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Five Questions | Still Figuring Things Out and Basketball Optimism

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In lieu of links, DTN asks five questions.

1.  IS THE PLAYER OR THE COACH RESPONSIBLE FOR BEING INSPIRED EACH AND EVERY GAME? | Make sure and watch the coordinators from yesterday's post-game press conference.  I've done a non-transcript and up first is OC Neal Brown:

OC Neal Brown:  Just didn't play very well.  Somewhat uninspired early in the costest.  Didn't finish plays.  Guys  are down, Oklahoma St. took the fight to the team.  Played with sense of urgency against Baylor.  Still did some good things.  Early in the game, those first 4 or 5 drives, it was bad technique.  Same opening script against Baylor.  Drive oriented offense.  Not going to hit a ton of big plays.  Capable of doing that and can't overcome negative plays.  Nobody to be frustrated except with ourselves.  Try to figure out what's going on, from pre-game, to what we eat, to how we practice.  If we're not ready to go, I don't understand.  Only get 12 games, should be ready and up to play.

This is a strange phenomena, something that I think fans have a difficult time understanding, which is how does a team not get up for each and every game?  I think every coach in America faces this question and it's the easy excuse to make after a loss (pretty sure this was the impetus of fat little girlfriends, so no, it's not just Tuberville).  And even in the NFL, you can say that certain teams don't look "ready to play".  Again, a cheap excuse.  Do you ever buy the excuse that a team isn't up for a particular game and do you think it's the responsibility of the staff or the responsibility of the player to play with emotion if you do buy this excuse?

2.  DO YOU THINK THE INJURIES TO THE DEFENSE ARE TAKING THEIR TOLL OVER THE PAST 3 WEEKS? | DC James Willis isn't making excuses in his post-game press conference, although Willis continues to say that it's about effort, technique and assignments:

DC James Willis:  Look at what happened and why.  Go back to basics.  Guys in the wrong place.  Those are things that have to be addressed.  Can't count the injuries as a factor.  Really doesn't matter.  The offenses are quite different from the SEC, the skill level is better in the Big 12, more passing.  Never want to waste a redshirt, have to be careful.  The coaching style isn't that different.  It's all about effort, technique and assignment.

Although Willis isn't blaming injuries, do you think that the absence of DE Scott Smith, DE Aundrey Barr, DE Kerry Hyder, CB Will Ford, FS Franklin Mitchem, and DT Chris Perry are starting to take their toll on the performance of the defense?

3.  SHOULD THE RECRUITING CLASSES FROM 2006, 2007 AND 2008, OR LACK THEREOF, BE PART OF THE PROBLEM WITH THE DEFENSE? | One of the things I mentioned yesterday was the idea that this team truly lacks playmakers, on either offense or defense.  Tuberville is playing with the hand that Leach dealt and part of me thinks that because the result is due to the fact that the defense doesn't have the depth that it should.  The heart of this defense should be the 2007 recruiting class.  Of the 9 defensive commits from 2007, only ILB Bront Bird and DT Colby Whitlock are the only significant players this year, while Sam Fehoko, Tyrone Sonier and Bobby Agoucha are ancillary players at this point.  Of those 9 defensive commits, 3 of them were JUCO's and only 2 had a significant impact in 2009 (Howard and Sharpe). 

In the 2008 recruiting class, of the 7 defensive commits, only SS Cody Davis is making a significant impact and 5 of those players were JUCO players that never really made a significant impact or only made an impact for one year (Sesay and Dixon).  (And if you want to really go back, the 2006 recruiting class had 19 commits, where Jamar Wall, Franklin Mitchem, LaRon Moore, Brandon Williams, Rajon Henley, Richard Jones, Brian Duncan, Marlon Williams and Julius Howard made significant impacts on this team.  There's 10 players in that class that either never made an impact or made it on campus).

Leach loaded up on JUCO players, which is always a dangerous proposition and of those 8 JUCO players in 2007 and 2008, 5 of them were on the defensive line, which means that the defensive linemen that Leach did recruit didn't stick or have not made a significant impact (Whitlock is the exception).  If we're going to play the blame game, should some blame be on Leach for the lack of defensive depth on this team?

4.  WHO ARE THE PLAYMAKERS ON OFFENSE AND WHO DO OPPOSING DEFENSIVE COORDINATORS SCHEME FOR? | This is a similar question to question #3, which is to ask you who are the playmakers on this team on offense?  Whether Leach was coaching this team or OC Brown is coaching this team, if you're the defensive coordinator for the opposing team, who on this team do you scheme for from a defensive perspective, especially after watching OSU WR Justin Blackmon and RB Kendall Hunter make something out of nothing?

5.  DO YOU THINK THE MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM WILL MAKE THE NCAA TOURNAMENT AND WILL YOU IGNORE SETH C AS HE ATTEMPTS TO DISTRACT YOU? | Whether you like it or not, I am going to try to distract you with hopeful discussion about how this year's men's basketball team is going to make the NCAA Tournament.  Do you at all think that the men's basketball team has a chance to make the NCAA Tournament, or is this just wishful thinking?  Will you placate me and actually read any articles I write about Texas Tech basketball or can I just expect to be ignored?

Copy and paste the questions into your comment for easy, hassle-free commenting.

1.  IS THE PLAYER OR THE COACH RESPONSIBLE FOR BEING INSPIRED EACH AND EVERY GAME?

2.  DO YOU THINK THE INJURIES TO THE DEFENSE ARE TAKING THEIR TOLL OVER THE PAST 3 WEEKS?

3.  SHOULD THE RECRUITING CLASSES FROM 2006, 2007 AND 2008, OR LACK THEREOF, BE PART OF THE PROBLEM WITH THE DEFENSE?

4.  WHO ARE THE PLAYMAKERS ON OFFENSE AND WHO DO OPPOSING DEFENSIVE COORDINATORS SCHEME FOR?

5.  DO YOU THINK THE MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM WILL MAKE THE NCAA TOURNAMENT AND WILL YOU IGNORE SETH C AS HE ATTEMPTS TO DISTRACT YOU?