Odds and Ends
Texas Tech Football
A Bevy of LAJ Preview Articles: You have your work cut out for you this morning as the LAJ staff has been busy. I want to start off with the article by Adam Zuvanich on remodeling of the roster, which is where I think quite a few Texas Tech fans think about the state of the program. There have been years where the M.O. was rebuild and not reload and Zuvanich takes a look at all of the question mark positions in great detail, including the receiver position, post-Crabtree. IR Detron Lewis on the expectations of this group:
"We’re going to have a better receiving corps than we did last year," said the 6-0, 205-pound junior, Tech’s leading returning receiver in both catches and yards. "If we all get on the same page, we’re going to have the best receiving corps to ever come through here."
"Our defense is really starting to pick up," junior nose tackle Colby Whitlock said, "and a lot of the new recruits coming in are great athletes and great kids. Just the quality of recruit coming in right now is getting a lot better with our success."
And LB Marlon Williams can see a change as well:
"We’re getting better recruits and better playmakers on defense," Williams said. "I think when you put the improvement of our defense with the play of our offense — and the fact we’re getting guys who want to win, guys who are real passionate about football — they’re seeing our program rise to be up there with teams that have good legacies."
Zuvanich also writes about Texas Tech trying to keep pace with other universities with much larger athletic budgets and athletic director Gerald Myers gives honest answers about being in the red in the hopes of being able to compete on level (and sometimes at a greater level) with teams with much bigger budgets like Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas A&M. And speaking of keeping pace, one of the ways to increase revenue is to increase the seats and Williams has an update on the stadium expansion.
Williams also goes position-by-position about where Texas Tech currently stands and where the future lies.
Finally, Williams gives us an opinion piece, and I'm not one to usually complain, but I think Williams does a terrific job on these types of articles and I just wish he'd do more of them. In any event, the article focuses on how it's imperative that the Red Raiders cannot let an 11 win season simply pass them by, and that this 2009 incarnation must capitalize on that 2008 season.
"He’s become smarter on the field,’’ Wall said. "He recognizes routes better. Something we both needed to do was get in the film room more. We’ve both been doing that a lot together, so us being smarter together on the field, watching film, knowing what’s going to happen, it gives you more confidence.’’
And cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell believes that Moore made the move during Midnight Maneuvers:
Mitchell said he began to turn a corner shortly thereafter in the team’s early offseason program known as "Midnight Maneuvers.’’
"He just decided, ‘Hey, it’s my turn,’ ’’ Mitchell said. "He decided to commit himself day in and day out and within the drills. I’m very pleased with his progress.’’
Texas Tech Football Notebook: LAJ's Don Williams writes that CB Brent Nickerson will be the #3 cornerback, although Ruffin McNeill has already stated that S Will Ford and S Julius Howard will be a part of the nickel and dime packages . . . also of note, freshman CB D.J. Johnson will eventually work into the rotation . . . CB Jamar Wall talks about returning punts with former Red Raider, Danny Amendola:
Wall picked up some tips from Amendola when he was back in Lubbock before training camp.
"I caught some punts with him," Wall said. "He was telling me different things that he focuses on when he’s catching. His main (advice) was just get square. Standing there, you basically want to feel like the ball is going to drop and hit you in the face. It’s staying square, being able to catch it under control and make a play with it."
Torres' Second Chance: DT's Alex Ybarra talks with WR Alexander Torres and his second chance at Texas Tech after being injured at the Air Force Academy. Receivers coach Dennis Simmons talks about Torres:
"He’s kind of a throwback football player in my opinion, or as most people like to use the terminology now, a cold-weather receiver," Simmons said. "He’s gonna get open, may not always look pretty. I think he’s gonna surprise people with his speed a little bit."
And fellow flanker Jacoby Franks also talks about Torres:
"Toro is a big physical dude, catches everything and runs sharp routes," Franks said. "I learn a lot of things from Toro, honestly. I think we’re a real good one-two punch."
Fighting Sioux: DTN user and North Dakota fan, nodakroxfan, pointed us to SiouxSports.com for bloggy and message board material. The official site has some news and notes (pdf) up from yesterday as well as a video interview with the Fighting Sioux head coach Chris Mussman.
Fox34 and Double-T 104.3 Preview: I won't link to each segment, but for you out of towners (like myself) there's some video of a recent preview show hosted by Chris Level and Robert Giovannetti that aired in Lubbock. Scroll down for each segment.
Sportacular Interview with Leach: NewsChannel 11's Pete Christy talks with the Captain, Mike Leach.
Official Big 12 Preview: That's what you call a fancy subject line, as the official Big 12 site has officially previewed Texas Tech,
Big 12 Links: Bad news for the Oklahoma St. Cowboys as starting tight end Jamal Mosley has left the program and starting linebacker Orie Lemon suffered a season ending knee injury . . . speaking of OSU, Barking Carnival has their State of the Union . . . Rock M Nation has part two of the Beyond the Box Score national preview . . . ESPN's Tim Griffin ranks the Big 12 offenses and Texas Tech checks in at #5 . . .
Texas Tech Basketball
Basketball? Well, yeah. The Ft. Walton Sun's Randy Dickson talks with incoming guard/forward Brad Reese who sounds like he's excited about the season:
"This summer was basically learning about my teammates and what they like and what I like. It was about coming together as a family so when the season starts we will be on the same page and everything. So it was a good experience for me. "
Reese expects to play shooting guard or small forward and is excited about playing on the perimeter.
"I love it because that’s my natural (area)," he said. "I played down low (at center) in high school because we were (Class) 1A. And in JUCO I played the three (small forward).
"I can play (power forward) sometimes, but at the next level I have to play outside because (the inside players) are 6-foot-8, 6-foot-10. I’m long and athletic and I can use my athletic ability against smaller twos and threes. Hopefully that will help me out for my future plans and stuff."