The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2019.03.28

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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We’re Here. There’s so much content. So much. I’m so far behind with other things. Let’s do this.

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This Is Definitely NOT Emotional. Like NOT Even a Little Bit.

In Cali.

Fireside Chat with Andy Katz. Of NCAA and formerly of ESPN fame, Andy Katz joines head coach Chris Beard for a second fireside chat.

Biggest Question. NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster has the biggest question for each team in the West Region:

The issue with this Tech team is that they can go through some real droughts offensively. In their five regular season losses, they never scored more than 64 points, and in one of those losses they gave up just 58 points and lost by 13.

Some of that was a direct result of Culver trying to carry too heavy of a load this season. There was a while where he tried to do everything for the Red Raiders, and it didn’t work out well. Culver thought he had to carry that load because there isn’t another star on the roster. Matt Mooney, Davide Moretti, Tariq Owens. These are guys that really, really excel in roles, but they aren’t exactly the type to go out and win their matchup regardless of opponent.

Now, if we’re being fair here, they’ve been terrific down the stretch of the season. I’m not sure Moretti has actually missed a shot in February or March, Mooney has grown into the role as a secondary creative outlet, and he’s thriving there. Owens has been awfully effective as a rim-running lob target. The pieces are there, the question is just how “there” they will be against the defenses they are going to be facing this weekend.

How to Beat Michigan. Detroit Free Press’ Orion Sang writes about how Texas TEch can beat Michigan:

Texas Tech plays a “no-middle” style of defense, where defenders overplay one side of the court and funnel everything to help defense. It’s an aggressive style that relies on every man on the court. Mess up an assignment, and the possession will most likely result in a score.

The Red Raiders are also uniquely set-up to take advantage of U-M’s weaknesses on offense. The Wolverines lost three games to Michigan State this season because the Spartans could switch every screen and featured a center in Xavier Tillman who could guard every position and contest shots at the rim.

Too often, Michigan’s offense devolved into one-on-one play, with failed ventures into the paint or step-back 3s.

Discipline. The Wolverine’s Chris Balas writes about what Chris Beard had to say about Michigan:

“I’ll say this about Michigan, and I hope that people have the same view about us … when I think of Michigan, I think of discipline,” he said. “They don’t beat themselves. They’re a low turnover team. I think they have the fewest of anybody this year, nine a game. That means you’re not beating yourself.

“On the defensive end it’s hard to get baskets against them because of their scheme, their discipline, their athletic size. I would hope when people talk about Texas Tech they realize we try to make it hard for the opponent to score, and we value the ball and try to get shots, as well.”

Beard’s Path. Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Eisenberg writes about how Chris Beard’s choice to join Texas Tech after being with UNLV for two weeks set the paths for these two programs. I’m not pulling a quote from this. You need to read this thing. Lots of terrific detail here.

Owens New Home. NY Post’s George Wills writes about Tariq Owens and his former home at St. John’s:

“I knew this would be an environment that I’d be able to come down and work in,” Owens said. “The main thing that attracted me is the fact I’d be given the opportunity to work as hard as I can. I like being in environments where you have something to prove and you have to work to really achieve something. Coach Beard doesn’t give anything easy. It doesn’t matter who you are.”

Matthews vs. Culver. The Detroit News’ James Jawkins writes about one of the best match-ups for tonight, Charles Matthews vs. Jarrett Culver:

“He can score at all three levels,” assistant coach Luke Yaklich said. “He can get you an offensive rebound. He can score in the post. He can beat you off a ball screen with his pull-up jumper getting to rim. He can beat you off the ball screen by passing it out to open shooters. Then he can beat you off the ball screen by getting it to the rim to their bigs.

“He is as talented a player as we’ve played this year. He’s got good size and length. He can see over the top in your ball screen defensive coverage. He’s everywhere on the floor. Obviously, he’s a focal point of what they do throughout the game and then in late clock, late game situations as well.”

Different Paths. CBS Sports’ Reid Forgrave looks at the different paths for Michigan head coach John Beilein and Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard:

Beilein’s journey to becoming a likely Hall of Fame coach has turned into a bit of a legend the past six years, during which his Wolverines have played in two NCAA title games. He wasn’t the lifelong blueblood, someone who graduated from a big program, worked his way up at a big program, and became a head coach at a big program. He’s the opposite: A graduate of Wheeling Jesuit, an initial job coaching at a high school in upstate New York, then Erie Community College, then Nazareth College, then Le Moyne, then Canisius, then Richmond, then West Virginia, then Michigan: Never working as an assistant coach, always the head coach, eight stops in his 43 years coaching. He’s the only active collegiate coach to have 20-win seasons at four levels: Junior college, Division III, Division II and Division I.


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