The Morning Stake: Basketball Falls to Texas; Baseball Sweeps NM State; Football Players Visiting

The men’s basketball team falls to the Longhorns, 65-53. The baseball team sweeps New Mexico State with a 7-4 win over the Aggies. We’ve got recaps on both games. Plus, there are a handful of football recruits visiting over the next week or two and Wreck’Em 24/7 has the list.

Red Raiders Fall to Longhorns, 65-53. This game was maybe a microcosm of how the season played out over the year, as the Red Raiders lost 65-53 to Texas. Texas Tech hung with Texas for most of the first half, despite Texas looking terrific on offense, finding open shots and the Texas Tech defense scrambling. The Red Raiders were only down by 4 at the half, but Texas Tech simply couldn’t keep pace. Texas Tech simply doesn’t have the depth to hold onto games and Texas Tech never slowed down the Longhorns as they shot 37% from the field in the first half and 50% in the second half. It didn’t help to have Zach Smith out early in the game with two fouls and he only played 22 minutes. Seems like Smith was averaging over 30 minutes a game and without his defensive presence, it hurt a bit.

Big high five to Robert Turner, who finished with the game that I wished he had averaged, which is that he scored 11 points on 5 of 7, 3 assists and no turnovers. Thanks for all of your hard work. In fact, Texas Tech had 12 turnovers to just 10 assists, which is much better than the season average. But Texas Tech needs to have numbers similar to Texas next year in that department, as they had 17 assists to just 9 turnovers. Texas Tech has to receive some better play at the point and as a team. Toddrick Gotcher lead the team in scoring with 12 points, 10 of which came out in the first half and big man Norense Odiase had 11, scoring 9 of his points in the second half.

I thought head coach Tubby Smith had some good things to say after the game and it is interesting that Smith was asked about what he learned after the season, asking coach to be critical of himself, and he said that he has to do a better job of focusing on fundamentals with the team:

I tell you what — I learned that — I learned a lot about just — me, trying to — you’ve got to be yourself and sometimes when you have a young team you tend to be a little less — you try to be patient, but sometimes that can be taken as a weakness. By that I mean players, just like a little kid, if you don’t discipline them properly and make them do things in practice the proper way — not that you take things for granted, but then again you do. Your games are coming so fast and you’re trying to keep guys healthy, you know they’re getting mentally drained and physically because they’re young. The fundamentals may not be as — may not work on them as hard as you should. I learned that the fundamentals are most important and if you don’t practice it every day and if you don’t stress certain things every day the slippage will happen.

I think this team is going to go places next year. Thanks to the other seniors, Luke Adams and Clark Lammert for all of their hard work.

Baseball Sweeps New Mexico State. Texas Tech (12-4) won the final of their two game mid-week series, 7-4 (recap and box score). This seemed like another game where the offense was going to struggle and was down 4-3 in the sixth inning, but Michael Davis started the inning with a double, Tyler Floyd had a bunt single advancing Davis. Corey Raley hit a fielder’s choice, throwing out Floyd at second, but scoring Davis. Steve Smith walks and up next is Eric Gutierrez, who doubled, scoring Smith and Raley. Quinn Carpenter, who is hitting the ball really well, singles and scores Gutierrez.

Starter Jonathon Tripp pitched 4 innings, giving up 2 runs, both earned, walking 2 and striking out 3. The bullpen allowed only 2 more runs the rest of the way as Dalton Brown gets the win, but Jacob Patterson, Matt Custred and Corey Taylor all pitch without giving a run in the 7th through 9th innings. Taylor earns his second save of the year.

Recruits Visiting. Wreck’Em 24/7’s Daniel Pauling has a list of players visiting this week. I’m going to have more on Quinn Mittermeier and another offensive lineman deciding between Texas Tech for the 2015 class, not the 2016 class, later this morning.

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