Double-T Nation News:
DTN's Top Four:
- Give a warm welcome to two new SB Nation college blogs: Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man and Vanderbilt blog Conquer and Prevail.
- FWST rounds up the Big 12.
- BHGP Presents: Charlie Weis Gets A New Leg. Bravo.
- Wendell Barnhouse also rounds up the Big 12 with notes from Monday's conference calls.
Texas Tech Football:
ESPN The Magazine spent a few minutes with Mike Leach:
Do you think that Captain Leach has a limitless supply of cargo shorts or does he own just a couple of pairs that get rotated throughout the week?
James Felts (?) from the LAJ writes about the linemen being at this week's press conference - hilarity ensues. Stephen Hamby is actually going for a position change, mid season:
"I’m actually trying out for the new ‘X’ position," Hamby said, using Tech’s terminology for split end. "I heard that was up."
And how about this . . .
"I think the funniest play out there - nobody noticed it - Graham comes up to check with 5 seconds left (on the play clock)," Hamby said. "I’m like, ‘What are you doing?’ Because we’re about to get a delay of game.
"He looks over at Crab and says, ‘Just run a vertical! Just run a vertical!’ I look up and the defensive backs are thinking he’s lying. Crab. Vertical. Touchdown. I looked at Graham and said, ‘Real mature. Real cool.’
"He was like, ‘Did you like that?’"
Go read the whole thing, its pretty entertaining.
DT's Alex Ybarra writes about the improving rushing game as guard Brandon Carter talks about how well the running backs are playing:
"There was a couple times where I'd make my block, and I'd look up and our running back would get hit by two people, and he'd just keep moving to get five, 10 yards extra," Carter said. "I think they have a different mentality this year. In the past, I could see them get hit and go down to the ground, but I never saw them do that this week. I never saw them stop their feet."
Leach also says that both Baron Batch and Shannon Woods are beginning to clear up their deficiencies:
"You almost see them imitating each others' strong qualities," Leach said. "I mean, Baron is looking more and more like Shannon blocking. Shannon is looking more and more like Baron carrying the ball, so I think it really has brought out their best qualities and features."
Batch polishes his blocking every week, Leach said, adding that Batch's struggles stem from too much intensity.
"Baron's intensity is not his problem, but over (intensity is)," Leach said. "He might overshoot a guy or hit the wrong guy really, really hard type of deal."
Ybarra also pens a Texas Tech football notebook. There's a number of intriguing notes, but wanted to offer a couple of items of concern for DTN readers:
- Captain Leach on freshman kicker Donnie Carona:
"We're concerned now, but he's gonna be really good," Leach said. "The thing is if you think back to all of them, they all had a developmental period. They've all gone through some growing pains. In his case he works real hard, great work ethic there. He's not one of those guys that pouts in between. If they do, you gotta slap the pouting out of them."
- There may be some changes at the receiver position on Saturday:
"We may shuffle some guys at receiver," Leach said. "Try to get more plays out of some guys, and some guys emerging and things like that. So we'll see as the week goes on."
SAEN's Mike Finger writes about Leach's unhappiness with the passing game, and I liked this bit from Finger:
Then, if that wasn't enough, Leach questioned their toughness, both physically and mentally.
"I'm kind of curious," Leach said. "Are they scared, or do they have big heads?"
Somewhere inside that buccaneer brain of his, Leach probably suspects that neither is true. Some of his disappointment in Harrell and Crabtree is undoubtedly real — they did, after all, manage to combine for a few incompletions — but does he really think his two best players are afraid to compete? Or that their egos are too large to coexist with the rest of the team?
Maybe, but it's a long shot. More likely, Leach just wants his team to keep the same edge they had before they were knocking on the door of the top 10.
Texas Tech Basketball:
Per LAJ's Jeff Walker, Coach Pat Knight received a verbal commitment from Mike Davis, a 6'3" guard from Wheatley, Houston. I haven't been able to find anything for free on Davis and I also haven't quite yet found the time to update the commitment list (down, to your left). We do have his Rivals and ESPN profiles (couldn't find a Scout profile, but I think this is essentially the same as ESPN). Here's Davis on his commitment:
"I talked to my family a couple of times," Davis said Saturday as he watched the Red Raiders conduct offseason workouts four players at a time. "There was some damage to the house, the garage caved in and the roof needs fixing. There were some spots where water was coming down from the ceiling and like most people they didn’t have electricity. The main thing, though, is they are OK."
"It’s close to home and my parents will get to see a lot of the games," Davis said. "I like the playing style of Tech. It’s similar to what I played on my AAU team. They like to move the ball in transition and get up the floor, but if it’s not there, pull it out and go into the motion offense."
Welcome Mike! And Get Your Guns Up!