The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2019.04.12

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

Leading Off

Me at the Frisco Scrimmage. I don’t think I’m going to try to plan anything necessarily for any sort of meet-up this time. Not that I don’t want to see you all, but the folks I’m going with are tailgating, but that’s going to be completely dependent on how the weather plays out and we won’t know that until tomorrow. So I’m not going to try to plan any meet-up, but if you still see me, please say hello.

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Texas Tech Baseball

Texas Tech vs. West Virginia. The Red Raiders are set to take on West Virginia for three games starting tonight at 5:30 p.m. central time. I’ll have a preview and series thread go up at noon. As many of you have mentioned, weather and rain may be an issue, although perhaps the rain peters out by 5:30, while rain is expected to essentially ramp up at noon on Sunday so it would not surprise me to see a double-header on Saturday.

Texas Tech Basketball

Big 12 Players in the NBA. TCU’s Desmond Bane and Kouat Noi and Texas’ Jaxson Hayes declared for the NBA Draft yesterday. And I think that Kansas’ KJ Lawson has also declared for the NBA Draft earlier in the week or over the weekend. Just to let you all know that the new NBA rules apparently allow players to declare for the NBA Draft and hire an agent to guide them through the process and if they then decide that they want to return to school, they can do that.

Holyfield to Visit. SFA forward TJ Holyfield is transferring from the Lumberjacks and will visit a handful of programs, including Texas Tech, Illinois, Kansas, Oregon, and Miami.

Perseverance and Patience. SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell writes about how Texas Tech achieved something bigger than winning a national championship, which is proving it can be done without elite talent:

It’s not hard to find an aspirational message in Texas Tech’s run. A coach who once shared an arena with the rodeo team at Fort Scott Community College. A group of players who were almost unanimously overlooked by power conference programs. An amazing run through March built off the strength of a defense that finished with the best efficiency rating of the last 20 years.

The Red Raiders are a triumph for perseverance, patience, and the incredible mental focus required to will your dreams into reality. Texas Tech may have come up just short of winning the national championship, but what they did along the way feels even more important.

Also from the story is that the phrase, “Don’t lose your chip,” came from Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson after their closed-door scrimmage:

“You’re from Lubbock, Texas. You’re no blue blood. Don’t lose your chip.”

Texas Tech Football

Wells Wants Hoops Culture. A-J Media’s Don Williams writes about how Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells wants to try to create the same culture that Chris Beard created with his basketball team?

Beard worked his magic with a relatively small group. How can Wells replicate it with a squad size of more than 100?

“Big challenge. Good question,” he said Thursday. “I’d love to create the same type of culture. I think there’s a lot of similarities in terms of development, in terms of coaching the development, the strength and nutrition, the toughness, the mental toughness, how you’re going to practice, what kind of teammate you are. I want to translate that into this program.

“That’s who we’ve been about. That’s why we were hired. I think it fits Lubbock. All that basketball did was confirm it for me.”

Wells, a Lubbock resident for a little more than four months, estimated he attended about a dozen Tech basketball games. He went to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for an NCAA Tournament game the first weekend. He was in Minneapolis for both the Red Raiders’ Saturday and Monday games at the Final Four.

Gilmore Eager. A-J Media’s Don Williams writes about how defensive end / linebacker Lonzell Gilmore is eager to play that Raider linebacker position, which is part defensive end and part linebacker:

Tech coach Matt Wells and defensive coordinator Keith Patterson have a role for Gilmore in their production this coming football season. Lately in spring practice, the 6-foot-3, 260-pound senior has settled into the Raider position — the term Patterson has given the defensive end-outside linebacker hybrid in his scheme.

The timing could be ideal, considering the team’s need and Gilmore’s fitness. Tech has a dearth of proven playmakers at Gilmore’s spot since Kolin Hill and Tony Jones, the team’s top two edge players last season, used up their eligibility.

For his part, Gilmore is down 20 pounds since last year and feels better physically after a rough past two seasons. During the 2017 season, he missed the November games and the Birmingham Bowl with a torn ACL, then underwent surgery after the season to repair the knee ligament and a labrum in one shoulder.


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