The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2019.01.14

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

Leading Off

I hope everyone had a terrific weekend. I spent the weekend cleaning, cleaning bathrooms (my least favorite room to clean) and cleaning out and reorganizing a closet, another absolutely not-fun task, but it needed to be done as one of my brothers moved to Kent, Washington and he gave me back my old comics that I had let him borrow. Anyway, I hope your weekend was more eventful than mine.

Texas Tech Track and Field

Someone mentioned that the track team maybe needed some more distance runners and I thought I had run across where Wes Kittley had gained a transfer from UTEP and then the official site had a nice story about how the track team took in some mid-season transfers maybe, just maybe, they’ll work out:

To Kittley, it is track programs’ high tendency to bring in mid-year transfers that can be the biggest variable in deciding where teams begin the season ranked and how they finish at nationals.

“The wild card is what people are bringing in mid-year,” he said. “I’ve never done that much [bringing in mid-years], so this is very unusual for us. When you have these transfers, it changes the game.”

Another factor that led to Tech’s top FloTrack ranking was the addition of incoming decathlete Axel Hubert from France. The USTFCCCA rankings did not consider Hubert because their rankings only include those who have recorded an NCAA mark, but the French freshman’s personal record 7,650 in the decathlon would have netted him All-American status at last year’s outdoor nationals, making Kittley very excited for what he can contribute to the Red Raiders. Hubert has just recently arrived in Lubbock, so he will not compete Saturday. However, fans can expect to see him in action soon.

Texas Tech Tennis

Lady Raider Basketball

Texas Tech Basketball

Please read the recap from Texas Tech’s 68-62 win over Texas, the first time to beat the Longhorns in Austin since 1996, where in addition to this quote from head coach Chris Beard:

It’s so early. I’ve always said this, until you make the turn, until we’ve played about eight, nine or 10 games, nothing even really matters. Could we? Yes, we could be. The first part is kind of embracing that. It’s not arrogance. It’s just the truth. I mean, you’ve gotta believe. If I don’t believe, the players aren’t going to believe. Do I believe we could be one of the best teams in the Big 12? Yes.

He also said this when asked about the crowd who showed up in Austin:

We’re building something special in Lubbock. We won’t apologize for it.

A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. writes that Texas Tech is poised to win the Big 12:

Now, with that in mind, Texas Tech returns home to take on Iowa State (12-4, 2-2) at 8 p.m. Wednesday inside United Supermarkets Arena. The Cyclones have already earned a win over Kansas and would love nothing more than to add another résumé-building win to bounce back from a crushing 58-57 loss to Kansas State on Saturday.

It will be a difficult task, though, as the Red Raiders have never wavered on playing shutdown defense since Beard has been at the helm of the program. Texas Tech is still first in field-goal percentage defense (33.3 percent) and runner-up in scoring defense (53.5 points per game).

I think things are a bit premature and Beard also said that once teams get 8 or 9 games under their belt, then we’ll know who is in the mix and who isn’t. The Deshawn Corprew injury, what looked like a strained calf, could prove to be significant because Texas Tech was already running just an 8 man rotation, so this is a pretty thin team that got a bit thinner on Saturday if Corprew is out for an extended period of time.

Texas Tech Football

Just in case you need to get caught up, Texas Tech head football coach Matt Wells completed his coaching staff on Friday night, hiring Oklahoma safeties coach Kerry Cooks. A weird discussion broke out in the comments that I’m still not sure I understand. For myself, there were a couple of people who said that they didn’t like the Wells hire, and that’s fine. I don’t care, my question was why you don’t like him? Is it because he’s done something specific or is it because Hocutt didn’t hire someone you wanted. Wells seems pretty harmless in terms of a hire, maybe not the greatest and absolute best candidate, but very good. He was going to get hired by a good program this offseason, he would have his opportunities and it seemed that Hocutt’s main thought of what he was looking for was if the coach was able to do more with less. That’s Wells. Anyway, maybe a fresh set of comments will help clarify if there is something you don’t like about Wells, or is it that you don’t like the hire that Hocutt made? To me, those are two different criticism, and the second one Wells is not responsible for, Hocutt is.

If you would like to sit here and just watch Kansas City Chiefs highlights with Patrick Mahomes at the helm, please feel free:

The Ringer’s Danny Heifetz writes that only Patrick Mahomes can save us from another Tom Brady and New England Patriots Super Bow appearance, who will play each other next week and I’ve never wanted to tune into a football game more.

The Oakland A’s apparently have asked for a special meeting with their draftee, Kyer Murray, in the hopes of convincing him to just play baseball next year and Kyler has apparently not made any demands regarding compensation (Boras is his client I think) (via Susan Slusser @ Twitter):

Source with knowledge of Kyler Murray talks says Murray has not made ANY monetary demands of the A’s. The meeting is exploring ways to ensure his baseball future but no dollar figure was presented by Murray or his reps.

There have been some reports that that Murray wants $15 million, which would entail him getting a spot on the 40 man roster. As a Texas Tech fan it would probably be better to for Murray to take the money and run, whether it be baseball or football. He could return to Norman for his senior year, but it seems as if money is a motivating factor, as it should be. Murray has until today to declare for the NFL Draft.

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