The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2019.06.19

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

Leading Off

Thriving in the Big 12. Forbes’ Tim Casey writes about how Texas Tech is out-performing their Big 12 brethren despite being 6th in revenue overall:

Consider: Texas’s athletics program led the nation with $214.8 million of revenue during the 2016-17 school year, according to USA Today, the most recent data available. Texas A&M was second with $212 million.

Still, when it comes to winning between the lines, neither school can match the spring that their smaller neighbor, Texas Tech, has put together. Texas Tech’s $88.8 million of revenue is 43rd in the nation and sixth in the 10-team Big 12 conference. But that hasn’t been a hindrance.

And fellow lover of all things Texas Tech, NewsOK’s Berry Tramel writes about the spring success that Texas Tech had and that athletic director Kirby Hocutt wants to get football back to where it was:

“It’s critical we return to that level of success we’ve enjoyed in football. I think about that every day and am determined to elevate this program to where it’s been and where our other programs are performing at.”

Strange days in Lubbock.

“West Texans … we don’t want to brag or bring attention to ourselves,” Hocutt said. “We’re going to roll up our sleeves and bring grit every day.”

Tech has brought the grit. And that grit is bringing attention.

Texas Tech Golf

Texas Tech Baseball

Texas Tech vs. Florida State. One goes home. First pitch is at 6:00 p.m. and I’ve decided to do a new thread since there’s nearly 500 comments on the series thread.

Holt Practices. A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. reports that injured outfielder Gabe Holt put on a glove and played catch yesterday:

If anything, it was another positive step in seeing whether the Bonaire, Georgia, native could return to the lineup and play for the Red Raiders who are scheduled to face off against Florida State at 6 p.m. Wednesday in an elimination game at TD Ameritrade Park.

“He’s feeling better. He’s pretty optimistic about it,” Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock said of Holt on Tuesday.

As to what Holt would bring if he was able to play?

“He’s a dynamic leadoff hitter,” Tadlock said. “He can handle the bat, separate balls and strikes. So brings a lot to the table. If he could do that, it be neat to see.”

There are some additional notes there, so make sure and check the whole thing out.

FSU Confident. Tallahassee Democrat’s Wayne McGahee, III writes about Florida State being confident in this final game for one team:

They will need the pitching staff to step up once again against No. 8 national seed Texas Tech Wednesday at 7 p.m. here at TD Ameritrade Park if they’re going to keep their season alive.

The Seminoles will turn to sophomore right-hander Conor Grady (9-5, 3.64 ERA) on the mound.

“I’m not really going to let the game like that get to me,” Grady said.

“I’m just going to go out and do what I have to do for the team. Make some pitches and let everyone else do what they have to do.”

Texas Tech Basketball

Draft Coverage. Well, if it is NBA Draft coverage you want, then today is your day. Remember, the draft is Thursday evening and Jarrett Culver should be gone within the first hour.

* SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell writes about Jarrett Culver’s journey to the NBA, from playing soccer, to the torn labrum he had as a senior in high school to a top 10 draft pick:

Culver can initiate offensive sets as a ball handler and find a way to score efficiently regardless of the situation. While he lacks ideal first step burst, he makes up for it with a full bag of counters and an unusual rhythm to his attacks. He also knows how the make smart cuts off the ball and even has a solid post game when a smaller defender switches on him on.

Defensively, Culver has the size, quickness, and feel to be impactful. He measured at 6’6.75, 194 pounds with a 6’9.5 wingspan at the combine, giving him the type of frame to handle a plethora of different offensive players as he adds muscle to his frame. He thrives in help-and-recover situations, which is a vital part of defense in today’s NBA.

Players typically get drafted in the top five for takeover scoring ability, blistering first-step athleticism, or knockdown shooting. Culver doesn’t have any of those traits, at least not yet. What he does have is a well-rounded, intelligent game that translates at both ends. He had a massive impact on winning at the college level and projects to do the same in the NBA.

* CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander writes about nine first-round prospects that were not highly rated players in high school and other Ja Morant at Murray State, Jarrett Culver out-performed his ranking:

The single biggest reason for Culver’s jump: Texas Tech had a roster reboot last season after making the 2018 Elite Eight. The Red Raiders were picked seventh in the preseason in the Big 12. Instead, TTU had an even better year despite losing top-20 pick Zhaire Smith and outgoing senior Keenan Evans, the team’s MVP. Culver was largely responsible for that, and he’ll be rewarded as much come Thursday night. Texas Tech making a national title game was unthinkable pre-2019. Culver made it happen.

* WatchStadium’s Jeff Goodman has his latest mock draft and has Jarrett Culver going to Cleveland at #5:

This pick is extremely important for a franchise that will have to build through the draft. GM Koby Altman has more than $100 million of expiring contracts, and while there’s a chance he could go with one of the point guards on the board, it’s far more likely he takes either De’Andre Hunter or Jarrett Culver, whomever remains available. Hunter is the best shooter, but Culver is a multi-dimensional forward who was the best player on a team that got within a bucket of winning the national title. He may not be a star, but he’d be a nice piece for a rebuilding Cavs franchise.

Texas Tech Football

Screen to Run. Really nice article from FootballScoop’s Zach Barnett about Texas Tech offensive coordinator David Yost’s speech at the San Angelo coach’s clinic and the premise is that Yost loves to throw screens to wide receiver with the inside receivers blocking and this will open up the running game:

“The goal is to get four yards or a first down,” Yost said. Just like a running play.

That’s not to say the Now screen can only gain four yards a pop, though. At Utah State, the Aggies’ X receiver caught 44 screens for seven yards a reception over the last two seasons — all of which are considered runs in Yost’s mind.

“We start outside-in. We’re looking to get the ball on the perimeter in our run game through screens,” Yost said. “I’ve sat in hundreds of recruiting meetings and I’ve never heard a coach say, ‘This corner is the best tackler I’ve ever seen.’”

Definitely encourage you to read the whole thing.

Texas Tech 68th. Orlando Sentinel’s Matt Murschel thinks that Texas Tech is the 68th best team in the nation for 2019:

Outlook: Wells worked wonders at Utah State, transforming the Aggies into one of the top Mountain West programs, and he is working to do the same at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders never finished higher than fifth in the Big 12 standings during six seasons under Kingsbury, and the first order of business will be developing talent needed to move up the league standings.

Wells inherits a veteran team that has the potential to impress, but it won’t be easy with a schedule that features road games at Oklahoma, Baylor, West Virginia and Texas.

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