Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe | 2011-03-02

ODDS AND ENDS

HOCUTT PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY

You can watch the Kirby Hocutt press conference today at noon.  I'll try to watch this later this evening, but I thought that Miami Herald's Dan LeBatard article was an interesting read.  LeBatard takes shots at Lubbock and goes for the low-hanging fruit about the differences between West Texas and South Florida.  Whatever.  The bulk of LeBatard's article is pretty critical of Hocutt and what he did, or what he didn't do.  He writes about how Hocutt had the opportunity to make two hires, Tuberville and Leach, implying that the reason Hocutt didn't hire Leach is because Hocutt knew he was going to take the Texas Tech AD job.  For me, this seems a bit far-fetched, to think that Hocutt is that calculated, but it wouldn't at all surprise me to think that Tuberville talked to Hocutt about the open AD position at Texas Tech, but Tuberville and Hocutt really don't have any other connection other than the fact that Hocutt is the athletic director at a university that Tuberville used to coach at.  Again, in my opinion, this seems like it's too much and I'm all about a good conspiracy. 

When articles are written about how or why someone could choose Texas Tech or Miami they have to dream up this conspiracy, but maybe . . . just maybe, Texas Tech is a better athletic program for that particular person.  ESPN's Ivan Maisel wrote it rather plainly:

The big story in Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt deciding to take the same job at Texas Tech is the gap between how Miami sees itself and how the college athletic world sees Miami. But there is a weird twist to it. Hocutt spoke with Tuberville last December in New York about the Hurricanes’ vacant head coaching job. At the time, Tuberville said publicly that he wasn’t a candidate. Fast forward nearly three months, and Hocutt joins Tuberville instead of vice-versa.

MISCELLANEOUS

This is more of a football issue, but I wanted to put it here so that it didn't get lost in the shuffle.  The Wall Street Journal's Hannah Karp and Darren Everson write about oversigning and three SEC coaches, S. Carolina's Steve Spurrier, Arkansas' Bobby Petrino and Mississippi's Houston Nutt defend the practice.  I find myself linking to a lot of these articles and am really just trying to give you an opportunity to make a decision about how you feel about oversigning in general, especially considering that Texas Tech's head coach is a proponent of oversigning as he did in the 2011 class . . . this is really some interesting stuff, maybe because I'm part of the sports blogging industry, but Deadspin posts all of the email chain between the writers who wrote for FanHouse after the FanHouse ran with Fantasy Sports Girls . . .

TEXAS TECH FOOTBALL

PRACTICE NOTES

A couple of things from yesterday's practice (today is an off-day and there is another practice on Thursday) and here's the official site of video of head coach Tommy Tuberville and his post-practice thoughts.  Here's my non-transcript:

Got a few guys back today, DE Aundrey Barr, WR Marcus Kennard and RG Deveric Gallington, they going were half speed.  Didn't play with a lot of enthusiasm on Saturday, not a good effort on first half on offense or second half on defense.  Today was a good practice.  C Justin Keown played good, RB Ronnie Daniels made a lot of mistakes, he's getting better, learning what to do.  K Donnie Carona didn't miss.  S Daniel Cobb is making improvements, DE Dartwan Bush is a good pass rusher.  Didn't do a good job tackling today.  CB Jarvis Phillips had surgery last month, CB Urell Johnson had shoulder surgery last week, and CB Derrick Mays tweaked a knee.  Haven't had a lot of consistency on defense, heads are spinning a bit.  Need to make more headway.  WR Alexander Torres hasn't been healthy for a long time, trying to get him healthy, get him through spring.  Want to get through spring and hit the weights for 5 months, need to get bigger and stronger.

LAJ's Don Williams has notes from yesterday, including the news about the cornerbacks being injured and some of the items listed above.  Williams also has a bit on the competition at free safety between Tre' Porter and D.J. Johnson:

"It’s making each other better. Iron sharpens iron," Porter said, "so we’re both getting better at the same time."

Defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow said free safety in the defense has a lot of responsibility for making calls and putting teammates in the right places. That’s one of the adjustments Porter is making.

"But I always took the leadership role, kind of," he said. "I’ll just try my best to relay all the calls, and hopefully we’ll get all of it down."

Williams also provides a bit of a depth chart at cornerback, including CB Eugen Neboh and and CB Jeremy Reynolds playing WCB, while CB Sawyer Vest and CB Junior Osunde are at SCB and talks about how the team had to for 25 minutes run because they left the locker room a mess.

LAJ's Don Williams also profiles DE Aundrey Barr and his rehab from knee surgery.  Barr gained some weight while recuperating:

Barr’s down time didn’t go to waste, at least. He could still work his upper body. Now the 6-foot-3 sophomore from Carrollton Newman Smith is up to 256 pounds, about 15 to 20 pounds more than last year.

It’s heavier than he’s ever been, but that might not be a bad thing.

"I’m still feeling good with it, and everything’s going good," he said. "It’s not going to be a problem. I think I’m already kind of used to it. I like being stronger. That’s always a good thing."

This is good, I think to play defensive end in the 4-2-5 you've got to have some defensive ends with some bulk.  Williams also mentions the defensive end rotation, including Barr and DE Dartwan Bush at the LDE and DE Jackson Richards and DE Scott Smith at RDE.

MISCELLANEOUS

NewsOK's Berry Tramel put out a list at 1:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon of the top 5 Red Raiders who had the best NFL career, I really like this list. . . meanwhile, DMN's Mike Graham compiles his top 5 NFL draft picks of all time and Graham leaves off WR Dave Parks, who was the #1 overall pick in in 1964 and is in the NFL Hall of Fame . . . Graham also predicts which Texas Tech players will get drafted or signed as a free agent . . .

TEXAS TECH BASEBALL

RED RAIDERS TAKE DOWN REBELS, 9-4
Texas Tech Red Raiders 9, UNLV Rebels 4
Boxscore | Video Highlights

 

It's so strange to see a mid-week starter actually give Texas Tech a little something and yesterday, true freshman David Paiz has notched his second win of the year (2-0) and gave Texas Tech 5 solid innings of work (5.0 IP; 5 H; 3 ER; 1 BB; 2 SO; 9 GO) and only needed 65 pitches to get there.  I thought it was strange to see so many guys get some relief work yesterday, including closer John Neely pitching 1.1 innings.  Anyway, yesterday you saw the following pitchers pitch after Paiz and before Neely:  Aaron Corwin, Cory Bafidis, Hayden Holub, Scott Erzinger, Jerad McCrummen and Zach Fowler.

And if it wasn't enough that Paiz pitched 5 innings, he also was the DH and went 1-3 with 2 RBI.  2B Nick Popescu also drove in 2 runs (2-4; 2 RBI) while another true freshman, RF Andre Wheeler had 2 hits (2-4; 1 RBI).

LAJ's George Watson and DT's Jose Rodriguez have game stories from yesterday, and here's a bit from Watson:

"I got to get ready a little more and was focused in," Paiz said. "I knew I was going to pitch and I felt good about myself today. When the game got closer I got a little nervous but that’s always good."

He gave up a pair of runs in the second inning after retiring the side in order in the first, then sat down seven straight before allowing a leadoff walk in the fifth. But his ability to get through that fifth inning was crucial in allowing head coach Dan Spencer to match up his pitching in the later innings, using seven relievers over the final four frames.

"Paiz gave us a great start," Spencer said. "He showed the kind of kid he is. He got ruffled … but he settled down and gave up one (run) late, and we got what we wanted. I was hoping he’d give us four and he gave us five. To get five good innings out of your starter on a Tuesday, we haven’t had a whole bunch of those in the last few years."

Tech also played error-free defense for the second time in three games, turning three double plays. Tech has allowed one error in its last three games since losing to BYU on Friday.

The second and final game of this short series starts today at 1:00 p.m.

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