The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2020.03.23

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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Lubbock In The Loop. Check out Lubbock In The Loop for a list of Lubbock restaurants that offer curbside delivery.
Podcasts. Check out your guys, Spencer and Michael, on 23 Personnel Podcast, a Texas Tech athletics podcast where food and sports clash at the goal line, as well as Keith Patrick and Dinger Derby, the only, yes only, podcast about Texas Tech baseball.

A Mysterious 25,000-Year-Old Structure Built of the Bones of 60 Mammoths. Via Smithsonian Magazine:

jaw-dropping example of Ice Age architecture has been unearthed on Russia’s forest steppe: a huge, circular structure built with the bones of at least 60 woolly mammoths. But exactly why hunter-gatherers enduring the frigid realities of life 25,000 years ago would construct the 40-foot diameter building is a fascinating question.

“Clearly a lot of time and effort went into building this structure so it was obviously important to the people that made it for some reason,” says Alexander Pryor, an archaeologist at the University of Exeter (U.K.). He is the lead author of a new study published this week in the journal Antiquity describing the find at Kostenki, a place where many important Paleolithic sites lie clustered around the Don River.

The ancient builders did leave some clues. Fires once burned within the structure and food scraps, including vegetables, remain. Several pits containing mammoth bones lie just outside of the bone circle and may suggest food storage. “You obviously get a lot of meat from a mammoth,” Pryor said, “so the idea that there were food processing and food storage activities going on at the site is something that we want to investigate more.”

Mo Money. Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams writes about the increase of assistant coach salaries for Texas Tech football, increasing the assistant coach pool 9.7%, from $3.3 million to $3.73 million. As Williams notes, part of Wells’ contract (and this was part of Kingsbury’s contract as well) was that the head coach could increase the assistant coach salary pool by 3% each year. Senior associates athletic director Robert Giovannetti said that Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt has continually given coaches raises to keep them in Lubbock:

“And not just in football. If you look at the other sports, just think of coaches that we are paying competitively nationally — obviously (Tim) Tadlock, (Chris) Beard, Mark Adams, (Wes) Kittley, J-Bob Thomas, James Thomas, (Greg) Sands, (Tom) Stone, (Todd) Petty. All those guys have received contracts to keep them in place.”

Williams also writes that Texas A&M wanted to hire J-Bob Thomas last summer and USC and Arkansas wanted to hire track and field assistant coach James Thomas.

Tech’s collective increase from $3.3 million to $3.730 million could move Wells’ staff up 10 spots compared to last year, including above Kansas State and Kansas in the Big 12. That’s uncertain, however, as other schools make adjustments of their own from one year to the next.

What is known, Giovannetti said, is Hocutt will free up the money necessary to bring in assistants his head coach wants.

“No one has ever come to Kirby and said, ’I want to hire this person, and Kirby said, ’No, we can’t afford that,’ ” Giovannetti said.

It should be noted that part of the reason for the increase in assistant coach salaries is that new assistant secondary coach Derek Jones is receiving $500,000 and new linebacker coach Kevin Cosgrove is making $300,000, which is $310,000 more than who they replaced.

Gonzaga vs. Texas Tech. Via Spokesman-Review’s Jim Meehan, Gonzaga and Texas Tech will face off on December 19th at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix and the two teams will likely play a return game in the DFW area in 2021.

Early Top 25. NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster, an all too early top 25 and has Texas Tech at #9, which is pretty darned high:

The Red Raiders should have a roster that is a much better fit for the way that Chris Beard wants to play. Kyler Edwards and Nimari Burnett are both build in the mold of a classic Texas Tech lead guard, while Terrance Shannon will be on quite a few of the breakout sophomore lists you’ll find. The two major questions with this group is whether or not Davide Moretti (or Edwards) can takeover full-time point guard duties, and if Joel Ntambwe can handle the five spot better than T.J. Holyfield did this past season. There are enough talented perimeter weapons for me to buy-in, but without an anchor at the five a la Tariq Owens, their ceiling is somewhat limited.

Typical Tech. Texas Tech announced that Texas Tech would be starting a podcast, with the first episode featuring Matt Wells and Rodney Allison. I’m sure we’ll be on the list of prospective guests in no time and looking forward to my future appearance.

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