The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2019.04.04

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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Content. Another day and another day of great content.

Texas Tech Volleyball

Texas Tech Track and Field

Texas Tech Golf

Sofia Garcia is Good. I don’t really speak about things that I’m not fully educated, but it’s pretty clear that Sofia Garcia is a very talented golfer, in addition to the items below, she was also named the Big 12 golfer of the month.

Texas Tech Tennis

Texas Tech Baseball

New Mexico 12, Texas Tech 9. Texas Tech dropped their first mid-week game of the year, 12-9 to New Mexico (Recap | Box Score). A pretty wild game, one in which Texas Tech had an 8-2 lead, but as you can tell by the final score, that score didn’t hold. You can check out the box score for details, but Caleb Freeman struggled in his 1 inning, giving up 6 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned, while Taylor Floyd took the loss. Josh Jung, Cameron Warren and Dru Baker all had 3 hits yesterday.

Texas Tech Basketball

It’s For Real.

Links! You’ll never get tired of them. I know you won’t.

NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster – Scouting Final Four teams: How to beat Texas Tech (coaches were granted anonymity for quotes):

“They’ve got their base defense that’s what they do, but they’ve done a really good job adjusting to different teams and different personnel. Normally they push ball screens down, but sometimes they switch and sometimes they take people out of rotation. They help sometimes, sometimes they don’t help at all. It’s all based on personnel and what you’re trying to do. They are always really, really prepared.”

“One thing that’s underrated is how much they get their hands on the ball. It bothered Michigan and Gonzaga.”

“[Tariq] Owens and [Matt] Mooney are the two keys, but it really is just a team thing. [Norense] Odiase gives them a level and physicality and toughness. They can even switch with him. His energy is huge. Mooney gives great effort and is great positionally. But it’s a team thing. Their personnel does not add up to how good they are. The whole is great than the sum of the parts. It’s a product of Chris Beard. They are fearless, mentally tough, the belief they play with.”

“They ‘ham and egg’ it. Like when you play golf. They pick each other up. When one guy has a bad game, they are two guys having a great game to pick them up. They are absolute rock stars in their role.”

The Ringer’s Rodger Sherman – How Chris Beard Built Texas Tech Into College Basketball’s Most Unlikely Juggernaut:

Instead of standing between their man and the basket, Tech’s defenders stand between their assignment and the middle of the court, with their feet essentially parallel to the sideline. This might look like it makes it easy for opponents to drive toward the baseline … and it does. That’s fine. Because that’s precisely what Texas Tech wants. If an opposing player takes what he’s being given, then a wall of Red Raiders help defense will come crashing down upon him. Tech’s aggressive on-ball defense forces opponents into driving baseline, and its aggressive help defense forces them into making bad decisions. (I highly recommend this breakdown of Texas Tech’s defense for a full explanation of how the Red Raiders handle different scenarios, and how ineffective various methods of attacking the scheme are.)

For those familiar with college sports, it might seem funny seeing Texas Tech operate this way. The most notable thing about Red Raiders’ athletics in the 21st century is the football team’s steadfast dedication to Air Raid offense. Texas Tech has pushed the envelope of what is possible in football, with head coaches Mike Leach and Kliff Kingsbury crafting revolutionary offensive schemes. They’ve had little sustained success, though, as the team’s poor defenses and talent disadvantages have kept the Red Raiders from even making a conference championship game. (Kingsbury posted a losing record at Tech before he was fired in December. He was instantly coveted by NFL teams for his offensive acumen, and in January was hired as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.)

Now the basketball team has instituted a revolutionary defensive scheme—the Air Raid of basketball defense, if such a thing is possible. The difference is that it has immediately vaulted Tech into the upper echelon of the sport, as the Red Raiders won this season’s Big 12 regular-season title (the first time since 2004 that Kansas didn’t win it) and now made the Final Four.

CBS Sports’ Reid Forgrave – Final Four 2019: Five reasons why Texas Tech will win the NCAA Tournament Championship:

2. Texas Tech has arguably the single biggest basketball talent left in the tournament: If you want to argue for DeAndre Hunter, fine. But a big performance in the Final Four could rocket Jarrett Culver into the top 5 in June’s NBA draft. (He’s already assured of being a lottery pick.) The long, lean wing has divided some NBA executives: He can do everything on a basketball court, but does he have one single elite talent? He has shown some bravura performances on the big stage. In Texas Tech’s final game of the Big 12 season, he went into Hilton Coliseum – no easy place to play – and dropped 31 points on Iowa State with 4-of-8 3-point shooting. And while Culver struggled against Gonzaga in the Elite Eight – he made only 5 of 19 shots – his team proved that they can win without his best effort.

NYPost’s Zach Braziller – Bob Knight lauds Texas Tech protege Chris Beard: ‘He’s done pretty damn good’:

“So many people [think you win] by scoring points, but preventing points being scored enables you to win,” Bob said.

“My dad’s teams were always known for playing hard, and that’s all Tech does. They play hard every game,” Pat added. “That’s one of the most difficult things to coach with kids, to get them to play hard every game, and that’s an unbelievable battle he’s overcome. It’s not sexy, there’s no statistic, but it wins a lot of games.”

The younger Knight gets emotional talking about Beard, believing his own inability to keep the job at Texas Tech stunted his good friend’s career. But there are no hard feelings. They remain very tight, frequently texting each other.

“It kinds of gives you goose bumps,” he said. “You get emotional about it. It’s really cool. I know what he went through after he left Tech. It’s a great story, but it’s not a fluke. You see what he’s done everywhere he’s been as a head coach. This was coming.

“This is how much I like him,” Pat added with a laugh, “I’m rooting for a school that fired me.”

Dallas Morning News’ Chuck Carlton – Worried Texas Tech could potentially lose Chris Beard? Kirby Hocutt isn’t. Here’s why.:

If that means tearing up or restructuring the old deal, Hocutt said that’s a possibility.

In fact, he reached out to Beard nearly six weeks ago.

“These conversations started at the end of February,” Hocutt said. “I would say out of our focus and coach Beard’s focus and commitment to this team and this season, we decided to hit the pause button until the season is over.”

2CBSChicago’s Megan Mawicke – Wauconda Native And Texas Tech’s Matt Mooney Takes Long, Winding Road to Final Four (this is pretty cool, Mooney’s grandfather and high school coach are interviewed:

Matt showed his determination in high school. He commuted two hours daily from his home in Wauconda to play for Coach Tom Les at Notre Dame. Now he’s grown into a 6-3 shooter and a stabilizing force for the Red Raiders.

“He measured himself every morning at the kitchen wall with a ruler. Every day. He was puny. A little guy but he was quick and loved the game,” said Levy. “When he first got here (Notre Dame Prep) he was wiry and small. He’s a hard worker, determined, a good kid but a very confident kid,” said former Notre Dame Prep coach Tom Les.

CBS Sports – Final Four 2019 predictions: Picks for Michigan State vs. Texas Tech, Virginia vs. Auburn in NCAA Tournament semifinals:

No. 2 Michigan State (-3.5) vs. No. 3 Texas Tech — 8:49 p.m. on CBS: Michigan State is coming off of a one-point win over Duke in the Elite Eight in which it forced 17 turnovers. This is a matchup of two elite defenses. Texas Tech and Michigan State are both ranked in the top-three of defensive field goal percentage. Who’s offense will be able to create better shots, Cassius Winston and the Spartans or Jarrett Culver and the Red Raiders? Pick: Texas Tech +3.5

Texas Tech Football

Video. Just a couple of quick videos of coaches and highlights.


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