Feb 25, 2012; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders forward Jordan Tolbert (32) dunks the ball against the Texas Longhorns in the first half at the United Spirit Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
ODDS AND ENDS | Yesterday, Gil Roberts won the U.S. Indoor 400m at the 2012 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico (official site). First of all, that's absolutely awesome and it made me pause and think. SI.com's Joe Posnanski had written a blog post a few weeks ago asking the question, which athlete would you choose to play for your soul (he and I mean this in a totally jokey sort of way):
So, here’s the game: The Jon Lovitz Devil has consigned you to an eternity of being stuck in traffic in a wheezing Ford Escort without air conditioning, and the only radio station plays Michael Bolton 24 hours a day. But you have one chance to escape your fate. You get to choose one athlete, at his or her peak, and one sport. Ever. And if that athlete wins, you get a whole different eternity, with chocolate-covered strawberries, DirecTV and a deck that overlooks the ocean.
Ah, but there is one catch. You get to pick the athlete and sport. But the Jon Lovitz Devil gets to pick the terms.
I thought it was an interesting question, one that I thought would be even more difficult if I just limited it to Texas Tech athletes. You can choose athletes in their prime as it's a hypothetical game, but I could not come up with a better choice than long distance runner Sally Kipyego (Wikipedia and Texas Tech links). I think that now that Roberts has won a championship, I think I'd have to consider him as well, although I think that Kipyego won three championships.
What Texas Tech athlete (current or former) would you choose?
TEXAS TECH SOFTBALL | It stinks that this counted as the championship game, but Texas St. beat Texas Tech 1-3 (official site) for the championship at a tournament in Waco, even though Texas Tech had beat Texas St. in one of the earlier games and had gone undefeated up until yesterday. Still, very nice to see the team improve to 11-5 on the year.
TEXAS TECH BASKETBALL | I haven't even had time to watch Saturday's game and now the Red Raiders are back in action again tonight against Baylor. I know that I'm not going to have time to do a preview and I'm just hoping that I have time to watch the game tonight. Here are the details:
Texas Tech vs. Baylor
Where | Waco, TX
When | February 27, 2012 @ 8:00 pm
Television | ESPNU
LAJ's Nick Kosmider has a preview of the game:
Tech was also strong inside on Saturday. Just three weeks earlier, the Red Raiders had been torched by the Longhorns in the interior, but in the rematch Tech enjoyed a slight edge in both points in the paint (32-28) and rebounds (35-34), further evidence of the increased toughness Gillispie has seen in his team.
"I don't really think they had an option; we took everything away from them," Willis said. "It all boiled down to (freshman guard Myck Kabongo) trying to attack and get to the rim."
Despite the disappointment, Gillispie doesn't expect the Red Raiders to lack energy against Baylor (24-5, 11-5), which won the first game between the teams, 73-60, in Lubbock on Jan. 7 and is aiming to improve its seeding in next month's NCAA tournament.
"We have a work ethic established," Gillispie said. "We have a toughness established. There's no question in my mind we will play as hard as we can possibly can on Monday."
Kosmider has a lot more there, especially on the problems on Saturday afternoon.
TEXAS TECH FOOTBALL | I didn't run across much of anything, but I noticed while perusing things on Twitter on Saturday that AAS's Kirk Bohls was in Lubbock on Saturday (I think he has a kid going to school at Texas Tech) and he had this to say about the scrimmage:
Checked out the Texas Tech football team while I was in Lubbock. A few players who stood out in the 85-play scrimmage were big hitter Will Smith, a linebacker from Riverside (Calif.) Community College who had 88 tackles last year for his undefeated team; and 5-8, 190-pound running back SaDale Foster, one of eight junior-college transfers who have enrolled.
"We knew (Smith) was going to make a huge impact early," coach Tommy Tuberville said. "We were the worst in the country on defense last year. We can't do anything but go up, but we'll go way up. They were embarrassed last year."
The 5-7 Red Raiders went 1-7 down the stretch but hired four new coaches, including defensive coordinator Art Kaufman, who will return the defense to a 4-3 front after last year's failed experiment with a 4-2-5 alignment.
I don't know if the team will go "way up" but I think there will be improvement. I wish I could figure out how much, but the defense will be better.