Texas Tech Football:
The Kansas City Star's Brady McCollough talked with an anonymous defensive coordinator (it's a bit) to talk about how to stop the Texas Tech offense. I thought this was an interesting concept that I haven't considered before:
3. Don’t rush the defensive ends to the outside
Texas Tech uses wide splits between its offensive linemen, which takes the defensive ends who rush to the outside out of the play.
With the Red Raiders throwing so many short crossing routes over the middle, it would be wise to keep the defensive ends in front of Harrell to try to bat down passes.
"When defensive linemen vacate that area, you play right into their hands," the defensive coordinator said. "I think we knocked down three or four balls. We were conscious of rush lanes and where they were trying to throw the ball."
DT's Alex Ybarra writes about how both Texas Tech and Kansas are struggling with their pass defenses. Here's defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill:
"You gotta put your ego to the side," Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill said. "In the Big 12, you've got to be able to defend pass, but you've also got to be able to defend the run and defend a running, mobile quarterback. So we're not the only team that's facing that problem."
"Just try to get them in long yard situations if you can, play good first-down defense and solid third-down defense," McNeill said. "First downs are the most important downs now, start dictating down and distance if you can. You gotta have more defensive backs in your coverages now, more cover guys."
Behind Enemy Lines: LAJ's Adam Zuvanich on KU safety Darrell Stuckey . . . Kansas City Star's preview of the game . . . DT's Alex Ybarra takes a look at KU receiver Dezmon Briscoe . . .
Writer Predictions: ESPN's Bruce Feldman thinks the Red Raiders squeak by Kansas . . . ESPN Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin thinks KU gets the win . . . Phil Steele says that Texas Tech will win by 10 . . . DMN's Chuck Carlton is picking the Jayhawks . . .
Texas Tech Basketball:
Media day was yesterday. Here is the Big 12 Conference's page for all of your quotes and video (video IE only). Junior Knight had some interesting things to say yesterday (you can find all of his quotes here):
Junior Knight on forward Darko Cohadarevic:
And then Darko came from Seward County, went to Hutch, the nationals, finals, big kid. We like all our big kids to be able to shoot. He can shoot from the three-point line, spreads out our motion offense. He brings a personality we haven't had a long time from a really big guy. He's an energetic kid. People really enjoy him when they come to practice.
My assistants kind of wish I'd tell him to calm down a little bit, but I'm letting some things go because I like that energy. I like that personality.
He brings something to practice we haven't had. I mean, guys are actually kind of scared when we do rebounding drills now and when we do our screening drills. And so game time I will have to have a talk with him because he'll foul out in the first two minutes.
Junior Knight on guard Nick Okorie:
And we needed some help, I thought when I took over, for my guard situation and obviously size. And Nick Okorie comes from South Plains Junior College, was an All-American in junior college, won the national championship. And those are some things that are hard to come by.
You want kids that come from winning programs, have been coached. His coach, Steve Green, is actually a good friend of ours since we got to Lubbock. But he knows how to coach. I don't have to do a lot of things with this kid to teach him. He knows the fundamentals.
He knows my personality. He can take an ass-chewing, which is important in the way we go about things at Texas Tech. So there's not a lot of things I have to teach this kid. He comes in knowing what to expect and can play right away.
Junior Knight on knowing what he has to do to be successful and acknowledging why he has this job:
. . . I think there's two type of guys that were unsuccessful. One is the guy that tries to just be just like the guy he took over for. And then the second is the guy that tries to do everything different and try to forget about the guy he took over for. So I think you have to have a fine line.
You have to respect why you got there. I know why I'm here, because my dad. But then, again, I can't be him because I'm not him so there will be things I do different. So I have to have a fine line to be successful.
I think there will be things that I do you'll be like, hey, that reminds me of your dad -- greatest compliment I can get. But, naturally, there will be things he would never do that, which is fine too, but I have to ride a fine line. I can't get caught up on either or because that's going to sidetrack me and I won't be doing these press conferences anymore, I'll be not in coaching very long.
LAJ's Jeff Walker on senior guard Alan Voskuil becoming a leader on this team. Here's Walker on how Voskuil spent his summer prior to last year and Voskuil on what he needs to improve:
Prior to last season, Voskuil spent the summer playing with the Danish National Team. He said he was asked to play again this summer, but instead chose to remain in Lubbock.
Perhaps he was beginning to show his leadership with that move. "I need to be more vocal, and I think just being more of a role model on and off the court will be a factor in how we play," Voskuil said. "This summer I just stayed here and focused on my grades. It’s my senior year and I had to take care of that. They offered for me to come back, but I told them I was going to stay here and focus on my senior year. It’s my last year. I needed to stay. I’m taking the team under my wing and I figured I needed to be here as much as possible."
LAJ's Jeff Walker has a bit more on the new Texas Tech commitment Theron Jenkins. Jenkins (6'7"/210) was not a starter last year for Itawamba Community College, and averaged 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.5 steals a game. Here's his current coach, Marty Cooper, on what Jenkins brings to the table:
"I think he’s going to be something that Texas Tech doesn’t have," ICC head coach Marty Cooper said. "He’s long, but he can also make shots. He can block shots on defense and he’s really athletic."
"This year, he’s going to be our guy," Cooper said. "If he doesn’t average about 16 to 20 points, we’re not going to be the No. 12 team in the country for long.
"The thing about him, though, is he’s not just a shooter. He can pass, too, and he’s really improved since high school."