On Tuesday, we released our honorable mention and No. 10-6. Now it’s time to release our No. 5-1. If you messed the first half of his list, you can clink the link below:
|Staking The Plains Top Ten 2018-2019|
|Athletes (Part 1/Part 2)||Plays (Part 1/Part 2)||Games (Part 1/Part 2)||Performances (Part 1/Part 2)||Programs (Part 1/Part 2)|
No. 5 Cameron Warren, Baseball
Why He Was Chosen?: Arguably, Warren could’ve been the Big 12 player of the year. Although a first baseman doesn’t do much on the defensive end (which is probably why he didn’t win the award), his offensive numbers were so good that some thought he should’ve won the award anyway. Besides, Hunter Hargrove and Eric Gutierrez won the award as first basemen.
Even though he didn’t get the Big 12 player of the year, Warren still had plenty of awards from this past season. The senior took home four All-American honors, which includes being named to the first team by Perfect Game, second team by D1baseball, and third team by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
Warren was a first team All-Big 12 member and was the MVP of the Lubbock Regional. Not only that, but he was the league leader in RBI by 21 (!!!), hits by three, total bases by nine and slugging percentage by 29 points. He also second in batting average, second in runs scored and second in home runs.
His best game of the year came in the series opener against Oklahoma, when he went 4-4 with four runs, four RBI and two home runs. Warren had home runs in all three games of the Lubbock regional, went 2-3 with four RBI in the series finale against Baylor, and went 2-4 with five runs produced against Florida Atlantic.
During the College World Series, Warren seemed to be involved in every key moment. In Texas Tech’s elimination game against Arkansas, the senior hit a key two run homer to spark the comeback and scored the game winning run from first base. He also went 2 for 4 with an RBI against Florida State. His performance got him selection to the all College World Series tournament team.
Warren had grown so much at his time at Tech. He went from a lead-off hitter in 2017, to getting benched that year, to coming onto the scene last season and becoming one of Tech’s best offensive threats this year. The Red Raiders needed someone to step up big and Warren answered that call.
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 17, 2019
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 2, 2019
No. 4 Felicity Maltby, Women’s Tennis
|No. 22 (National), No. 1 (Region)||No. 9 (Region)|
Why She Was Chosen?: Felicity Maltby accomplished things last season that no other women’s tennis player has done in the history of the program. Most notably, she became the first Texas Tech tennis players to make it to the NCAA Singles Quarterfinals, and only the second to reach the Sweet 16.
To do so, she defeated Christina Rosca of Vanderbilt, Aiwen Zhu of UNLV and Petra Melounova of Hawaii in straight sets. She narrowly lost to Cameron Morra of UNC in three sets. This helped her earn the No. 22 ranking in the nation and No. 1 in the region.
Maltby went 16-9 on the year and 15-8 in dual matches in doubles play. At the No. 1 position, she recorded 17 wins, which was the second most all time at the No. 1 position. In her career, she is No. 2 in doubles wins with 21, fifth in winning percentage at .757, and 10th in wins at 92.
She earned several awards from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The senior was named an ITA All-American, the ITA Texas Region Senior of the Year, and the ITA Texas Region Most Improved Player. The only other Red Raiders to win those awards are Gabriela Talaba (All-American, Senior of the Year) and Sabrina Federici (Most Improved).
In addition to earning national and regional awards, Maltby also earned several conference awards. The Californian was named the Big 12 Player of the Year, was selected to the All-Big 12 Singles First Team, and was the Big 12 Individual Champion for No. 1 Singles.
Maltby had quite the year for the Red Raiders, possibly the best ever for a senior at Texas Tech. It’s amazing that we’ve had the two greatest women’s tennis players in program history on campus at the same time. And with two Top 5 classes now at Tech, we may see a whole lot more of this.
“I would put Felicity Maltby’s senior year up against anyone who’s played college tennis…” pic.twitter.com/H4TzAQ4BbZ
— Texas Tech Women’s Tennis (@TexasTechWTEN) April 14, 2019
🏆Felicity Maltby is your 2019 𝗕𝗜𝗚 12 𝗣𝗟𝗔𝗬𝗘𝗥 𝗢𝗙 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗬𝗘𝗔𝗥!🏆🎾 pic.twitter.com/wkWMJycaHh
— Texas Tech Women’s Tennis (@TexasTechWTEN) May 1, 2019
No. 3 Josh Jung, Baseball
Why He Was Chosen?: Jung is arguably the best baseball player that had ever played for the Scarlet and Black. The list of accomplishments he achieved at Texas Tech is just ridiculous, from school records to conference awards to national awards. I doubt we’ll see someone as talented as Jung for a while.
This season, Jung finally got the award he should’ve gotten last season; Big-12 Player of the Year. Although he did have to share it, for some reason. Anyway, that’s not the only award he received this past year, as he also earned the Bobby Bragan Award, given to the best hitter in the region.
That wasn’t all though. Jung walked away with six All-American honors this past season. He was named to the first team by D1Baseball.com and was named second team by the ABCA, NCBWA, Perfect Game, Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. And that’s with having a slight off year due to a slow start and an injury.
Over the course of his career, Jung earned 14 All-American and Freshmen All-American honors, and was named to an All-Big 12 team all three year, including a superlative two of those years. He was great example on and off the field with his work ethic and work in the community.
HIs most memorable moments came on the field mostly came in the postseason, when it mattered most. He had three home runs in the Super Regional against Oklahoma State, along with some outstanding web gems. In the series finale against Oklahoma, he went 4 for 5 with three doubles and two RBI. Finally, he had a big home run against Arkansas in the CWS to take a 4-3 lead.
In early June, Jung was taken eighth overall in the MLB draft by the local Texas Rangers, the team with the closest proximity to Lubbock. In a couple years, we’ll see him hit home runs in Arlington and winning ball games for the Rangers. And we’ll be boasting that he’s been doing since his days lighting up the skies in Lubbock.
No. 2 Jarrett Culver, Basketball
Why He Was Chosen?: There’s not too much more you can ask from Culver this season. In his sophomore year, he stepped up as the leader of the team and took them all the way to the damn National Championship game. I don’t know if we fit all of what Culver did in six sentences, but we’re going to try.
For starters, Culver was named to the All-Big 12 first team and was named Big 12 Player of the Year after leading his team their first Big 12 title.He was the first player in Texas Tech history to reach 1,000 points before their junior year, and scored double digits in all but one game this season and scored 20+ in 13 games.
Culver earned a ton of national honors as well. He was named an All-American by four publications and was a finalist for both the Wooden Award and the Jerry West Award. During the tournament, he was named the NCAA West Region Most Outstanding Player and was named to the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team.
His best game is at Iowa State when he helped clinch a Big 12 title. Culver went 12-19 with 31 points, four rebounds and three assists. Against Northern Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament, Culver recorded 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Against Duke, against three Top 10 picks, Culver had 26 points, six rebounds and four assists. He was the best player on the floor that night.
And what makes all this even sweeter is the fact that he’s from Lubbock. He grew up just over a mile from Texas Tech and stayed home when he could’ve gone to other schools such as Baylor or Texas, whom he grew up liking. And the people here take real pride to boasting that he’s one of them.
A couple weeks ago, Culver was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the sixth overall pick in the NBA draft. He was only the third Red Raiders picked in the first round all time and the second highest pick all time behind Tony Battie. It was a joy covering him and watching him since his high school days. I hope he shows out in the NBA.
No. 1 Divine Oduduru, Track
Why He Was Chosen?: When the basketball season was going on, I thought there was no way that Culver wasn’t going to be No. 1 on this list. But when you’re setting Texas Tech records, setting NCAA milestones, winning National Championships (plural) AND SETTING WORLD MILESTONES, you have to No. 1.
Let’s start off small to begin with. Oduduru broke the school record for both the 100m and 200m with times of 9.86 seconds and 19.73 seconds respectively. It’s hard to run both those races under 10 seconds and 20 seconds. It’s even harder to do those on the same meet. Only one person all time has had a faster combined time in one meet. Justin Gatlin, a US gold medalist, did so in 2014.
That 9.86 was the second fastest all time by a collegiate runner all time, and the second fastest by an African runner all time. That’s every runner, no matter the level or time period. It was also the tied fastest time in the world in 2019.
That’s not even his best event. He perhaps did even better in the 200m. His 19.73 time was the second fastest collegiate time ever, the fastest all time at the NCAA Track and Field Championships, and the fastest time in the world in 2019. He also took home the Indoor Track and Field National Championship in the 200m as well with a time of 20.49
He also was a member of the 4 x 100m relay team, which placed third at the Track and Field Championships with a time of 38.45, which is a school record. So Oduduru earned 20 points by himself and was part of a team that earned six points. That’s 26 points that Oduduru was responsible for.
It’s rare to say an athlete led a track and field team to national title, but you could definitely make the case for Oduduru. With out his 20 points, Texas Tech finishes second. If you include the six points, the team finishes third. To top it all off, he received the most fan votes for the The Bowerman Award, given the best track and field athlete in the nation.
At the end of the season, Oduduru announced his decision to turn pro to make the most of his opportunity. He did so much for the Texas Tech, helping put the University’s name on the map and giving them their first Men’s National Championship.
With all the records and national championships Oduduru has earned in his career, no doubt he should be No. 1 on this list. We’re going to miss his performances….and his dancing of course.