The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2018.06.21

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

Leading Off

It’s going to be a busy day if you’re a Red Raider. The baseball open thread goes up at 4:00 p.m. with first pitch at 7:00 p.m. on ESPNU. The NBA Draft open thread goes up at 5:00 p.m. and the first pick is at 6:00 p.m.

The soccer team released their 2018 schedule, including 9 home matches (TexasTech).

Texas Tech Baseball

The baseball open thread has been updated with Texas Tech’s 7-4 loss to Arkansas. Florida and Texas Tech play today and whoever wins will have to beat Arkansas twice.

Before the the game, Dylan Dusek met Cal, who is battling childhood lymphoma (the tweet says leukemia, but is corrected and actually lymphoma).

ESPN’s Mitch Sherman wrote about that family, the Worrells, who was watching Texas Tech’s first game against Florida and decided that they wanted to meet Dylan Dusek, who also battled cancer at the age of 6, and you’re lucky because the best moment of the College World Series happened off of the field and with one of your Red Raiders:

“A little left-hander, it’s the same thing as me,” Dusek said after the game. “I wanted to enlighten him and pump him up. I told him, ‘When you’re older, you’ll have this scar and you can tell people you got bit by a shark.’ He laughed at that. So I told him to keep plugging, stay positive, always be happy. I hope that he and his parents got a lot out of it.”

Texas Tech Basketball

The NBA Draft starts at 6:00 p.m.

CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander has a terrific look at Zhaire Smith and his father, Billy, who is wheelchair bound (this is not a bad thing, but might get you to read the story):

“NBA scouts, about 20 came in,” Beard said. “They beg you to tell them about some kind of vice. There’s no vices with Z. I almost thought the NBA personnel were going to leave Lubbock thinking we were lying. He doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, doesn’t have problems with women. He’s respectful and a big-time student.”

The work ethic of NBA hopefuls is often referenced. It’s often true. Zhaire’s relentless, though, and the evidence of that is in his draft projections. To be kind, his offensive game has a long way to go at the highest level. He wouldn’t be where he is now if not for the thousands of hours of training combined with his elite fitness.

“The only thing I can say it is, is someone is going to work out four times, he’s going to work out six times,” his dad said. “He would almost play for free. I just wanted to make sure he was going to be enjoying the regular childhood life.”

Go read.

A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. also profiles Smith’s growing up and becoming a likely first round draft pick:

“Never thought this would happen. Figured he, and (fellow freshman Jarrett) Culver, would learn and the he would do something in his second season,” said Billy Ray Smith, Zhaire’s father. “That was the game plan going into Texas Tech.”

If Zhaire wants to get a dose of reality, Sports Illustrated talked to anonymous scouts and asked who the most overrated player in the draft is:

Three months ago it was Trae, but now it’s probably Zhaire Smith, because he’s arguably a first–round pick and he’s getting mocked 20 picks higher…I don’t know what else he does besides being athletic. I think he could end up being a rotation player…I think there’s a lot of questions with Zhaire but there’s a big variance there, talk about elite bounce and spectacular athleticism, but he’s so new to playing on the wing…

RedRaiderSports’ Bill H (TTUHoopsFans) interviewed Ronald Ross, who will be a graduate assistant for Texas Tech.

Texas Tech Football

This video on Tre King is pretty terrific. King will probably have a lot of folks cheering for him this fall.

Special teams coach Adam Scheier.

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