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Thursday Morning Notes

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Texas Tech Football:

LAJ's Don Williams has a ton of stuff this morning. Don has a piece called "Huddling Up With . . . " and this morning he huddles up with Coach Mike Leach. Don's Position Battle focuses on the flanker position and has this on the position:

The skinny: In a battle of second-year receivers, redshirt freshman Mike Crabtree had quite a day to kick off Texas Tech's first spring practice. During seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills, Crabtree received plenty of action and showed good hands. He made a couple of leaping receptions, including one where he had to twist around his body and another where he reached over a defender. He also showed off his speed and elusiveness when he caught a screen (true, the defense wasn't allowed to tackle and nobody wore pads).

Sophomore Edward Britton was in class Wednesday afternoon, so he got started 55 minutes late. He rotated with Crabtree, and didn't take long to get into the mix, catching a 15-yard pass over the middle. Britton, though, wasn't thrown to as often as Crabtree and the sophomore had at least one dropped pass that he should have caught.

Don's 2nd article focuses on the quarterback position. Don has this from Harrell:

Harrell says there's ''no question'' he's more comfortable than ever before. Unlike the past two years, he can make his first priority getting better rather than winning a job.

"That, and also a year of experience makes a huge difference,'' he said. "I think that's going to benefit me more than anything.''

Here's the basic breakdown on how the QB's will practice:

Last year's backup, Chris Todd, transferred at mid-term to a Kansas junior college, searching for more playing time. Arizona State transfer Derek Shaw left the program to deal with family issues and isn't expected back.

Senior Ryan Rowland and redshirt freshmen Potts and Steven Sheffield will rotate behind Harrell. Potts spent Wednesday working with the scout team, while Rowland and Sheffield joined Harrell on the main practice field. That'll change from day to day, however, as two of three backups will take turns getting the snaps that Harrell doesn't.

Lots of good stuff from Don, go check out the articles.

FWST's John Miller previews the spring practice (I'm a day late, sorry). There's some decent, but short quotes from Leach. I do like Miller's three questions for the spring practice:

Three questions

1. Will Michael Crabtree live up to the hype? Crabtree was a highly recruited freshman wide receiver last season. He was on the second-team depth chart before the season and then was forced to redshirt for academic reasons. He showed the potential in practice to step into the starting lineup this season.

2. Who will stop the run? The Red Raiders' top three defensive tackles were all seniors last season and one of the top backups transferred. They have other backups groomed from last season, but to develop a solid rotation, they also need a few young players to step up.

3. Will Graham Harrell have time to throw? Texas Tech returns only one starting offensive lineman. Two others combined for three starts and two more were regular backups last season, giving the Red Raiders an inexperienced group heading into spring drills.

NCAA Tournament:

I was able to post previews of tomorrow's games. I'll be out eating with in-laws while the games are being played, but I'll be with each and every one of you in spirit.

DMN's Tim Cowlishaw thinks that the one year rule for the NBA is working like a charm. Unfortunately, Tim never did address Knight's biggest issue with the rule, which was that the student didn't have to go to class the entire spring semester. Cowlishaw also thinks that anything more than a year would be unfair to the kid, which on some level I agree with, but it's not as if the athlete is in prison, he's in college with lots of hot women and hot women (unless you're at A&M). What else could you want?

Texas Tech Basketball:

The DMN named Texas Tech signee John Roberson as the DFW Player of the Year. You can start drooling at the video of Roberson dominating mere mortals on the high school level. Duncanville's D'walyn Roberts also made the first team in the DFW area. Congrats to both and I can't wait until you guys start playing.

Texas Tech Baseball:

Pitching matchups for this weekend's series:

  • Friday: AJ Ramos (Texas Tech) v. Jeff Mandel (Baylor)
  • Saturday: Aaron Odom (Texas Tech) v. Randal Linebaugh (Baylor)
  • Sunday: Colt Hynes (Texas Tech) v. TBA

Non Texas Tech News:

Anyone else think it's doubly weird that University of New Mexico is going to hire Iowa head coach Steve Alford? Wonder if this will affect the recruitment of Jeff Taylor, Jr.?