I was looking for.”

Mahomes Ready to Focus on One. LAJ’s Don Williams writes about quarterback Patrick Mahomes focusing on football only, after playing baseball and football last year:

“Last year, he’d jog off the field over to (baseball) practice and try to get that done and go to study hall,” Kingsbury said Friday. “It was hectic for him. He wasn’t able to make the gains we may have wanted in the weight room and in film study, because he was worried about so much.

“But now it’s purely football. He’s running with it and we expect great things.”

Last year, Mahomes passed for 4,653 yards and 36 touchdowns and ran for 456 yards and 10 TDs. After a couple of weeks of discussion with his family over the winter, Mahomes announced his decision to forego baseball this spring.

“A little part of me is sad,” Mahomes said, “because I’ve played baseball my entire life and grew up around it, but I determined with my family that I wanted to focus (on football) and try to take my game to the next level and put all my focus there.”

Offensive Line Youth. LAJ’s Don Williams writes about how the two freshmen offensive linemen that we discussed last week, will likely be starting at each bookend, Terence Steele starting at left tackle and madison Akamnonu starting at right tackle as spring practices start.

Two years ago, highly touted signee Dominique Robertson ran with the first-team line in preseason practice — until it was time to start game prep for the season opener, and then Hays reverted to more experienced players. And last year, Murphy practiced all spring and into preseason practice at right tackle — and then Hays moved Murphy to guard and shifted the more experienced Baylen Brown to tackle.

Still, Steele and Akamnonu look like the future for the Red Raiders at tackle.

Last season, Hays said among his linemen, Steele was the closest to all-Big 12 left tackle Le’Raven Clark for speed.

On Friday, he said the two redshirt freshmen “are like a big, huge Christmas present sitting under the tree.”

“They’re moving fast,” Hays said. “They’re picking up stuff, have been unbelievable measurable-wise. We’ll just see, when the bullets start firing, what we have.”

Patrick Focused on Defensive Line. LAJ’s Don Williams writes about new defensive line coach Kevin Patrick and his journey to Lubbock. Not much in the way of detail regarding the current group of players, as I’ll be interested in hearing what he has to say about his current group.

“It’s easy when you’ve got well-established, everybody returns and you’ve got the Pierre-Pauls,” Patrick said. “I like these situations where you’ve got a lot of unknowns. We’re going to mold each other and we’re going to build this thing.”

Notebooky: In the article about the offensive linemen linked above, we’ve got some notebooky things. There was also a second notebook from Williams. As always, I summarize and there is more detail and quotes there.

  • Congrats to Tony Morales, who has been approved for a 6th year of eligibility and is battling at center with Cody Wheeler and Conner Dyer.
  • Receiver Dylan Cantrell is back and practicing, which is great.
  • The aforementioned Dyer was out last year with a knee injury is a “light participant”.
  • Justin Murphy is still rehabbing and won’t practice this spring.
  • Trying to wrap my head around this. Receiver Devin Lauderdale was suspended from school for the spring semester, but is to return to school the first summer session. Not sure
  • Keenan Ward and Dakota Allen talk about new strength and conditioning coach Rusty Whitt, who said that the workouts have been intense, that Whitt lifts more than the previous coach and has helped focus the team.
  • The team is focused on turnovers again this year.

Canadian Receives Walk-On Offer. This was something that I completely missed, but thank goodness for my brother-in-law, who mentioned it this weekend. Via RRS Drew Kohnle, Canadian Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund (6-3/235) has been given a preferred walk-on spot this next year, who was previously at Champlain-Lennoxville (essentially a JUCO in Canada) and will have three years to play. Adeyemi-Berglund essentially not allowed to receive a scholarship at this point and he’s never been to Texas and obviously never been to Lubbock:

“Everything recruiting now is done through Twitter, so one day I just started following tons of coaches on coaching staffs throughout the states and seeing which ones would follow back so I could get into contact. I had seen some film on Texas Tech and started following some coaches on their staff. One of their coaches, Lee Hays, followed me back and we just started talking. It was pretty cool because I sent him my tape and then he had me send my transcripts to him and he would direct it to the right people. He eventually got back to me and said the defensive line coaches are fired up and were really excited. I’m supposed to get in contact with them at the end of the week. And that is how it went down, just over Twitter and kind of out of the blue, which was pretty cool.”

Here’s Adeyemi-Berglund’s highlight video:

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