Dallas Recruiting Review: I've secured my tickets for the Dallas Recruiting Review on Thursday, February 4th and I've only received 1 email confirming that other DTN readers will also be there. I'll be there with friends taking pictures and I'll be like a reporter in that I'll try to give you as much information from the event as humanly possible, but I won't be like a reporter in that I'm just like everyone else and pay for my own admission. If anyone intends on showing up, shoot me an email or leave a comment.
All Three Sports: Holy Smokes! This marks the first time in quite a while when the DTN DD contains news on all three sports. Don't forget that tomorrow, the basketball team takes on the Aggies and I'll have a preview tomorrow morning. Also, we're only a few days away from signing day (which makes me happy in that we can stop wringing our hands over the decisions of 18 year olds).
Winter Weather: The DT staff took a bunch of pictures from the winter weather that hit Lubbock yesterday. If you're not in Lubbock, then take a look.
Hargrave Coach Hired: We have confirmation (not that we didn't have it yesterday) that Hargrave Military Academy head coach Robert Prunty will be named as a defensive assistant after National Signing Day. LAJ's Don Williams, the Pittsylvania Star Tribune and goDanRiver.com's Damien Sordelett all have stories on Prunty taking a job with the Red Raiders. This is from Williams' article on Prunty's talents:
"He’d get a new crop every year and have two to three weeks, tops, to jell them into a team before playing the first game against whatever competition,’’ Wiebking said. "That takes a lot of knowledge about personalities and how to manage young men. He did an impressive job with that.’’
This has the potential to be a terrific hire for Tuberville. It's already been discussed here on DTN, but Hargrave was known to produce a ton, and I mean a ton, of talented players each and every year that played at a high level in college football or the NFL. That sort of potential pipeline could prove to be an advantage that pushes Texas Tech closer to the recruiting giants of the Big 12. I'm not counting on Prunty being able to produce some of that talent at Texas Tech this year, that wouldn't be fair, but this will certainly be something to watch.
One other thought is that I like how Tuberville is thinking outside the box a bit in terms of his hires. When Tuberville said before he was hired that he had been thinking about football for the last year, I believe him. That's not to say that I think that Tuberville had decided on exactly who he wanted to hire, but I do think he put together a list of coaches that he would target to be a part of his staff. The hire of Prunty seems like it's out of thin air, but I'd guess that Tuberville's been thinking about this hire for quite some time.
Grading Hires, Part . . . Whatever: Rivals.com's Mike Hugenin grades the coaching hires from major conferences and here's his rational for giving the Tuberville a C+:
Texas Tech and Tommy Tuberville
Buzz: Texas Tech is getting a proven head coach and one who has made his bones on the defensive side of the ball. The Red Raiders became relevant nationally because of former coach Mike Leach's offense. If you were an offensive player, you signed with Tech because of Leach's funky offense. If you were a defensive player, you signed with Tech because, for the most part, it was the best offer you received. Tuberville's mission is to keep the offensive pipeline open while also bringing in better defensive recruits. Tuberville is used to recruiting in the shadows of more established programs, but he must be prepared to do that on a different level now. Texas and Oklahoma generally have their pick of the top-flight talent in the state of Texas, and Tuberville and his staff are going to have to change some perceptions on the recruiting trail. Plus, you wonder if part of Tuberville wishes he had bypassed Tech and instead waited on something else -- and that "something else" could've been the jobs at USF and, especially, Tennessee. Recruiting for Tuberville would've been easier at those schools.
So let me get this straight, it appears that Hugenin's reason for giving the hire a C+ is because Tubberville is going to have a tougher time recruiting against the likes of Texas and Oklahoma, because everyone knows that recruiting in the SEC is incredibly easy?
Right now, the Rivals recruiting rankings have Tennessee at #7 in the country, behind the following SEC schools: #1 Florida, #3 Alabama, #4 Auburn and #6 LSU. That's four teams in front of Tennessee, which is great because recruiting in the SEC is easy, and the teams in front of Texas Tech? #2 Texas, #5 Oklahoma, #12 Texas A&M, #24 Oklahoma St. and #29 Nebraska.
It seems to me that Tennessee will have great recruiting classes, they always have, but I'd guess that competing against all of the other Big 12 teams ahead of Texas Tech shouldn't be as difficult as recruiting in the SEC.
Its one thing to give the Tuberville a hire based on things that he's actually done, or the job that you'll think he'll do at Texas Tech, but giving the hire a C+ because recruiting will be more difficult, which it will not, and the thought that he might have taken the Tennessee job isn't a reason on the actual hire itself.
I give Hugenin an F+ for his thought process. Click.
Miscellaneous Links: LAJ's Don Williams reports that former Red Raider Eric Morris will join the Houston coachign staff (Congrats on the job!) . . .
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: College Station, TX
DTN Preview: 8:00 a.m. tomorrow :: Open Game Day Thread: 7:00 p.m. tomorrow
Looking for a Win on the Road: DT's Mike Graham writes that the Red Raiders know that they need to get a win on the road, especially after the Missouri loss, and are looking to do so this Saturday against the Aggies. Here's PG John Roberson on the importance of Saturday's game:
"It’s real important," Roberson said. "Especially since we lost to Missouri at home, we have to get that one back. This is a winnable game for us and I think we’ll get it done."
And SF Mike Singletary knows that it's what happens in conference:
"We know that they’re a good team," forward Mike Singletary said. "And we think we’re a pretty good team. All that stuff we did before conference really doesn’t matter to us right now. It’s all about what you do in conference and who you beat in conference."
One other note was that Roberson wasn't quoted, but he did seem to say to Graham that he would expect that PF Darko Cohadarevic would be back on Saturday from his 1 game suspension, but that he was unsure if PF D`Walyn Roberts would return from his ankle injury.
Return of Baseball! LAJ's George Watson writes that the baseball teams starts practice today, and despite a handful of injuries, head coach Dan Spencer is confident. Here's Watson on the injuries:
Before the first pitch is even thrown in the 2010 season, Tech will already be down four players, all of whom had reconstructive elbow surgery — commonly known as Tommy John surgery — since the middle of the fall. Gone are proven left-handed reliever Robbie Kilcrease, outfielder Nick Hanslik, who missed all but 18 games while battling an elbow injury in 2009, and highly touted recruits Zach Fowler, a left-handed pitcher, and Duke VonSchamann, who was expected to pitch and play first base. All four were injured while playing this summer.
Spencer isn't feeling sorry for himself or the team:
"There was a week of feeling sorry for ourselves when we had those guys hurt, maybe two weeks," Spencer said. "But nobody is going to feel sorry for you. Nobody cares. People have injuries, and that’s the way it goes. The percentages are with us not to get anybody else hurt."
And Spencer thinks the talent is better all over the field:
"Our talent is better, and not just on the mound, and it is drastically better on the mound, but we’re better positionally, we’re faster and we have a lot more experience positionally," Spencer said. "We have some great players in this program, guys who are going to be high (draft) picks and high-profile guys. They have a tremendous work ethic as a group."