The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2019.12.03

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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Is This Chess Piece Unearthed in Jordan the World’s Oldest? Via SmithsonianMag:

As John Oleson, a researcher at Canada’s University of Victoria, reported during the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research late last month, archaeologists found the carved piece of white sandstone while conducting excavations at Humayma, a former Islamic trading post in Jordan, in 1991.

Initially, Oleson writes in his presentation abstract, he and his colleagues thought the two-horned object, which measures less than an inch high, resembled an altar created by the Nabatean civilization. But after further examination, he is now convinced the carving is a “rook” or “castle” chess piece, as it closely resembles other ivory, stone and wooden rooks found at later sites in the Islamic world.

“This shape is standard for early Islamic pieces right through the 13th [or 14th] century,” Oleson tells Haaretz’s Ariel David.

Per Science News’ Bruce Bower, the potential chess piece dates to between 680 and 749 A.D. At the time, the powerful Abbasid family owned and operated the Humayma trading outpost.

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Dropping Out of the Top 25. This was expected after losing to two unranked teams, Texas Tech is out of the AP Top 25, receiving only 43 votes, and will probably be less than that because I think one voter mistakenly had Texas Tech #7 and that will get corrected next week. So, I think the drive back to the Top 25 starts with a win against DePaul.

Preview for DePaul.

Beard Presser. A lot of what head coach Chris Beard talks about is the process, and the process is really coach driven, but the players are responsible for going to class, eating right, training and practicing correctly, etc. Also, Jahmi’us Ramsey is day-to-day essentially, a hamstring or thigh bruise. RedRaiderSports’ Billy Watson has a recap as well and here’s a quote about the team and how they’re close to winning those two games:

“But again,” Beard said, “no-excuse culture. Next-man-up mentality. I was really proud. Played that game in overtime. You’re literally one decision away, one better play, one mistake eliminated, one aggressive play away, from winning. This is where we’re at, but this is basketball. If we made two plays, then we’re sitting here, we’re advancing into an undefeated season and everybody is having parties and knocking pinatas in the parking lot, but you come up a little short… So, my message to our young team, especially our freshman, is yes, the sun’s coming up tomorrow. We’re doing really well. I’m proud of these guys. The expectations here are going to be to win every game, and we worked really hard to build those expectations.”

“Those expectations weren’t here when we got to Lubbock four years ago. They were created and built by our player. So, we’re glad we’re in the world we’re at. We’re glad that it’s not pleasing that we lose a close game to a good team. We welcome that, and we’re proud of building a program that has these expectations, but on the other end, you got to understand you just got to stay the course. This is what BCS basketball all is.”

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Williams Enters Transfer Portal. No, not Don Williams, but redshirt freshman defensive end from the Houston area, Quinton Williams, has entered the transfer portal. I was hopeful that Williams would be the defensive end that the staff develops and eventually becomes the 260 defensive end (he entered the program around 230 I think) that can actually rush the passer. As mentioned, Williams redshirt all year, so we never saw his progress.

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