The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2019.04.10

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

Leading Off

What a 24 Hours. I was pretty much gutted yesterday. Emotionally drained. I was tired as I was on my third night in a row of 4 or so hours of sleep and it was just catching up with me in terms of being exhausted in all aspects. Part of my exhaustion was that I was just doing too much, not wanting to change anything that I had been doing as I didn’t want to change any mojo as Texas Tech just kept winning. And then, last night, it looked like it was going to be Dirk Nowitzki’s final home game as a Maverick and I was only able to make it through halftime before deciding I just needed to go to sleep. So I did.

Watching all of the Dirk tributes reminded me of the disappointment of the 2006 NBA Finals and how that eventually fueled the Mavericks’ 2011 NBA Championship. I’m guessing that Chris Beard is already thinking about losing on Monday night in the same way.

The funny and great thing about all of this is that you sort of realize that things just keep going, regardless of readiness.

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Texas Tech 10, New Mexico State 5. Texas Tech moved to 22-9 on the year, their second defeat of New Mexico State this year, downing the Aggies 10-5 (Recap | Box Score). Mason Montgomery picked up his 3rd win of the year (3-0) while Max Marusak and Josh Jung each homered last night, Marusak’s was an inside the park home run. The Red Raiders hit the road this weekend to take on West Virginia in Morgantown.

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A-J Media’s Carlos Silva, Jr. SILVA JR.: Beard makes good on promise in loss:

On April 8, 2019, Beard — who’s known to stay true to his word — guided the No. 9 Red Raiders to the national championship game but was unable to come away with the victory against top-seeded Virginia in an 85-77 loss inside U.S. Bank Stadium.

“Always, my whole life, I wanted to be that team that ended with a win. And we were so close tonight,” Beard said. “We’re just going to get back up (Tuesday) and keep working at it and get back there one day. But (Monday) was a little different. A lot of emotion that was real, you know? I just told those guys that I love them. … Every player on that team has made great sacrifices, from the guys you know that were playing minutes this year to the other guys that helped us in practice. I just love every one of them”

A-J Media’s Don Williams – Williams column: A team, a game we’ll talk about forever:

The Texas Tech Red Raiders will come home from Minneapolis on Tuesday not as champions, but as the next best thing: Texas Tech legends.

The dreams of a team, a campus, a city and I daresay a basketball title-starved state died Monday night in front of 72,000 screaming fans in an NFL stadium, Virginia’s 85-77 overtime victory denying the Red Raiders their first national championship. Years from now, you’ll remember where you were on that Monday night, feel the pain all over again, swell with pride regardless.

You’ll trade anguished stories with the fella you bump into wearing the Tech-emblem polo. Shared laments about how the Red Raiders would have won that title had shot-blocker deluxe Tariq Owens not suffered a high-ankle sprain in the Final Four that compromised him playing for all the marbles two nights later. About how he took treatment non-stop for 48 hours, went out there and gave it a go anyway.

SI’s Greg Bishop – Texas Tech’s Surprise Run Doesn’t Get the Happy Ending Its Key Players Always Expected (I highly recommend reading this as it takes you behind the scenes and you realize how important Norense Odiase is. If you didn’t already love him, I’d hope that you will after reading this and how important he was in pushing this team.):

The day before the national semifinal, Odiase was “pissed off.” Beard had taken his players out for frozen yogurt, and Texas Tech fans they bumped into en route were delirious. To Odiase, they seemed a little too happy-to-be-here. He didn’t want to celebrate, or eat fro-yo. The Red Raiders had two games to win.

Upon returning to the team hotel, Odiase addressed the group. The address he gave, assistant Brian Burg says, “was the best speech I’ve heard in 15 years of coaching.”

“I wish I had recorded it,” Adams says.

It was Odiase who had told his teammates after the Duke loss that the way they played was unacceptable; Odiase who led the retreat; Odiase who called the players-only meeting after the Kansas loss. Now, he stood before his teammates and reminded them why they were here, not to play in the Final Four but to secure their legacy, their rings and their highlight montage.

Texas Monthly’s Dan Solomon – Let’s Not Mourn for Texas Tech:

But while the mood in Lubbock might not be celebratory as Monday turns to Tuesday, when the disappointment fades there will be a lot to recall fondly when considering this season—and even this final game, unsatisfying conclusion aside. The Red Raiders, who weren’t ranked when the season started, played with immense heart, overcoming multiple double-digit deficits to get ahead of the favored Cavaliers. They got off to a slow start in the first half before taking a lead, which the team surrendered going into halftime; in the second half, they similarly struggled, taking their first lead only in the final moments. They spent most of the game looking like a team that was beaten—according to FiveThirtyEight, Virginia’s win probability hovered close to 90 percent for most of the second half—but fought their way back again and again, displaying an uncommon resiliency.

SI’s Jeremy Woo – 2019 NBA Mock Draft 6.0: Projecting All 60 Picks After March Madness:

Height: 6’6” | Weight: 195 | Sophomore

An iffy performance in Monday night’s title game was somewhat discouraging, but Culver remains one of the better long-term prospects in this draft. That said, some of his limitations have been on display throughout the NCAA tournament, particularly his struggles creating off the dribble against more athletic opponents. Still, he’s mostly stepped up when needed, and his contributions go beyond scoring. To reach his potential, Culver has to continue refining his handle and jump shot, but he’s proven he can rebound, defend taller players, and continued to display a winning feel for the game that’s endeared itself to scouts. With a little projection, he should become a capable starting-caliber wing. His versatility would fit well with the Bulls’ current mishmash of a roster, as Chicago tries to figure out its future.

CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish – 2019-20 college basketball rankings: Michigan State is No. 1 in our never-too-early Top 25 And 1 for next season (I’m including this ranking in the links because Gary Parrish ranks a top 25 every day of the season and he does it at the end of the season. There is no person that cares more about ranking teams than Parrish and it will be interesting to see how the narrative will be in regards to how Texas Tech will reload after losing so many talented players):

Coach: Chris Beard

2018-19 record: 31-7
Notable players definitely gone: Matt Mooney, Tariq Owens, Brandone Francis, Norense Odiase
Other expected departures: Jarrett Culver

Notable players expected to return: Davide Moretti, Kyler Edwards, Deshawn Corprew, Khavon Moore, Andrei Savrasov

Expected additions: Jahmius Ramsey, Kevin McCullar , Russel Tchewa, Terrence Shannon

NBC Sport’s Rob Dauster – It’s OK To Not Be OK: Trey Moses’ battle for mental wellness (This has nothing to do with Texas Tech, but if you need perspective, this is one of the best things I’ve read in months.):

Zach Hollywood saved Trey Moses’ life.

That’s at least how Trey’s mother, Shelly, looks at it.

Trey has battled depression for half his life. The first time he remembers contemplating suicide came when he was in seventh grade. He told a friend that he wanted to die. He had a great family. He had great friends. He liked school. All of those things are still true. But there was a sadness within him that he just couldn’t shake. Still can’t.

Trey tried to end his own life in May of 2017, at the end of his sophomore year. It was yet another night that he spent crying, uncontrollably, when he took a bunch of pills. He immediately regretted it, calling a friend to take him to the hospital where he spent the next few days recovering. He had been hospitalized before, when he did not feel safe being by himself, but this was the first time that he went beyond self-harm.

Three months later Trey found Zach’s body, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A devastating tragedy for Zach, his family, his friends, his teammates. An unimaginable burden for a 20-year old already struggling with his own mental wellness to carry.

Shelly was terrified, and still is, that Trey would be next. But she also now knows that Trey has seen the pain that Zach’s suicide caused everyone around him. “He never wants anybody to go through what he went through,” Shelly said.

She knows — she hopes — that will be enough to keep her only son here with her.

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Big Board. RedRaiderSports’ Matt Clare has a big board of players offered thus far.


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