The Morning Stake | 2020.09.10

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* Avalanche Journal’s Don Williams: Merriweather under microscope as Brooks’ successor at MLB

Asked how he racked up so many tackles last season, Merriweather said, “I would say playing with relentless effort. I want to make every play, every tackle. If I didn’t make it, the play’s not over yet.”

Asked about the praise he’s gotten for his quickness and athletic ability, Merriweather said, “I could say I’m very instinctive, but now, working with (strength and conditioning) coach (Dave) Scholz, I feel like he has gotten me faster from moving side to side and hip work and everything. So I feel like I’m a lot faster from what I have been.”

* Dallas Morning News’ Brice Paterik: 5 things Texas Tech fans need to know about Houston Baptist: Prolific QB play leads the Husky offense

Porris defense

North Texas absolutely obliterated this defense last week when it dropped 57 points on Houston Baptist in the season opener. The Mean Green had two quarterbacks throw for over 100 yards in the Week 1 matchup: Jason Bean passed for 217 yards and three touchdowns and Austin Aune threw for 111 yards and one touchdown.

On the ground the Husky defense was even worse, allowing 360 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. Five different North Texas players rushed for at least 40 yards against Houston Baptist.

* KCBD’s Amber Stegall: New Patrick Mahomes mural in Lubbock — It’s glorious

* Inside The Red Raiders’ Jarrett Johnson: Texas Tech defensive back opts out of 2020 season — The player in question is cornerback Dequan Watts

* Three Man Weave’s Matt Cox: #8 Texas Tech 2020-21 Preview — This came out at the end of August, but wanted to highlight in a Morning Stake and definitely worth your time if you haven’t already read it.

A cynic might cite Burnett’s disjointed fit on this roster. They’d say his style more closely aligns with the combo / shooting guard mold, disqualifying him as a proper match for the current void at ‘point guard’ created by Ramsey and Moretti’s departures. But that argument doesn’t hold merit in the modern era of basketball. The outdated positional stereotypes lead us astray in ignoring not just Burnett’s versatility, but also the playmaking ability of his elder comrades, Kyler Edwards, Terrence Shannon and Kevin McCullar.

Beard places a premium on experience, which is where the battle-tested Edwards needs to deliver. Along with hustle hero Avery Benson, Edwards will be the most experienced incumbent on the roster. A returning full-time starter, Edwards is no stranger to big games after clocking major minutes on the 2019 National Champion Runner Up squad. ‘Agent 0’ was the backcourt glue last season, a chameleon type guard capable of adapting his game as needed. Without Davide Moretti co-piloting the offense, Edwards will be the Red Raiders’ veteran rock in the backcourt, responsible for shepherding along the young Burnett.

Shannon and McCullar will flank Edwards and Burnett on the wing, two budding stars ready for takeoff. Shannon, a devastating lefty slasher, turned in one of the most efficient freshman seasons in the entire Big-12 last year. If his jumpshot continues to progress, an All-Conference team is undoubtedly in his future. McCullar’s offensive toolkit isn’t as robust as Shannon, but he does plenty of damage as a defensive robber on the other end (McCullar’s 4.1 steal rate was tops in the Big-12 last season, per KenPom).

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