The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: March 29th

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics, including the baseball team falling to UNLV, the volleyball team in action and more football links.

Miscellaneous

New Campus Photos. Some more new and great campus photos from TTU Red at Totally Texas Tech. Spring has sprung. If you’re going out for the spring game, the campus is going to look amazing.

Volleyball

Texas Tech Defeats LCU in Spring Showdown. Texas Tech defeated Lubbock Christian, 4-1 in head coach Tom Graystone’s coaching debut:

“I saw certain play and a style of game that I really liked,” Graystone said. “We were good with the first and second touch and we were smart about extending points. I thought our block was really good tonight and overall I’m pretty happy.”

Baseball

Texas Tech Falls to UNLV. The Red Raiders lost to UNLV, 8-5, last night (Box Score | Box Score). The normal top of the order didn’t do much for this particular game, with Tanner Gardner getting the only hit among the top 6 hitters, while Erickson Lanning went 4 innings, allowing 4 runs and Ryan Shetter also pitched 4 innings, allowing 4 runs. This may have been a situation where there’s just not enough bullpen after sweeping the weekend series. This seemed like one of those games where head coach Tim Tadlock just decided that he only had a limited number of bullpen guys available (there was only one, being Shetter). Eric Gutierrez, Tyler Neslony and Ryan Long each had 2 hits, Long had 3 RBI and Neslony had 2 RBI

Football

Stability. ESPN’s Jake Trotter talked with defensive coordinator David Gibbs, who doesn’t not believe (and probably realistically so) that Texas Tech is still learning how to be good or even great:

Of course, none of this means Tech will suddenly morph into a juggernaut defensively. Gibbs acknowledges the transformation won’t happen overnight. Instead, he’s focused on gradual improvement over instant perfection.

“Our kids are still learning the culture. That takes time,” Gibbs said. “I could say we’re going to finish in the top tier [defensively]. That’s not a goal we can achieve right now, in my opinion.

“We’re on the way up. But right now, we want to give our great offense the ball and have a chance to win all 12 games. That’s something that hasn’t always been the case.”

Big 12 Offensive Triplets. ESPN’s Jake Trotter ranks the best triplet packages of 2016 and has Texas Tech at 4th, which isn’t bad consider Texas Tech lost it’s leading rusher and receiver:

The Red Raiders graduated their first 1,000-yard rusher since the 1990s in DeAndre Washington and their all-time leading receiver in Jakeem Grant, but stick inside the top four because of Mahomes, who is a budding star. Stockton has big-play ability but must demonstrate he can be an every-down back. Juco transfer Derrick Willies could wind up becoming Mahomes’ go-to guy, but Cantrell gets the nod for now despite missing all of last season with a back injury.

Sports Media Rights. SI’s Andy Staples writes about sports media rights, from the Big Ten to the ACC and the Big 12. Staples goes through the scenario where Texas gives up the Longhorn Network for the better of the Big 12 and concludes as follows:

That’s what the Longhorns officials must decide. Big 12 stability isn’t nearly as important to them as it is to executives at Oklahoma State or Kansas State because if the Big 12 breaks up, the commissioners of the other leagues will trip over one another trying to get to Austin. The Big 12’s history is full of stories of athletic directors and coaches getting mad at Texas because of disproportionate revenue sharing prior to the current arrangement. To make this work financially for Texas, the Longhorns have to get more from the network. Will the other schools be able to handle that? They may say they can now, but they also said they were fine with the Longhorn Network until the Longhorn Network actually existed.

So, what’s the incentive for Texas? If the only answers are Big 12 harmony and/or stability, it’s time to start looking for some better ones.

I cannot recall a time where Texas looked out for anyone else and I’m not optimistic that they will start.

Dauphine.

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