The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2022.08.10

It’s a day.

Conference Realignment

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported that ESPN is out of the running with the Big Ten, which would maybe be good for the Big 12 as ESPN needs content, especially for basketball. ESPN will need inventory, they have a ton of channels that need inventory. I wonder if this is good news for the Pac-12 because their deal is being negotiated now, but I don’t know if that changes a ton.


A Texas Tech profile of center Fardaws Aimaq:

Fardaws Aimaq walks into the offices at the Womble Basketball Center 10 minutes early for a meeting that will start nearly three hours later. It’s the first day of August and Texas Tech head coach Mark Adams is meeting with each player after two months of summer workouts. Fardaws, who signed with Texas Tech on May 7, 2022, is scheduled to talk with some of the coaching staff and Adams at 11:20 a.m., but with three teammates sprawled out on the couches in the lobby waiting it’s immediately obvious that’s not going to happen. “Let’s go down to the court,” Fardaws turns and says to Director of Scouting Matt Scherbenske. An impromptu individual workout has just been booked. “Come back at 2,” Adams’ executive assistant Brianna Whitaker tells them as she scrambles to reschedule multiple meetings and they’re already halfway down the stairs.

Fardaws is unfazed. It’s almost like this was part of the plan.

“If you’re fixed on a certain way things are supposed to be or how they’ll go, you’re going to run into a lot of problems and create negative energy,” he says. “You can set yourself up for disappointment when you really don’t need to. I think it’s important to always be open to change and be ready for anything.”

The past five years, now bringing him to his fourth American city, has taught him about being prepared to adjust. After high school in Canada, he went to Maine for prep school, spent his freshman season playing at Mercer University in Georgia and then was at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah the past three years. After redshirting his first year at Utah Valley, he played the past two and became one of the most dominant players in the nation. Fardaws led the nation with 15.0 rebounds per game as a sophomore and had 27 double-doubles which was the most going into the NCAA Tournament last year. In the 2020-21 season he earned WAC Player of the Year and WAC Defensive Player of the Year honors and last season he was named WAC Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year.


24/7 Sports predicts the September record for every Big 12 team with Texas Tech predicted to 2-2:

The overall difficulty of Texas Tech’s schedule — Houston and NC State are both on the non-conference docket — make it feasible for the Red Raiders to be fundamentally a better football team than a year ago without showing that in the win-loss column, and this projection is largely a reflection of that. But strange things can happen on the plains of West Texas, and the Red Raiders see three of their four September games come at home. Week 2 at Murray State is a lock for a Tech victory. Week 3 at NC State? That’s probably one Tech comes up short in. But in regards to additional home contests against Houston in Week 1 and at Texas in Week 4, I’m confident enough to say the Red Raiders will steal a win in one of them given the energy Joey McGuire has instilled within the program ahead of his debut season as head coach in Lubbock.

Sporting News’ Bill Bender has a 10,000 foot view of the Big 12 with no real mention of Texas Tech other than predicting that Texas Tech will finish 9th.


Here are some lists from ProFootballFocus. Preseason All-Big 12 team with a handful of Red Raiders. No players on the first team offense, but safety Dadrion Taylor-Demerson and punter Austin McNamara are first teams. On the second team receiver Myles Price is the only player with edge Tyree Wilson and safety Marquis Waters was on the third team. Honorable mention: running back SaRodorick Thompson, tight end Mason Tharp, tackle Caleb Rogers, and defensive lineman Jaylon Hutchings.

Top 50 quarterbacks includes Tyler Shough at #49 with Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel at #8, Texas’ Quinn Ewers at #18, Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders at #35, Baylor’s Blake Shapen at #39, TCU’s Chandler Morris at #45, and Kansas State’s Adrian Martinez at #48. Top 25 wide receivers (this is a national list, not Big 12 specific) does not include any Red Raiders, nor does the top 25 running backs (also a national list).


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