DTN's Top Six:
- LAJ's Jeff Walker's Big 12 Extra (pdf).
- Hmmm. Former Red Raider Decensae White (he left the team because he didn't want to play for RMK) missed his 3rd straight game with an internal team issue.
- Rush the Court with the strange story of Grambling "canceling" a game with Talladega College.
- Davidson's Stephen Curry with an 80 foot shot. I've decided that since Texas Tech won't be playing in the NCAA tournament, I'm going to be a fan of Davidson and Curry.
- BOTC with the weekend outlook.
- ESPN's Tim Griffin with the Big 12, the Superbowl, and the 1990's.
Per LAJ's Don Williams, the Red Raiders will host at least 4 recruits this weekend. Let's take a look at each potential commit:
Keller Fossil Ridge, TX
Carrollton Newman Smith, TX
Blinn C.C., TX
Williams' article notes that Texas Tech has only 2 or 3 scholarships left and these guys may be contingency plays, other than Mahoney, who I think would be a pretty good catch, so long as he qualifies. The two defensive ends tells me that the staff knows they need some depth at defensive end and I guess the staff feels like they need to fill it, hell or high water.
I thought the staff did a great job all year of getting guys to commit early, which is something that hasn't happened as Texas Tech traditionally. I think the staff was a little surprised by some of the extra scholarships that are now available and as a result, we're scrambling a bit.
The next step is getting guys to sign letters of intent early, as juniors, so we don't have to mess with this mess in February.
Texas Tech on Right Track
If the Red Raiders win Saturday against a Nebraska team that has lost two in a row and also is needing a win - particularly on the road - then the game against A&M could prove to be a turning point.
Face it, barring a miraculous finish, this team isn’t going to the NCAA Tournament. The Red Raiders can, however, still have a successful season.
Tech has enough remaining games to move up enough in the standings to get a favorable seed in the conference tournament. Enough wins down the stretch, and a win in the conference tournament, can put this team in the National Invitation Tournament.
I would love for this group to get an NIT invite. Again, I realize the NIT is almost irrelevant, but the more games this group plays, the better Texas Tech should be next year.
Texas Tech and Nebraska Preview
DT's Alex Ybarra notes that Pat Knight hopes this team turns the corner against Nebraska. Junior Knight has some encouraging words for his players:
"I think so, these guys are getting close," said Knight, whose team has lost five of its last six games. "That's why I was hoping last night we'd get that one and sneak that one out. I think these kids deserve it. Right now is not a good time to coach or be a player or even be a fan. It's the toughest time."
And Junior Knight was also pleased how his Red Raiders performed on the road against the Aggies:
"From being on the road in a tough environment, that's the best we've looked," Knight said. "I think we've looked better in some wins. I don't think we've ever looked better in a loss, but the effort was there and that's one of the first things we're trying to get."
Baseball Practice Begins on Sunday
It will be a historic Sunday for Texas Tech when the Red Raider baseball team takes the field for the first practice of 2009 and does so without Larry Hays on the field for the first time in 22 years. The skipper retired in July — somewhat surprisingly at the time — and made way for new coach Dan Spencer, who came aboard in a staff reshuffling last summer. In the span of 13 months Spencer went from Oregon State assistant and striving for the College World Series to trying to rebuild the Texas Tech recruiting base to trying to rebuild the entire program.
Tech goes into spring workouts with 16 newcomers on the 35-man roster. Among those newcomers are 12 freshmen and six brand new pitchers. The roster is also split almost down the middle between pitchers (18) and position players (17) with four returning starters adn 11 returning pitchers.