The Morning Stake | 2020.11.25

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Podcasts. Check out your guys, Spencer and Michael, on 23 Personnel Podcast, a Texas Tech athletics podcast where food and sports clash at the goal line, as well as Keith Patrick and Dinger Derby, the only, yes only, podcast about Texas Tech baseball.

Happy Basketball Day! College basketball is here and there will be quite a bit of content, at least from me (and I think you’re going to get a 23 Personnel Podcast as well at 7:00 a.m. this morning). I’ll have a preview and game day thread up mid-morning. Without further adieu, let’s get to some links.

* Sports Illustrated: SI’s Men’s College Basketball Preseason Top 25 for 2020–21

20. Texas Tech
Chris Beard is well known as a phenomenal game coach and tactician, but it’s time to recognize his prowess as a recruiter. He’s keeping the Red Raiders relevant because he keeps landing quality players. For this year’s team, that means adding five-star freshman guard Nimari Burnett and a pair of transfers: Georgetown’s Mac McClung and VCU’s Marcus Santos-Silva. The leading holdover player is Kyler Edwards, who slumped at the end of last season but should bounce back to play a big role on this team.

* Watch Stadium’s Jeff Goodman: Jeff Goodman’s Preseason Top 50 for 2020-21 — Texas Tech at #11

* Avalanche Journal’s Carlos Silva, Jr.: Red Raiders christen unique regular season by hosting Northwestern State

* Avalanche Journals’ Alexis Cubit: Gerlich, Lady Raiders geared for season opener

Two months ago, Krista Gerlich was hired to lead her alma mater after former coach Marlene Stollings was fired. From there, the Lady Raider alum got going right away by putting together a coaching staff, most of whom she brought with her from UT-Arlington, and getting to know her new players in the midst of a pandemic.

Not only did it limit her interaction with current players, but made recruiting more of a challenge. She weathered through it all, though, and signed three players as part of the Class of 2021 during the early signing period Nov. 11

Additionally, Gerlich’s ability to keep Lexi Gordon and Chrislyn Carr, both of whom had entered their names into the transfer portal, and secure transfer Vivian Gray from Oklahoma State was a promising start to an otherwise unpredictable time.

Gray, who had a standout career with the Cowgirls, racked up preseason honors, being named to the Naismith Trophy watch list and Cheryl Miller Award watch list in addition to earning a second straight spot on the preseason All-Big 12 team.

Carr, who averaged 13.9 points and 5.0 assists while starting 28 of 29 games played a year ago, garnered an honorable mention preseason nod.

* 24/7 Sports’ Eric Bossi: Bossi’s Breakouts: 10 to watch in their second season of college

Why he could break out: A late-blooming four-star prospect who is from Chicago, Terrence Shannon showed an awful lot of promise as a freshman and had 13 double digit scoring games for Texas Tech. He is no secret to the Red Raiders fanbase or any knowledgeable Big 12 fans.

Shannon barely met my guidelines for making this list, but he did, and I love his potential as a sophomore. He is a true high-flyer and somebody that didn’t play basketball full-time until he did a year of prep school at IMG. His ball handling has come a long way and I think his jump shooting is the next area he’ll show major improvement.

The Ringer’s Rany Jazayerli writes that what Patrick Mahomes has already accomplished means that he has already at the top of the game . . . ever.

But it’s time to stop hedging. It’s time to stop using qualifiers or conditionals. It’s time to acknowledge the inevitable, the undeniable. Sure, Mahomes is not the greatest football player of all time yet; that player is still active, and Mahomes will face him this Sunday in Tampa. And something could go terribly wrong that derails Mahomes from his track—believe me, I often fret over this possibility. But God and health willing, he is poised to become the GOAT. Much like with Jordan at the turn of the ’90s, we are watching an athlete vie for GOAT status before he has even reached his prime.

These are heady words, and I don’t say them lightly. I am a Chiefs fan, so I can hardly believe I am saying them at all. But at this point the evidence is overwhelming. What Mahomes has done in the barely 26 months since he played his first game as QB1 in Kansas City—a total of 45 NFL games, counting the playoffs—is utterly without precedent for a player of any age.

Not everyone will find this interesting, but think it is relevant. Extra Points’ Matt Brown writes about how Under Armour negotiated an early termination of their deal with Cincinnati. There is no reference to Texas Tech here, so don’t expect that, but since Texas Tech and Under Armour are partners, this is interesting for me. As you may recall, Texas Tech and UA agreed to a 4-year extension in the summer of this year. BizJournal’s Holden Wilen had a bunch of the details, including that this was for a $12.9 million contract extension, including $3.225 million annually, of which $2.8 million is product. There’s also an interesting quite there that said that Texas Tech was underpaid based on performance, and that was before the Final Four run (so maybe Texas Tech isn’t getting top dollar?). Back to the originally linked article, Brown notes that this may mean that Under Armour may be gearing up to catch some big fish next year or after.

Here are some tweets.

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