Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe | 2011-03-24

TEXAS TECH BASKETBALL

BILLY GILLISPIE PRESS CONFERENCE

The press conference transcript (PDF) can be seen here and I'll be honest, I'm incredibly excited.  Gillispie seemed humble, but proud of his accomplishments (he should be) and perhaps the best part of the presser was Gillispie's story about one of his former players and a current Lubbock vice principal, Gionet Cooper (Ed. the transcript has Gionet's name misspelled, but I have corrected it):

I have a former player here that I coached at Ellison high school a few years ago. Gionet Cooper, I'd like for him to stand up if he would. Real short story about Gionet. When I first took over at Killeen Ellison High School, and he's going to kill me for saying this. But when I went in there he said this guy's got a little talent. He was a freshman. He weighed a little less than he does now. He was a little skinny kid. But they said, coach, he's got a bad attitude. He'll never graduate and won't go to class. But have you finished your doctorate degree? He completes his doctorate degree in December, and an assistant principal here in Lubbock, Texas. And one of the greatest success stories because he has great heart, great compassion, determination, and drive.

I have a former player here that I coached at Ellison high school a few years ago. Gionet Cooper, I'd like for him to stand up if he would. Real short story about Gionet. When I first took over at Killeen Ellison High School, and he's going to kill me for saying this. But when I went in there he said this guy's got a little talent. He was a freshman. He weighed a little less than he does now. He was a little skinny kid. But they said, coach, he's got a bad attitude. He'll never graduate and won't go to class. But have you finished your doctorate degree? He completes his doctorate degree in December, and an assistant principal here in Lubbock, Texas. And one of the greatest success stories because he has great heart, great compassion, determination, and drive.

If this is Gillispie's goal, to connect, to create a family, to win, and to help his players be better human beings, then I'm all in.  And if you didn't watch KAMC's story on Gionet Cooper (for the love of everything that is good, please make tiny video player just a wee bit bigger) and the credit he gave to Gillispie for the person he's become, then you need to go watch it. 

When asked about what style of basketball Gillispie will play:

Winning, the winning style.

Again, I'm all in. And he also said that this team needs some height.  Yes please.

And with all of the coaching turnover across the country, I'm happy that Gillispie is in Lubbock.  Some in Oklahoma are saying that OU could have had Gillispie, I don't know if Missouri would have been interested in Gillispie, but there are a handful of good programs that Gillispie could have gone (NC State, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Missouri are off the top of my head).  And if I was hiring a basketball coach, I'd take a look at my law school alma mater, Tulsa's Doug Wojcik

And if you want to read stories on yesterday's press conference then feel free to check out LAJ's Courtney Linehan (warning, video auto-player) and DT's Tommy Magelssen

One more thing (hat-tip @AaronDickens), the recruiting class that former head coach Pat Knight signed has three All-State players, including PG Kevin Wagner (3A), SG Toddrick Gotcher (5A) and SF Terran Petteway (4A).  I don't think that Gillispie was lying when he said that PK didn't leave the cupboard empty.

TEXAS TECH FOOTBALL

SPORTS BY BROOKS VS. TUBERVILLE

Where to start . . . Yesterday Sports By Brooks posted on his Facebook page quit a few items (hat-tip to CRV for the FanShot) where Brooks essentially stated that Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville is "miserable" at Texas Tech and wishes he had never taken the job.  After practice yesterday, Tuberville responded, thank you DMN's Mike Graham and DT's Joshua Koch for the quotes and KCBD's sportstacular Pete Christy for the video:

"This is a great place," Tuberville said. "We're going to build something here that people here can be proud of. That's coming from a lot of people that probably hope we would pack up and leave. But we're looking forward to it. It's going to be a tough challenge the next couple of years getting it where we want to get it to but I would imagine that's coming from across the river somewhere. They would hope I go somewhere else."

I'll be honest, my first reaction to reading SBB's comments, which by the way, he was spot-on with the Billy Clyde Gillispie hiring (as were a lot of reporters) and slightly ahead of just about everyone on news, was that if Tuberville is unhappy then it's not evident to me.  He's working awfully hard for a guy that allegedly hates being in Texas Tech.  The 2011 recruiting class doesn't happen without hard work, the money raised by Tuberville himself for the new turf on the practice field, instigating the possibility of an indoor facility (it wouldn't surprise me if he is told he's got to go out and raise this money), a new and reorganized weight room, etc.  I'm sure there are other examples, but if Tuberville is unhappy he sure is trying to make the program better. 

If you're asking me how to take this bit of information, take it just like everything else that you read.  Grain of salt.  My words, Brooks' words, anyone's words.  Sometimes it's just good to take a bit of information and file it away.

PRACTICE NOTES

Football practice is back, but only for a week.  LAJ's Don Williams writes about the defensive tackle position, and how that despite a spring to settle things, it's still wide open:

"We’ve got to step up," defensive tackle Kerry Hyder said Wednesday. "We watched Colby. We learned a lot from him. Now it’s our time to step up and take over what he left us."

Tech doesn’t return a full-time starter at either nose tackle or defensive tackle for 2011, so one of Tech coaches’ tasks during spring practice has been sorting through their several options with limited experience. Among the returning tackles, Donald Langley made six starts last year, Pearlie Graves four, Hyder three and Chris Perry one.

There are also quotes from DT Chris Perry, who acknowledges that he hasn't lived up to expectations and Tuberville talks about some of the players:

"Rumph is really playing well," Tuberville said. "I think he’s probably made a lot of headway the last few weeks. We’ve moved him from 3-technique (defensive tackle) to noseguard some. Kerry Hyder continues to improve. Obviously, with the depth we’ve got coming in, a couple of JC players, I think that’s going to help, not just inside, but outside."

Williams also has a football notebook, where he details the fact that QB Seth Doege had an incredibly hot-hand in yesterday's practice including some play-by-play:

During a five-play stretch when the Red Raiders were working on red-zone offense, Doege threaded the needle with an 8-yard TD strike to Alex Torres, hit Tramain Swindall deep middle for a 25-yard score and threw up a 25-yarder in the end zone that 6-foot-4 split end Marcus Kennard went up and pulled down over 5-9 cornerback Jeremy Reynolds.

Sandwiched in between was a 23-yard run by Aaron Crawford that Crawford followed up with a 2-yard TD.

A few minutes later, Doege ended the day throwing a 57-yard touchdown to Swindall, who ran free behind a busted coverage.

"I felt like it was a good day," Doege said. "I felt like I had some bad plays, but overall I felt pretty good about the day."

And perhaps the best news of the day is that CB Derrick Mays returned to practice. 

DT's Joshua Koch has a lot more on the quarterback battle and I don't think that Texas Tech fans could have asked from a better set of young men compete for a job:

"I feel pretty good about the spring," Doege said. "I have a lot to work on, and I’m going to work on it. As soon as spring’s over, there’s some little things that I need to work on to make me a better player. I just want to keep coming out here and getting better every day that I can and finish off in the spring game. Just work on from there, and through the summer, to be ready for game one."

Snip.

"It’s a quarterback competition; there’s no quarterback controversy, there’s no anything like that," Karam said. "We both want to win as many games as possible next year, and we’re teammates first and foremost, and he’s a tremendous quarterback, a tremendous player and a great leader. We push each other. Like I said, there’s no controversy; we’re both out here to bring Texas Tech to a Big 12 Championship, and whichever way we can do that, that’s what we want."

And everyone's favorite blogger, ESPN's David Ubben (is it wrong if I'm enjoying Ubbens' work more in the offseason?) spent some time in Lubbock with head coach Tuberville and Tubs showed Ubben drawings for a possible indoor facility.  I'll say it again, if Tuberville can raise the money to have that sucker built and not take away any funds designated for any Dan Law Field renovation, then I'm all for it.

TEXAS TECH BASEBALL

NEBRASKA SERIES

The hated and despised Cornhuskers come to to town and LAJ's George Watson previews the Huskers:

"The last two years have not been good for us," ninth-year Nebraska coach Mike Anderson said. "We want to create a (positive) reputation in the Big 12 and nationally. I think that’s important. Looking at the long range we hope to finish up strong in the Big 12 and get into the Big Ten strong."

The Huskers of 2011 are well on their way toward reversing their recent fortune, even though they’ve yet to play a conference opponent. They’ve compiled a 16-7 record that includes an impressive series victory against UCLA, last year’s national runner-up.

Also wanted to give a shout-out to freshman OF Andre Wheeler who was named CollegeBaseball360.com Primetime Performers list for this past week's performance.  Congrats Andre!

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