TEXAS TECH FOOTBALL
Head coach Tommy Tuberville has his post-practice press conference and I do want to clarify a couple of things. The football team decided to practice indoors at Wolfforth's Frenship High School's practice facility because of the high winds yesterday and obviously, Tuberville is politicking for an indoor facility at Texas Tech. Personally, I've got no problem with an indoor facility, it's an arms-race in college football and there are times that having an indoor facility would be good. And it wouldn't surprise me if Tuberville's big fund-raising event this summer is to gather the funds to have an indoor facility built. He supposedly raised the money to put field-turn on the practice fields and if he raises the money to get it done, great, but I don't want to take away from the other facilities that need upgrading. Knowing Tuberville, he's got this. Here's my non-transcript:
Good spirited practice. Little worried about the wind today so moved indoors, always worried about the wind. Hopefully TTU will have a similar facility, maybe bigger. Good scrimmage on Saturday. QB's made a few mistakes, but played okay. Defense played okay, but had too many mistakes. On Thursday, will have 70 play scrimmage with officials to end on the right note before spring break. Got a lot done today. Not any defensive players stepping up. DE Jackson Richards is playing better. DE Scott Smith was playing better, but hyper-extended his elbow. Offensively, put in some play-action, and try to get some on film on Thursday. Hard to tell defensively because playing so many guys. Put S Tre' Porter at cornerback. Would rather play him at safety, but not going to have much choice. In the fall, he'll have to play both. DE Dartwan Bush has gotten better, his first steps are good. Wish we could have redshirted him last year, but he's got to get a little stronger and play him on the edge a little bit more. Probably #1 guy for pass-rusher, but has to work on technique. Not worried about the week off, more worried with the coaches than the players.
LAJ's Don Williams profiles DE Dartwan Bush and I thought that TE Tony Trahan's comments were the best comments about Bush:
Tight end Tony Trahan said it’s Bush’s long arms that give him trouble.
"You go up against the guy, you’re trying to lock out on him, and he’s touching your neck and you’ve still got a foot to go (to reach him)," said Trahan, a 6-5, 228-pounder. "That’s definitely tough.
"Whether it’s Texas or A&M or OU, he’s going to give those guys all kind of problems. He’s going to be a speed demon off the end."
Even though Tech coaches wish they had him four more years instead of three, Bush said he benefited from the limited game experience.
"It’s going to help me a lot," he said, "because now I’m used to the fans and the pace, the strength of players and how fast they are. It’s going to help me big time."
I also wanted to link to CFN's Richard Cirminiello and his top 11 JUCO players in the 2011 signing class and DE/DT Leon Mackey makes the cut at #9:
9. DE Leon Mackey, Texas Tech
Mackey had a number of options coming out of Hinds (Miss.) Community College. He chose Lubbock, which has head coach Tommy Tuberville absolutely ecstatic. At 6-4 and 260 pounds, he has tremendous size for a pass rusher, blending the strength to stop the run and the speed to make plays in the backfield. Three years removed from high school, he’s a physically and emotionally mature defender, who’s going to help the Red Raiders as soon as he gets acclimated to his new surroundings. Flashing the light feet and balance of a former tight end, he’s capable of adding some weight and sliding inside if the need arises.
The day before yesterday (Yes, I'm a day late on all the musings, that's what happens when your college fires it's basketball coach.) Yahoo! Sports Charles Robinson and Dan Wetzel broke the story that Ohio St. head coach Jim Tressel knew that his players may have been receiving benefits during the season and failed to report it. Last night, Ohio St. and Tressel held a press conference confirming that this is the case and that Tressel will be suspended the first 2 games of next year and will be fined $250,000. Just like last year when Leach was terminated, I think DTN was a great place to figure out, from a fans' perspective what was really happening and so I also always recommend hitting up SB Nation's resident Ohio St. blog, Along The Olentangy . . . CBS Sports with a note that the bowl system is facing questions from the IRS. Don't ever mess with the IRS . . . BON's TXStampede has a nice summary on the state of college football recruiting . . .
TEXAS TECH BASKETBALL
|MORE PAT KNIGHT FALLOUT|
LAJ's Courtney Linehan did a Q&A with Pat Knight and not surprisingly, he's continuing to be incredibly gracious:
CL: Did he seem surprised?
PK: No. It was great. We were just two guys sitting there talking about what was going on, everything. Even once the decision was made we sat there and talked for a while longer. I love the guy. President Bailey, Chancellor (Kent) Hance and Coach Myers, you couldn’t ask for a better group. The next guy who’s coming in is going to work for three great guys. I know people think it’s a weird situation, but it’s business. I understand. Those guys gave me an opportunity, they’ve been first class to me, so I’m going to be first class to them.
And RP.com's Travis Cram has video of PK talking about the entire situation. He does seem at peace:
RaiderPowerTV: Knight Talks About Firing (via RaiderPowerTV)
I also recommend Williams and Hyatt Show's Ryan Hyatt talking with former Red Raider Andy Ellis. I really like Ellis and I think he loves this university. It's not surprising for me that people continue to say nice things about Pat and Ellis really thought that PK would succeed at Texas Tech.
Coaching candidates and other stuff . . . after the jump.
|MORE ON COACHING CANDIDATES|
LAJ's Courtney Linehan writes that the coaching search will move very quickly, the next 10 to 14 days and Linehan writes that new Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt will be making the hire. Linehan also mentions Billy Gillispie, Nebraska's Doc Sadler, North Texas' Johnny Jones, and New Mexico's Steve Alford as candidates, although the official that she talked to said that no candidates have been identified. I found RRS.com's Chris Level's tweet that said that Sadler is pushing for Gillispie to get the Texas Tech job:
An interesting tidbit regarding Nebraska's Doc Sadler: He is doing everything he can to help Billy Gillispie get the #TexasTech job. #pals
In talking about Gillispie, there are two sides to this coin. Up first is Yahoo! Sports Jason King who has a lengthy article about Gillispie and how his life has changed:
Looking closer to 41 than 51, Gillispie hardly resembles the puffy-cheeked man whose police mug shot was plastered on the front of newspapers across Kentucky 18 months ago. His face is thinner, his eyes sparkle and his voice booms with energy as he talks about the satisfaction he’s received from working with charitable organizations such as MADD and Big Brothers Big Sisters the past few months.
Ask him about his legal issues and Gillispie hardly bristles. Even though therapists in the Houston rehabilitation center run by former NBA coach John Lucas concluded he didn’t have a problem with alcohol – "He had a problem making good decisions when he was around alcohol, big difference," Lucas said – Gillispie has decided to quit drinking.
I can't summarize this article, so if you want to try to judge whether or not you think Gillispie has changed, this is the article to read. On the other side of the coin, the Lexington Herald-Leader's John Clay writes about some of the issues that he had while at Kentucky:
In Kentucky, however, we saw him from a sharply different angle. We got him close-up. We had two years of it.
Our advice: If Texas Tech is serious about hiring Gillispie as Pat Knight's successor, do a better background check than the one done by his previous employer.
Here, we now know some things about the mystery that is Billy G., and we know some things about which the Red Raiders should ask.
First, ask him about his personal life.
FWST's Gil Lebreton writes that now that Pat is gone, does Texas Tech have any answers, and yawns at football coach Tommy Tuberville while writing an article. Lebreton's point, I think, is that Texas Tech needs to hire head coaches to distinguish itself since it will always be an uphill battle to beat UT or OU. ###
|BIG 12 TOURNAMENT|
LAJ's Courtney Linehan writes that PK and the players are ready for the Big 12 Tournament and PG John Roberson says that he thought the administration would let things play out:
"I thought they’d get a chance to play out the Big 12, so it was shocking," Roberson said. "And to see he was still going to coach us, I thought that would be awkward for him."
Knight compared the situation to ripping off a band-aid. He said speculation about his status had tainted the atmosphere around his team, and he wanted the news out in the open for the athletes, assistant coaches, and his family.
Also of note is that Texas Tech will pay out the last two years of Pat's contract and the salary for the coaches for the next 6 months. Finally, there's speculation that Oklahoma's Jeff Capel's job is in jeopardy, which is strange considering he has a 58% winning record (from 2006 through 2011), won 28 games in the 2008-2009 season and has had 2 less than stellar seasons. I always like Capel, thought he did a good job, but he went down the wrong road recruiting a few players (I can't remember the names, but they left for the NBA last year) and I think he has a pretty young team that will probably be better next year.
Bring on the Cats has a quick primer for the Big 12 Tournament . . . Big 12 Hoops' Joe Lloyd has point spreads and predictions for the 1st round of the Big 12 Tournament . . . Big 12 Hoops' Evan Pfaff has a preview for Missouri Texas Tech, which is tonight at 8:30 p.m. Prime Time!!!! . . . .