The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: August 13th

Photo via Kimberly Vardeman @ Flickr

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics, including some terrific highlights of DeAndre Washington’s NFL debut.

Photo via Kimberly Vardeman @ Flickr

Track & Field

Basketball

The official site announced that Geoff Haxton is set to be the play-by-play voice for men’s basketball and baseball. Haskins has been calling games for Oral Roberts for the past 11 years. Welcome to Geoff!

LAJ’s Krista Pirtle writes about the seven returners, in particular Aaron Ross, who has played through four coaching changes and will be the captain this year:

“Aaron should be one of the best stories in college basketball this year,” Tech coach Chris Beard said. “He’ll be our captain. … He’s been more loyal to this university than anyone ever. I put Aaron up there with Marsha Sharp and Gerald Myers. He has stayed the course and been loyal to this community and school.”

The Texas Tech senior admitted he thought about transferring “a little bit but not much” over the course of this offseason.

But something kept his feet firmly planted on Lubbock soil.

“My heart’s been a Red Raider,” Ross said. “I couldn’t leave. … It happened when I first saw the campus. I was looking at the campus and then came here and looked at the gym. It got me.”

Football

Get to know freshman defensive back Desmon Smith:

Offensive coordinator Eric Morris breaks down the offense:

Land Grant Gauntlet’s Grant Thome has a conference expansion article about what the conferences should be, essentially 72 teams and no longer playing FCS opponents. Good thoughts.

The AP’s Betsy Blaney, who has been writing about Texas Tech and West Texas for a long time, has her season preview of Texas Tech.

24/7 Sports Chris Hummer writes about how Texas Tech believes that they can win the Big 12, something that maybe hasn’t been true in the past:

“We had people in the back like, ‘Yeah, Big 12 champs. We’re not going to be able to reach that,” Cantrell told 247Sports this week.

But entering Year 4 of the Kliff Kingsbury era, those “yeah, right” glances are harder and harder to find. The Red Raiders, coming off a 7-6 season, have shifted their focus.

While Kingsbury had mentioned the championship goal in passing the last few seasons, he made it clear to his team this spring expectations have been firmed. The goal of a Big 12 title is no longer a rallying cry or a motivational carrot – it’s the stated aim.

“We’re going to a Big 12 championship and the playoff,” senior lineman Baylen Brown remembers Kingsbury telling the team. “Those are the goals.”

Not to be a downer, but I don’t think that this team can win, but this certainly needs to be the goal each year.

Form former Texas Tech footballers were in action last night. Couldn’t find any highlights, but Jakeem Grant caught 4 passes for 68 yards, with 2 kickoff returns for 53 yards and 4 punt returns for 60 yards.

Miscellaneous . . . a big blow to the West Virginia defense as junior safety Dravon Askew-Henry is out for the year with an ACL injury . . .

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