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Texas Tech Friday Morning Notes - A Competitive Situation Edition

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Double T Nation News:

I'm going to be at a wedding on Saturday afternoon (start time is at 3:00 p.m.) which means that I'll probably miss chunks of the game. For those of you who don't think that I won't try and get away with a radio before, after and during the reception are misguided.

Texas Tech Football:

LAJ's Don Williams writes this morning that the Texas Tech defense is still feeling positive after 2 consecutive losses. Coach McNeill on the attitude of the team:

"That's the kind of kids we have. They have a great attitude,'' interim defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill said. "That comes from the offseason and the team-building type things that Mike (Leach) installed and Dennis (Simmons) installed and the team installed - that through adversity, you still have each other, and you learn to fight and scrap and you win together, lose together.''

I'm not complaining, but does anyone else think it's a bit strange that the coaching staff is as positive as they are? I'm all for it, but I get the feeling that a mutual decision was made between Leach and the staff that they weren't going to tear down this young team. Pump the defense full of praise and keep encouraging the team that they can get it done. I think it's a smart move considering the relative youth of the team. Yes you want to win this year, but next year could be special and you don't want any of these kids giving up on the team or program.

Here's Coach Leach:

"I think it's good,'' Leach said, "and I think Ruffin and those (defensive assistants) have done a great job as far as creating that, and I think it's accelerated as time's gone on. I think part of it is, going into this year, a lot of them didn't know each other that well. So I think part of it is getting to know one another better, too.''

Don's Red Raiders Notebook notes that running back Shannon Woods did not travel with the team to Waco. Coach Leach:

"Other guys are playing better,'' Tech coach Mike Leach said after Thursday's practice. "It's a competitive situation, and so we just felt like we'd go with the guys that are playing best and practicing the best.''

Freshman Aaron Crawford had better be ready to play on Saturday because he should get the ball quite a bit.

Also in the Notebook, Don states that L.A. Reed is ready to go, full speed. That's good news for the offense and especially the special teams.


DT's Adam Coleman writes that quarterback Graham Harrell is trying to get back on track. Coach Leach on his quarterback:

"I think he's fine," Leach said of Harrell. "It probably goes hand-in-hand. There were two interceptions I felt he was responsible for and two I didn't think he was responsible for. Anytime you throw it, the protection is a factor, how the routes are going is a factor and he's a factor. Sometimes you overcome it; sometimes you don't."

Waco Tribune's Jerry Hill is picking the Red Raiders to win big on Saturday.

Texas Tech Basketball:

AP writer Betsy Blaney, in the El Paso Times, has an excellent preview article on our Red Raiders. Coach Knight is focusing on the defense:

"We were pretty good last year, but the difference between good and really good was our defensive play," Knight said. "That was a problem with our team last year, so that's the first thing we've tried to address this year."

Coach Knight also has some interesting things to say about senior Martin Zeno:

"But he didn't understand that this is something that he should be working at, something that he should be doing last year," Knight said. "I would think that he'd be a good leader, but that will be determined as we get going here."

Knight sees his fourth-year starter working hard, though.

"Z's a very bright kid and I think has an understanding of what we want and how we want to play," Knight said. "And in our system he's been a pretty good player."

For the first time, Coach Knight mentions the three talented freshmen:

"But, (this year) we've got three of them that for all intents and purposes make up the best group of high school kids we've brought in," Knight said. "Let's see how they play."

Who's starting to get a little excited about basketball and the state of this program after reading that quote? I think Coach Knight knows that he's really got some talent with this group of freshmen. I don't know how good we'll be this year, but I like our chances for year's to come.