The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2018.04.23

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

Briefly

Divine Oduduru breaks records. On Saturday at the Michael Johnson Invitational, he broke the 100m record for Texas Tech and winning the 100m, with a time of 10.10, his personal best and that time ranks 6th in the country and 10th in the world. Additionally, the 4x400m took second with a time of 4:02.82, Trey Culver took first place with a height of 7’3″ with many more marks set (via official site). The distance athletes were in California participating in the Bryan Clay Invitational with 10 runners posting personal bests (via official site).

Softball dropped 2 of 3 this weekend to Iowa State, winning the last game 5-3 (via official site). They’re battling, but sometimes they’re just not there to get over that hump.

The volleyball team played two matches this weekend, dropping both, once to Baylor (1-2) and then to Tulsa (1-2), the only two losses this spring (via official site).

The ladies tennis team defeated West Virginia 4-0 on Friday (via official site) and defeated Iowa State 4-0 on Sunday (via official site). The men’s tennis team lost to No. 6 TCU 4-2 on Sunday afternoon (via official site). The men will play Oklahoma State on Friday in the Big 12 Championship in Austin, while the ladies will play, but opponent and time is TBD.

The ladies golf team finished 6th in the Big 12 Championship this weekend at Dallas Athletic Club (via official site). The ladies will find out on Wednesday if they will advance to an NCAA Regional. The No. 12 men’s team will kick off their Big 12 Championship today at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, 36 holes today, then 18 on Tuesday, and 18 on Wednesday (via official site).

Texas Tech Baseball

Buy your very own Staking The Plains t-shirt at the Staking The Plains Threadless Shop. Click on that danged shirt (or the link).

The baseball team won the series against Oklahoma on Friday and Saturday and I’ve updated the series thread. If you haven’t seen what happened on Friday night, a walk-off win by balk, then make sure and check it out. With the weekend’s results in the books, Oklahoma State is leading the Big 12 at 12-3, Texas is 11-4 with Texas Tech and Oklahoma at 10-5 and sitting third and fourth overall. The Red Raiders have a two-game series in Fayetteville against Arkansas on Tuesday and Wednesday. If I have time, I may do a series thread for this mid-week game as Arkansas is ranked No. 3 overall, but they were swept by Mississippi State this weekend.

Texas Tech Basketball

Keonte Kennedy (6-4/180), a 2018 shooting guard from Austin Westlake had previously signed with Xavier, but with the coaching change at Xavier, they’ve let him out of his letter intent and now, Texas Tech and Memphis (now coached by Penny Hardaway as Tubby Smith was fired recently) are the favorites to land his services (via ZachMasonSports @ Twitter). With Zhaire Smith staying in the NBA Draft, there are two spots available and there probably isn’t a coach in the country that can claim to play freshmen if they’re ready moreso than Chris Beard. See Exhibits A and B: Zhaire Smith and Trey Culver. Kennedy is a shooter and you can check out his highlights here.

Texas Tech Football

I couldn’t agree more with Don Williams sentiment, that the football program should restore their annual awards (via A-J Media’s Don Williams):

You see, there was a period from the early 1960s through 2008 when the Red Raiders annually bestowed a number of in-house honors that, for some reason, just stopped about a decade ago. The Dell Morgan Memorial Courage Award and the Pete Cawthon Memorial Team MVP date to 1961 and 1962, and the Donny Anderson Sportsmanship Award debuted in 1969.

The JT King Most Improved Player, the Dare to Be Great Award for dedication to the off-season strength and conditioning program and the E.J. Holub Double Tough Award were added in the late 1970s and the early 1980s, and in 1987 the Clint Ramsey Academic Effort recognition rounded out the honors.

Near as I can tell, and according to Tech records, none have been bestowed since the chaotic last days of the Mike Leach tenure in 2009. I don’t know whether that was a cause or a coincidence, but it’s time to bring them back.

For three reasons: A) Tech needs to spend less time dreaming up “new traditions” and be guardian of its old ones. B) Fans gain insight into how their Red Raiders players are regarded within the team. C) The players who earn the distinctions have something to be proud of, not to mention display in the years to come to wives, kids, buddies and business associates.

A couple of things here. I had a Twitter conversation with Spencer about Don implying that Texas Tech doesn’t need any more new traditions and I didn’t read his words that way. I read it as bring back something that honored the past players and the current players. I don’t think Don is against new traditions ever and I didn’t think his words said that, I read this as wanting to protect the old traditions. There’s room for both. Also, I had a comment about this maybe being a shot against Leach and I didn’t get that vibe at all, I think what Don was writing here was that the end of Leach’s tenure at Texas Tech in 2009 was chaotic (it was) and that’s when the awards stopped. I don’t know, maybe I’m reading this wrong on both fronts.

There are just a handful of awards that I could find: Del Morgan Most Courageous Award; Pete Cawthon Most Valuable Player; E.J. Holub Double Tough Award; Donny Anderson Sportsmanship Award; Dare to Be Great Award; J.T. King Award Most Improved Player; and Clint Ramsey Academic Effort Award.

You can go check out past winners for yourself (on page 129 of this very long to load PDF) and include Brandon Jones, Cody McGuire, Kliff Kingsbury, Dwayne Slay, etc. Anyway, my point is that these awards were a pretty cool thing and it would be great if they came back. I’m all aboard this train. Choo, choo.

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