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Texas Tech Monday Morning Notes - Eliminate Distractions Edition

Texas Tech Football:

Well, well, well, hat-tip to DTN reader ayleein, for catching the news that LAJ's Don Williams, in his Gator Bowl Notebook, is reporting that rarely used running back Shannon Woods and defensive end Brandon Sharpe were sent home yesterday for unspecified team rule violations. As ayleein noted, I think we can say goodbye to Woods career at Texas Tech. It might be safe to say that Woods just doesn't care anymore. I still find his fall from grace amazing, going from the the leader in all-purpose yards in 2006 to being supplanted by Aaron Crawford after the Colorado game.

Here's Coach Leach on how it might affect Woods' future:

"I don't know. We haven't gotten that far. Just eliminate distractions right now and just play the game.''

Sharpe's situation is more of a head-scratcher. From what I recall from this summer he had to finish a bunch of hours before being able to be qualified from JUCO, which he did, and was injured early in the season. For whatever reason Sharpe was never able to carve out any playing time for himself all year, as he only played in 1 game. Perhaps he sees the writing on the wall with the addition of Dixon, Sesay and Marshall next year and has just given up. I'm just not sure.

Also of note in the GB Notebook, backup right tackle Jake Johnson and backup safety Anthony Hines are out with ankle injuries. That could prove to be a huge deal and I was expecting Johnson to get some time at right tackle to spell Winn.

LAJ's Don Williams writes about Leach's ability to prepare for bowl games, where Coach Leach notes that it begins with knowing what to focus on and organization of practices:

"I think the biggest thing was just kind of the organization of practices,'' he said. "We kind of got a better feel of what was important, and then I think our team gravitated around the objective of focus during football practice and set aside the other activities. And it's perhaps passed down from one class to the next.''

DMN's Brandon George has a tremendous feature article on receiver Danny Amendola. Excellent stuff from George, just go read the whole thing. One other thing that got me thinking as I read the article, George makes a comparison between the New England offense, that Crabtree is similar to Randy Moss and Amendola is similar to Wes Welker, which reminded me of a about a conversation I had with my brother-in-law about whether or not the success of Welker will create more opportunities for Amendola? Perhaps Welker wasn't thought of as highly as he was because he was a system receiver, didn't have good measurables, etc. He could catch the ball and make people miss, which is something that you can't measure. I don't think that Amendola has Welker's elusiveness, but he's as sure-handed as they come and he understands how to get open in space, as well as being a pretty decent punt returner. That can be pretty valuable in the NFL and I'm just wondering if scouts are starting to re-think what's important.

DMN's Brian Davis also has a notebook of sorts and focuses on the improved defense under Ruffin McNeill. Here's Leach on McNeill's interim status:

"We'll do all that when we get back [to Lubbock]," Leach said after Sunday's practice at the University of North Florida. "He's been excellent. The improvement in every defensive category has been tremendous. Virtually every category."

Here's McNeill on the decision:

"I know when we first talked about it, we said after the season we'd discuss it again," McNeill said. "But we have not talked about it. I would love to have it, and I know coach knows I would love to have it.


"I like the fact that initially the kids' attitude, which is what you worry about with a change in midseason, was fantastic," McNeill said. "All parts came together, and we worked as one."

Who else gets the feeling that McNeill will be around leading this defense next year? Personally, I think that's a good thing. McNeill could probably never make the needed changes during the middle of the season and I think it's appropriate to give McNeill an offseason to implement a more aggressive defense, which is what I think we'll see.

Update [2007-12-31 7:29:2 by Seth C]: I missed an article from FWST's Dwain Price on freshman running back Aaron Crawford.

Texas Tech Basketball:

LAJ's Jeff Walker article focuses on the less than stellar free throw performance from Saturday afternoon. Lots of good stuff from Walker, but I thought this last quote from Knight on senior point guard Charlie Burgess was awfully eye-opening:

Burgess had the worst problems from the line, missing 4-of-6 free throws. The senior guard entered the game shooting 76 percent from the line, but his shooting struggles have occurred from the field. Prior to Saturday's win, Burgess was shooting 42 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range, which hasn't gone unnoticed by Knight.

"Burgess has never been in to work on shooting since he's been here," Knight said. "And that may explain why he's 6 of 25 in threes and why he was 2 of 6 (from the line) today."

So you mean to tell me that Burgess, despite being a guy who struggles from the outside, has never sought help for his shooting deficiencies? I just don't get that.

I ran across this earlier in the month and meant to pass it along sooner, but former Red Raider Decensae White has transferred to Santa Clara. Decensae is going to do well no matter where he goes and I wish him well.