The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2020.05.18

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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If you are a fan of the Spurs or the Mavs (or Wizards I think), you know about Boban Marjanovic and how absolutely delightful he is. D Magazine’s Zac Crain profiles the incredibly likable 7’4″ center:

The next day, when the media are allowed into the gym after practice, Boban is on a court, kicking a ball around with some of the Mavericks’ staff, mostly interns. I imagine him playing soccer for real. He’d be a nightmare in goal, obviously, King Kong swatting biplanes from the top of the Empire State Building.

Boban works one-on-one with a coach after that, and then it’s on to a series of full-court pickup games. Again, it’s mostly interns, though he has 51-year-old assistant coach Darrell Armstrong on his side. “He organizes these games,” says Scott Tomlin, the team’s communication director.

Boban plays point guard for his team, bringing the ball up the court, running pick and rolls with an awkward grace, all exaggerated angles, a crane moving in the marshland. It may look like he’s still goofing around, but these runs are serious to Boban. He has to stay ready—whether he gets 20 minutes or .5 seconds, as he will in a couple of weeks against Miami—so he does this after every practice.

One of the advantages of getting up at 4:00 a.m. is that you tend to be the first person that runs across news in Europe. As a Texas Tech blogger, this almost never comes in handy, but it did on Sunday morning when it was reported that Davide Moretti was offered a contract for Olimpia Milano, a basketball team based in Milan. I think that Texas Tech would really miss Moretti’s outside shooting and leadership next year, but I wish and hope the best for Moretti. He’s given a ton to Texas Tech basketball over the past three years.

I don’t know if you’ve put much thought into how players will make money off of their name, image, and likeness, but I’ve thought that the easiest way for student-athletes to make money is being a social media influencer. Incredibly popular social media influencers can actually make a ton of money by just tweeting or gramming or doing the tiktok thing or whatever else is out there. Via FiveThirtyEight’s Josh Planos:

Paige Bueckers hasn’t arrived on campus yet to compete for the UConn women’s basketball team, but she has the highest ceiling of the athletes Lawrence assessed for me. With more than 475,000 followers on Instagram and more than 25,000 followers on Twitter, Bueckers could be in line for annual earnings north of $670,000, Lawrence estimated. Each of her Instagram posts alone is valued at $20,710.

On the other end of the spectrum is BYU soccer player Mikayla Colohan, a rising senior who last season led an unbeaten Cougars team into the NCAA Tournament, where it fell in the quarterfinals. With far fewer followers, Colohan’s potential annual earnings are estimated at just $267.

So, when you follow a player, you are potentially adding to their value as far as their name, image, likeness. As the article points out, not every athlete is going to make half a million bucks, and most won’t make much money at all. The other issue with this is if the advertiser money dries up a bit, which is probable given the current pandemic of a situation that’s currently happening. At some point, that money will likely be back and advertisers have always wanted athletes to sell things as long as I can remember. If we’re talking about student-athletes making money off of their name, image, and likeness, this is probably the easiest and most effective way for student-athletes to really make money.

Former Texas Tech running back Ta’Zhawn Henry announced over the weekend that he would transfer to Houston, via Houston Chronicle’s Joseph Duarte. Henry is originally from Houston, so this does make some sense if he wanted to go back home.

Heartland College Sports has some uniform and helmet rankings for you to check out.

Here are some tweets.

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