The Morning Stake: March 10th


Track & Field


Players for Trips. Interesting report by Sports Illustrated about how a tiny Spanish island and a lot of trips have produced a handful of scholarships in the U.S.

How Tubby Did It. DMN’s Chuck Carlton writes about how Tubby Smith turned around Texas Tech. I think this is a really good question and one that I don’t think the article really answers. Not specifically and think that’s a good topic of conversation in that what specifically has Smith done to change this team. And I don’t mean the rah-rah stuff, but the technical stuff on the floor.

Terrific Resume. Sports On Earth’s Matt Brown looks at some teams that surprised with the current resumes and Texas Tech falls in the surprising regular season:

5. Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have been a mess since Bob Knight’s run ended, and they finished under .500 each of their last four seasons. Tubby Smith has picked up the pieces from the abrupt end to the Billy Gillispie era, and the team predicted to finish last in the Big 12 preseason poll is instead heading to the NCAA Tournament. The Red Raiders are hardly dominant, as they’re merely a seventh-place team with a 9-9 conference record. But that’s no small feat for this program in this Big 12, as they racked up wins over Oklahoma, Iowa State and Baylor in conference play and lost only to a top-25 Utah team in nonconference season. In fact, they accomplished enough in the regular season that they should be safe on Selection Sunday, despite the unfortunate fact that they got knocked out of the Big 12 tournament in the first round by last-place TCU on Wednesday night.


Hinton and Allen Look to Step Up. LAJ’s Don Williams writes about linebackers D’Vonta Hinton and Dakota Allen, who learned a lot as a true freshman and redshirt freshman:

“Hopefully, me and D’Vonta can step up and be leaders for not only the linebackers,” Allen said, “but maybe the defense because (2015 senior) Micah (Awe) was a huge leader last year, so someone’s going to have to fill his role. Those are big shoes to fill.”

Despite their snapshots of showing promise and fans’ high hopes for them, Allen and Hinton acknowledged the difficulties freshmen face. Allen said the speed of the game and the dynamic nature of Big 12 offenses were an eye opener.

Hinton said learning the defense, his alignment and assignments posed the biggest adjustment. He said he didn’t feel comfortable and sure of himself until the Kansas State game — the 11th game of the season.

There was a funny exchange yesterday that Williams notes. When Kingsbury is asked if Hinton knows just one speed and Kingsbury confirmed that yes, it’s one speed and when he gets tired, he’s really tired.

Ranking College Coaches as Players. Seems we get this everyyear or two, and thsi time, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg ranks every college coach as a player, at one end of the spectrum is Mike Leach at #129 and at #4 is Kingsbury:

4. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech Red Raiders: Kingsbury played a key role in Texas Tech’s air raid craze, and he set 17 NCAA records and 16 Big 12 records as the Red Raiders quarterback. He earned Big 12 offensive player of the year honors and won the Sammy Baugh trophy in 2002. Kingsbury’s NFL career didn’t pan out, and he spent time in NFL Europe and the CFL.

A Big Time Trade. 24/7 Sports’ Chance Linton proposes five college football trades and proposes that Texas Tech trade Patrick Mahomes for the following:

QB Blake Barnett (RS-Fr.), OLB Rashaan Evans (Jr.), DT Johnny Dwight (RS-Soph.), CB Kendall Sheffield (RS-Fr.)

That essentially replaces the quarterback and three starters on defense, two of them being a sophomore and a freshman. And Barnett is a former 5-star quarterback. I mean, those are some good players, but trading Mahomes . . . . that would crush me.

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