The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: January 23rd

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

Well, that was a really busy and not so fun weekend. Hopefully, we end with a bang and make some great hires at running back and offensive line. Also, someone complained about the about the cover photo being a Bob Evans knock off and I have no idea what Bob Evans, but I was planning on changing it this weekend to add some advertising space is.  

Track & Field


Lady Raider Basketball

Red Raider Basketball

Buy your very own Staking The Plains t-shirt right here.

RRS’s Drew Kohnle has a detailed scouting report on Texas Tech’s most recent basketball offer, Zhaire Smith (did you know that the country Zaire, that we all grew up learning about in Africa actually became the Democratic Republic of Congo) and this is where the scout interviewed sees Smith in college:

“I think the first thing you have to realize is what a great asset he will be on the defensive end. Anywhere from rebounding to altering shots on the perimeter. I think you see very few players with that quick twitch motion off the floor in order to alter an outside shot. If you take his athleticism, his quickness, and that’s going to translate that very few guys will be able to do. He is so quick to recover on the defensive end. I think after you watch him, his quickness, his athleticism, you are looking at him to guard multiple spots. At 6-foot-4, pushing 6-foot-5, can he play the four? I think the college game is moving towards a guard-oriented game in some spots. You could probably get away with him at the four, matchup-wise. I think ultimately he is a three at the collegiate level. You have to allow him to develop like I said. I think that’s the key, allowing him to develop. He can’t go to any high-major program and be successful. It is going to depend on the program and on the coach that will allow him to be successful to develop.”

There’s a lot more there, but here’s some highlights:

RRS’s Will McKay went to watch Jordan Brangers and Josh Webster dismantle Howard last week, Brangers was 7 of 8 from the 3-point line in the first half to 24 points and Webster had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.


ESPN’s Jake Trotter has three big offseason questions for Texas Tech. The first question is what happens at quarterback, and I’m good there, the second question is who is the every-down back, which I’m not sure, but I want my money on Felton, while the third question is will this be the season for David Gibbs to turn things around:

With this being a massive offseason for Kingsbury, Gibbs and the program defensively, can the Red Raiders finally turn a corner on that side of the ball?

The returning and incoming personnel could give them a chance. Jordyn Brooks was the team’s top tackler as a freshman last year. The Red Raiders will also be getting 2015 starter Dakota Allen back after he was booted from the team before the 2016 season.

Tech could also get a boost from the recruiting class, notably juco defensive back transfers Octavious Morgan, Jaylon Lane and Vaughnte Dorsey, all of whom are already on campus.

For Tech to surprise after a disappointing year, the defense is going to have to finally show resistance.

Athlon Sport’s Steven Lassan has his early Big 12 predictions and has Texas Tech 9th overall:

It’s no secret 2017 is a critical year for coach Kliff Kingsbury. The Red Raiders are 7-11 in Big 12 play over the last two seasons and have missed on a bowl in two out of the last three years. As usual, scoring points hasn’t been a problem for Texas Tech. However, the defense has surrendered at least 40 points per game (on average) over each of the last three seasons. Can this unit take a step forward next fall? Coordinator David Gibbs returns a good chunk of the depth chart, including linebacker Jordyn Brooks and end Kolin Hill. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes leaves big shoes to fill after deciding to enter the NFL Draft. Nic Shimonek is the frontrunner to start at quarterback after throwing for 464 yards and six scores in four games in 2016. Shimonek won’t be hurting for options at receiver, as Jonathan Giles (69 catches), Keke Coutee (55), Cameron Batson (61) and Dylan Cantrell (57) return for 2017.

The LAJ has a story on Berto Garcia, a Texas Tech student, who has devised a way for hits to be measured and a light goes off on the helmet that determines the severity of the hit. This is good innovation and it takes the decision out of football coaches or players. Another interesting article from ESPN’s Uni Watch on the latest Schutt helmet that shifts the impact of the hit before it reaches the player. I’m all for improving tis sort of stuff.

Miscellaneous . . . Texas Tech lost a commit yesterday, Adam Beck, who committed to Minnesota yesterday. He was supposed to be on a visit to Texas Tech this weekend, but he decided to he wanted to be a Gopher. Beck has been looking around for a long time, flirting with some SEC schools like Ole Miss and Mississippi State so this doesn’t come as a surprise . . . ESPN’s Max Olson and Jake Trotter has their initial list of the top 25 players fo 2017 and includes IR Jonathan Giles as the only Red Raider . . . via College Football Talk, the NCAA is going to shut down spring break off-campus practices, but this is just during spring break because according to the Detroit News, Michigan is planning to take the Wolverine football team to Rome during the spring . . .


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