The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: August 12th

Photo via Kimberly Vardeman @ Flickr

A ridiculously full Morning Stake, your one place for all of the news, notes, links and videos about Texas Tech athletics.

Photo via Kimberly Vardeman @ Flickr

Track & Field

Lady Raider Basketball

Soccer

Baseball

D1 Baseball’s Kendall Rogers runs down the best assistant coaches in college baseball last year and Ray Hayward gets a nice hat-tip:

Basketball

LAJ’s Krista Pirtle has part two of her look at the coaching change at Texas Tech and writes about how the team gave Chris Beard his endorsement before he even had his job.

“Toddrick had nothing but praise and great things to say about him,” junior Justin Gray said. “It was all about how he’s a player’s coach and how much he cares about his players on and off the court. Obviously, he wants everyone to graduate. You don’t really hear a lot of coaches saying that or pushing for that. … We talked to Jaye Crockett as well, and he had nothing but great things to say about him.”

The problem was, that man had just taken the head coaching position at UNLV. Despite the circumstances, the Red Raiders had no doubt Hocutt would come through.

“I knew Mr. Hocutt was going to get him,” Gray said. “I reiterated that to the other guys. I feel like they felt the same way because Mr. Hocutt is the best athletic director in the country, in my opinion. I may be a little biased.”

Football

Texas Tech will add Ole Miss to start the 2018 season.

Sports on Earth’s Matt Brown has 20 things to know about the Big 12 and there are a lot of Texas Tech notes. I’m picking just one, but it’s worth your time today.

10. Texas Tech would be happy with fielding a mediocre defense at this point. Kliff Kingsbury at least has some continuity with David Gibbs back for his second season as coordinator, but the Red Raiders have gone from 50th to 106th to 122nd in yards per play allowed in Kingsbury’s three seasons. Last year, only Eastern Michigan allowed more rushing yards per game, and only New Mexico State, SMU and Kansas allowed more points per game. It’s safe to say that no team wants to be mentioned in a sentence with those four defenses. Texas Tech lost two games in which it scored over 50 points, ultimately averaging 37 points per game in its six losses. It can’t keep getting worse, right? Gibbs’ defenses are known for forcing turnovers, and last year the Red Raiders did jump from 15 takeaways in 12 games to 25 in 13 games. At some point, however, they’re going to have to wrap up an opposing running back and get a few stops if they hope to make any progress in the Big 12 standings. Most of the defensive front is gone, but at this point it’s hard to argue that’s a bad thing, with new players like Michigan transfer Ondre Pipkins and Notre Dame transfer Kolin Hill attempting to make an impact.

ESPN’s Max Olson looks at the transfers to watch in the Big 12 and lists Derrick Willies as the 2nd most impactful of the Big 12:

Willies left Iowa after 2014 and found stardom at Trinity Valley CC last season, racking up 1,115 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns on a whopping 23.6 yards per reception. He showed that same big-play potential in his first spring with the Red Raiders. “When you’re 6-foot-3 and can do that and jump like he can, it’s a big deal,” coach Kliff Kingsbury said this spring. “It’s fun to see him go get that ball.” Willies will operate out of the “X” outside receiver spot with Devin Lauderdale and should become a favorite target of Patrick Mahomes.

Miscellaneous . . . CBS Sports is predicting the bowls and has Texas Tech playing Washington in the Cactus Bowl . . . The Advocate reports that Tyron Johnson, the former 5-star receiver that chose between LSU, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, eventually choosing LSU, is transferring and his father said that he is seeking a more wide-open offense . . . LAJ’s Don Williams made an open records request about how other college programs have reached out to Texas Tech regarding conference expansion, including some ribs from Memphis, lobbying form John Kasich for Cincinnati . . .

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