The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2018.03.06

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech.

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Texas Tech Track and Field

Texas Tech Softball

Lady Raider Basketball

Head Coach Search Update. The Raiderland’s Ryan Hyatt has an update on the coaching search and there’s a lot there, so make sure and click on over, but this is about who is out rather than who is in:

TAt this point in the search process it’s sometimes easier to figure out who isn’t a candidate as opposed to firmly saying who will get the job. For now, and we don’t expect this to change, we can confidently say that no former Lady Raider players are involved in the search nor will they be considered as “finalists”. That of course eliminates Sheryl Swoopes who moved up a spot to floor coach during the year at Tech and current UTA coach Krista Gerlich. It was fairly clear early on in this process that Hocutt would like to move away from the former player route after things didn’t work out with Whitaker. Fair or not, the timing just isn’t right for Swoopes or Gerlich. Gerlich might have had a better case but her team struggled a bit at the wrong time before finishing 3rdin the Sun Belt. I have no doubt her phone will ring from other programs in coming season.

Right now it also seems clear Texas Tech is zeroing in on coaches who either have extensive head coaching experience or have been involved at high-level programs for extended periods of time. The “young up-and-coming coach” doesn’t seem to be the route Hocutt wants to go. Of course that could change in the coming weeks depending on what happens, but for now experience as HC or major recruiting and game planning seems to be the rule.

Hyatt provides the two main candidates, Arkansas-Little Rock’s Joe Foley and Florida State Associate Head Coach Lance White, but that doesn’t mean these two are the only two candidates and that could increase as things move forward.

Texas Tech Baseball

Michael Davis = Big 12 Player of the Week.

Texas Tech is the Team of the Week. The NCAA named Texas Tech as the team of the week this week after sweeping South Alabama:

The offense once again broke out this weekend under the lead of infielders Grant Little and Gabe Holt. Only a freshman, Holt batted his way to a .470 average (8-17) with two hits and a run in all four games, adding two RBI along the way.

In the last three games of the series, Little burst onto the scene, racking up seven hits in 10 at-bats with a pair of RBIs and six runs scored. The sophomore now holds a team-high three home-runs and .458 average after his latest offensive barrage.

BA on Kentucky (and Texas Tech). Baseball America’s Teddy Cahill reported on Kentucky’s terrific weekend in Houston:

The emergence of Heyer and Collett has helped the Wildcats overcome the absence of Pompey for the last two weeks as he recovers from an ankle injury. The junior was limited to pinch hitting duties this weekend and made the most of his opportunities, drawing a walk Saturday and doubling Sunday to extend his on-base streak to 43 games. Pompey is expected to be fully healthy next weekend, which will only lengthen the lineup further.

Pompey’s return comes at an opportune time. After midweek games against Eastern Kentucky and Northern Kentucky, Kentucky next weekend hosts No. 5 Texas Tech for a marquee series. Southeastern Conference play starts in earnest the following weekend, as Kentucky will travel to No. 6 Arkansas and then host No. 20 Auburn the following weekend.

Cahill also writes about Texas Tech’s terrific weekend, the emergence of Gabe Holt and Grant Little leading the offense for Texas Tech and the strong pitching performances of Davis martin and John McMillon. This should be a terrific weekend of baseball.

Miscellaneous. D1Baseball has Texas Tech #3 in the nation, while Kentucky is #7 . . .

Texas Tech Basketball

Smith Doing Well. A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. was at the media availability with Chris Beard and Zach Smith before they departed for Kansas City for the Big 12 Tournament and Smith says that his ankle, that he tweaked against TCU, is doing okay.

Texas Tech Football

Spring Preview. Athlon Sports’ Nicholas Ian Allen has a spring preview of Texas Tech and has identified 5 things to watch this spring, this is part of #4:

The Texas Tech defense was aggressive under defensive coordinator David Gibbs, and a huge reason for its improvement was the 29 turnovers forced, which led the Big 12 and tied for sixth nationally. As a result, the Red Raiders tied the school records for takeaways and turnover margin (plus-11). However, both figures would have been better if Tech had more success rushing the passer. The Red Raiders ranked No. 118 nationally with a 2.6 percent sack rate on standard downs according to Connelly’s advanced statistics. For comparison sake, the national average is 5.3 percent. On passing downs, Texas Tech ranked 107th nationally with a 5.2 percent sack rate, compared to the 7.8 percent national average. In raw figures, the Red Raiders ranked last in the Big 12 and 109th nationally with just 18 sacks in 528 opportunities — an ugly 3.41 percent overall sack rate.

Receiver Update. A-J Media’s Don Williams has an update as to what receivers are playing where and as of right now:

X: Quan Shorts, Brandt Schilling
H: De’Quan Bowman, Jojo Robinson, Xavier Martin
Y: Antoine Wesley, Sterling Galban
Z: T.J. Vasher, Dalton Rigdon, Myller Royals

Ja’Deion High and Zach Austin are also part of the equation, but with them recovering from injuries, they haven’t been given a position yet, High could play inside and outisde, while Austin is normally inside. Here’s head coach Kliff on Vasher:

“I’d like to see him take that next step up,” Kingsbury said. “He really did everything last year on sheer athleticism and natural ability, and I think he’s taking the weight room more seriously. He knows he’s got to make the strength gains now, and I’ve seen a different work ethic from him. That’s the big deal: He’s got to get bigger, stronger, faster.

“We know he’s tall, can jump, has great ball skills, but just changing his body and changing the physical nature of his play, that would be a big step for him.”

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