The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2023.07.17

Lots of links from the weekend.’s Taylor Eldridge writes about Sunrise Christian Academy Luke Barnwell and why he left to come to Texas Tech:

Countless NCAA Div. I coaches had tried to convince Barnwell to leave in recent years, but the coach wouldn’t leave for anything less than a special situation. That special situation materialized earlier this summer when Grant McCasland was hired as head coach at Texas Tech and brought along assistants Matt Braeuer, a former Wichita State standout player, and Achoki Moikobu, a former assistant under Barnwell at Sunrise. Barnwell officially joined the college basketball ranks on July 1 and has been recruiting for the Red Raiders since. “I’m a people person and the people are what led me to Texas Tech,” Barnwell told The Eagle. “I got to know coach McCasland a few years ago at North Texas and his way of coaching is so much more than just the round ball going in. It’s about leadership and doing things the right way and I was immediately attracted to that because that’s the way I want to coach. I know both of the assistants, so it’s like one big family.”


Red Raider Sports’ on Jarrett Ramirez and Ben Golan on Saturday’s commitment of Shoemaker Killeen defensive back Malik Esquerra (6-3/185):

“Texas Tech was the best move for me because of the development that I’ll have there with coach (Marcel) Yates will probably be the best anywhere, and then being able to play on the field at a early age. My goal is to play as a true freshman. That’s my goal so I’m gonna work towards that, and I know that I’ll have the best odds of doing that with the coaches and the teammates that I have.

Probably the last night of my visit I knew. It was really between Texas Tech and Nebraska. They both have really, really great things to offer me, but I think that last night I was there (in Lubbock) it was pretty much set in my mind that I was gonna commit. I just had to talk with my high school coaches and my parents and that was pretty much it.”

Esquerra had offers from Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, TCU, Vanderbilt and North Texas.

Hmmmm, part II.

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal’s Nathan Giese with a bit on head coach Grant McCasland and getting his roster and staff set:

“I felt like we needed experience,” McCasland said, “especially experience that’s played in the NCAA Tournament. That was a priority, because if you can come into a program with an expectation already of understanding what it takes to get in the tournament, that’s the goal is to get them to win the national championship.”

Via NBC Sports, a quiet move, Mark Adams has been hired at East Carolina as an assistant coach.

CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander on how coaches are starting to view incoming freshmen (this is for basketball) and how the transfer market has affected them:

There has long been a credo in college hoops: get old, stay old. It’s never felt more true than now, only instead of getting old by recruiting and retaining players for four or five years, teams are trying to get old by adding batches of transfers at rates never seen before. Coaches are prioritizing 21-, 22- and 23-year-olds (on their second or, sometimes, a third school) over the development of freshmen. To be clear, this is a two-way street. The coaches are adapting to the behavior of players, who are seeking the most playing time and/or money they can get in this nascent age of NIL.

“The thing is, they get the one-time transfer,” a Big Ten coach said. “If you can get a kid after he leaves, after his freshman or sophomore year, and then he’s stuck? That shit’s like gold, man.”

Added another Big Ten coach: “However many freshmen you take, you need to prepare to have that many spots available open in the spring. Freshmen are a bad investment. They’re all rentals.”

I’m not posting this for any reason, just something to think about. I think a lot of people have thought this because transfers have become valuable and it’s difficult for coaches to retain freshmen to stay at their initial place if they aren’t playing.


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