The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2020.04.06

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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Mary West, wife of Dirk West, who was a former mayor of Lubbock, cartoonist, and creator of Raider Red, died at the age of 89 over the weekend. Avalanche-Journal’s Carlos Silva, Jr., has statements from former Lady Raider head coach Marsha Sharp and former athletic director Gerald Myers:

“Dirk and Mary Ruth were amazing fixtures in the Lubbock and Texas Tech communities,” former Lady Raiders coach Marsha Sharp said. “Their contributions will be important for generations to come. I thought of Mary Ruth as a friend and my thoughts and prayers are with her family. Rest in Peace Mary Ruth.”

“Our most sincere thoughts and prayers are with the West family today,” reads a statement posted on Texas Tech’s official Twitter page.

Her husband, the late “Dirk” West who died at 65 back on July 26, 1996, was most known as the creator of the mustachioed, gun-toting Raider Red character. The cartoon gained much acclaim and was published in The Avalanche-Journal beginning in the 1960s.

Raider Red sported the number of Red Raider football losses as bullet holes in his oversized cowboy hat.

“I was saddened to hear of the passing of Mary Ruth, who was one of Texas Tech’s great fans,” former Texas Tech men’s basketball coach and athletic director Gerald Myers said. “I saw her at many games and she was particularly proud of the Red Raider program that was created by the cartoons of her late husband, Dirk West. The young children as games would gather around Raider Red and want a picture or autograph, and i know Mary Ruth was delighted when she saw that happen. She and Dirk leave a great legacy in Raider Red that will forever be a great tradition in Texas Tech Athletics.”

KTTZ, PBS had a documentary on Raider Red that’s worth your time this morning.

Rest in peace.

Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams writes about a conference call that Tim Tadlock held with the media about the scholarship situation, namely that there’s going to be some back-log and playing time issues as a result of the NCAA ruling to grant seniors an extra year of eligibility and with the MLB trying to negotiate the MLB draft from 40 rounds to just 5 rounds creates significant issues.

“So we signed about 15. When you sign 15, generally out of that, usually you have some attrition from grades, academics, finances, people not coming. So generally it ends up being about a dozen (newcomers) nearly every time.”

“If we only lose Bonnin and Beeter,” Tadlock said, “you’ve got — let’s call it eight, for instance — eight more guys than you thought you were going to have as juniors, and then you’ve got the recruiting class.”

A baseball team can only have 35 players and normally only allows 11.7 scholarships and 8 walk-on’s so the numbers are going to be incredibly tight and if the MLB reduces the draft, that means there are more juniors that are around than ever before. Something is going to have to be done with baseball to increase scholarship numbers or the size of the team overall and maybe this forces the NCAA’s hand on something like that, but with everyone potentially returning except for a couple of players, Bonnin and Beeter, then there’s going to be a huge roster crunch.

Viane Cumber committed to the Lady Raiders of Texas Tech last week. Cumber is a 5’10” guard who averaged 22.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 3.3 steals, and was voted as the Gatorade New Mexico Girls Player of the Year in March. From what I can tell, Cumber is about to be a senior, so this is a bit of a ways away. Still, to be that good as a junior is pretty special.

Have we mentioned before that Chris Beard is going to land himself a transfer? It’s probably just a matter of time, but like a lot of programs Beard made his interest known when graduate Seattle guard Terrell Brown (6-1/175), a junior decided to transfer. Brown averaged 20.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.7 assists last year.

Here are some tweets.


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