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Texas Tech Friday Morning Notes - Illini Baseball Series Canceled Edition

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Double-T Nation News:

In no particular order, DTN's Top Four:

  1. Rajon Rondo's incredible dunk against the Pistons.
  2. Hashmark's Matt Mosley on Brett Favre's retirement.
  3. RBR with the best Bama fan ever.
  4. An incredible sports image. I feel like I'm on the field with this picture (hat-tip to UniWatch).

Texas Tech Football:

FoxSports presents their Big 12 Spring Football Preview, and here's your Texas Tech preview:

Texas Tech

Spring Practice Begins: March 26

Spring Game: April 19

The early spring buzz ... Sit back and enjoy the show. For the past few years under head coach Mike Leach, Tech fans got in the habit of going to decent bowls and occasionally playing on New Year's Day, but the return of the entire offense, other than wide receiver Danny Amendola (and perhaps injured and still-recovering tackle Rylan Reed) has the Tech fans thinking a little bigger. Biletnikoff winner Michael Crabtree is back and quarterback Graham Harrell has thrown for over 10,000 in just two years, but the defense will be improved, at least that's the hope, under the leadership of defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill. It's all there for this to be Leach's best team yet.

The big spring question is ... Can the team make a BCS bowl run? With so much firepower back on offense, the answer will fall on the success of the defense. McNeill takes over as the full-time defensive coordinator after half of a season of interim work, and has all 11 starters returning, led by safety Darcel McBath. The job of a Tech D is different than most Big 12 teams, but if it can hold teams under 27 points, there's a good chance the offense won't have to carry things every week. The most important position to watch is ... Defensive end. Leach and his staff added two junior college stud defensive ends this recruiting season, and both are expected to push for immediate playing time. McKinner Dixon and Brandon SeSay should make an impact right away, and give the defense some edge rushing threats, a necessity with the star Big 12 quarterbacks to deal with week after week.

Spring attitude ... The Red Raiders did lose offensive coordinator Dana Holgerson to Houston and Amendola to graduation, but very little else. If there's a time for the Red Raiders to make a statement that they can be a true contender for the Big 12 championship and a potential BCS bowl game, it's now. It's all lining up for Leach and Co., and a strong spring to ingratiate the junior college transfers into the fold could mean the difference in a potential championship season and a trip to the Alamo Bowl.

Texas Tech Basketball:

Congratulations to Martin Zeno for being named to the First Team of District 9 of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Here's the pdf of the press release.


We've got three different Big 12 Insiders, or some similar article and that's going to have to be it for the rest of your Texas Tech basketball news for the day:

Texas Tech Baseball:

Forget playing Illinois. LAJ's George Watson is reporting that the Illini have canceled their 4 game with the Red Raiders in Lubbock due to weather issues. Now the Red Raiders will travel to Sam Marcos and play Texas State for two games, beginning on Saturday and two games with Northern Illinois. For further information on game times, check the official Texas Tech baseball website for details sometime today.

Watson also has an article on third baseman Joey Kenworthy, who had a bad '07, but has turned it around in '08. Here's Kenworthy and Watson on Kenworthy's journey:

"You come in with high expectations and when you don't live up to them, it messes with you and can get you down," Kenworthy said. "This year is rewarding to me because I've always been in the lineup and it's like you get used to the feeling. It feels great."

Two years of sitting, watching and wondering have made Kenworthy more appreciative of his opportunities. He missed his senior year at Houston Cypress Falls High School with a broken leg, and struggled during his freshman year at Tech trying to get back to full speed.