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Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe :: 03.10.10

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This Frustrates Me, But It Shouldn't:  So yesterday morning I mentioned my birthday was yesterday and also the same day as our former Captain (thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes) and that DTN DD was published at 6:05 a.m.  So then DMN College Blog Todd Davis mentions, at 8:45 a.m., Leach's birthday without so much as a link.  Does anyone here believe that Davis had Leach's birthday penciled in on his palm pilot?  I spend almost all morning every morning linking to various newspapers and news outlets and it's always frustrating when it's pretty evident that they read DTN and don't even throw up a link to acknowledge where they got the idea (which even got a link on College Football Talk).  I don't get it, but that's just the way it is.  I know that there's a good working relationship between the baseball folks at the DMN and various bloggers, but that sort of acknowledgment has never been extended my way.  I find it incredibly frustrating, but I guess I shouldn't.  The biggest difference between the DMN college blog is that it's just regurgitating someone else's work and there's hardly ever (except when Mike Graham makes an appearance - more on that later) anything original on the blog.  Quite frankly, it's a joke, and to distinguish the two, see Columbia Tribune's Dave Matter for an example of how it's supposed to work.

Congrats Are In Order:  You probably know the name Mike Graham, who is a student writer at the Daily Toreador, in part because I've referenced his name probably a few hundred times on DTN, but he appears to have found a gig working for the Dallas Morning News.  Congrats to Mike, job well done (I realize the irony of ripping the DMN in the previous paragraph, but this is about Graham getting his foot in the door and that's a good thing).

Texas Tech (8-5) vs. Gonzaga (4-4)
Location: Dan Law Field : Lubbock, TX
Radio: Affiliates
Date Start Time Texas Tech
Starting Pitcher
Gonzaga
Starting Pitcher
Result
3.9.10 12:00 p.m. Jay Johnson
W, 1-2
Billy Moon
L, 1-1
W: 9-7
3.10.10 12:00 p.m. Scott Erzinger
(0-0, 12.27)
TBA
-
-
Outfield:
LF - Michael Reed (Sr.); CF - Taylor Ashby (Sr.); RF - Barrett Barnes (Fr.)
Infield:
SS - Joey Kenworthy (Sr.)     2ND - Nick Popescu (Jr.);
3RD - Justin Berry (SO.)                                  1ST - Stephen Hagen (Jr.)
C - Jeremy Mayo (So.)
DH - Scott LeJeune (So.)

*Click on the score for boxscore. Texas Tech series preview (pdf).

The Game: SP Brandon Petite (1.2 IP; 2 H; 4 ER; 3 BB; 1 SO) didn't work out so well, but John Neely (4.0 IP; 3 H; 2 ER; 0 BB; 5 SO) was pretty good in relief. The strange twist of the game was that Chad Bettis (2.0 IP; 1 H; 0 ER; 1 BB; 4 SO) pitched the final two innings to get the save (much more on this below) while Jay Johnson, the former closer (1.1 IP; 2 H; 1 R; 0 ER; 2 BB; 2 SO), also pitched in relief. We mentioned after this weekend's games to watch out for the errors and the Red Raiders had two more errors, SS Joey Kenworthy and SP Brandon Petite. Good work from the offense that was led by 3B Nick Popescu (2-3; 3 RBI) and SS Joey Kenworthy (3-5; 2 R; 1 RBI). Both 1B Barrett Barnes (1-4; 2 RBI) and 2B Garrett Totten (1-4; 2 RBI) each also had two RBI for the game.

Recaps: LAJ's George Watson has the recap from yesterday's game, but the big news is that head coach Dan Spencer has juggled his pitching staff and Jay Johnson is out as the closer, Chad Bettis is back in as the closer. Here's Watson:

The key to the game, though, was Neely, who relieved struggling starter Brandon Petite in the second after Petite gave up four runs on two hits and three walks in 12/3 innings. Neely allowed three of the first four batters he faced to reach base. But after Mark Castellitto tripled leading off the third, Neely retired the next nine Bulldogs (4-5) he faced, allowing Tech to get to the sixth with a 7-5 lead.

The Red Raider offense, which was shut down for the most part in Houston, put together two solid rallies, one when trailing 5-2 after the second and the other with the game tied in the seventh.

Nick Popescu tied a career high with three RBIs on a pair of bloop hits, a two-run double in the first and a go-ahead single with runners at the corners in the seventh. In all, the Red Raiders pounded out 13 hits.

There's one thing about Spencer that I like. He doesn't eff around if his team is struggling. If a player isn't performing, he's making changes.

Official Site Post Game Quotes (link): There's actually some interesting quotes so make sure and check them out:

Head Coach Dan Spencer on the pitching shakeups tonight and how well they worked: :
"They did for the most part. We're a work in progress on the mound. We are trying to find guys that basically will just compete, throw strikes and give ourselves a chance to play. We feel our strength is the way we play defense because we can cover some ground and do some different things. We feel like most the time we can score. We just need to throw more strikes. That's where we are addressing. We are going to try and ride the guys without getting a guy hurt obviously. But we are going to ride the guys that throw strikes. I thought John Neely was great. He made a lot of zeros. By moving Chad (Bettis) to the bullpen, allows you to use Jay (Johnson) earlier and that worked out. Having Chad in the game at the end of the game, is a good feeling."

Video Recap: DT's Brett Winegarner:

 

Game Today
#9 Texas Tech Red Raiders (16-14, 4-12) vs. #8 Colorado Buffaloes (15-15, 6-10)
Time:  11:37 a.m.
Location: Spring Center : Kansas City, MO
Television:  Big 12 Network : ESPN360
Open Game Day Thread:  10:30 a.m.

So Many Previews:  There's a ton out there and I don't have time to preview this morning's game.  Thankfully, there's lots of good writers who care about this more than me:

Rock M Nation's Bill C. - preview of today's games
SB Nation's Peter Bean - Big 12 Tournament preview and Story Stream
Big 12 Hoops Evan Pfaff - on why each team can win or lose the Big 12 Tournament
Rush the Court's Patrick Sellars - Big 12 Tournament preview

Short Turnaround:  LAJ's Courtney Linehan writes about the short turnaround for both Texas Tech and Colorado and C Robert Lewandowski talks about the need for this team to have better intensity:

"We didn’t have intensity, we didn’t have the wherewithal to do what we needed to just play," Lewandowski said. "Lapses in our mental game kind of hurt us."

Head coach Pat Knight says that it's easier to prepare for a team when you last lost to them:

"The one thing about losing is that I think it’s easier to prepare if you have to play someone again if you lose," Knight said. "You’re kind of ticked off and you did something to lose, so now you can try to correct that."

Game Attire and More Singletary Magic:  DMN's Mike Graham has a blog post on why PK wears casual clothes to the games:

"I've got a contract with Under Armour," said Knight, adding that the Big 12 does not allow coaches to wear lapel pins, and so he wears Under Armour golf shirts instead of the company's lapel pins.

"I pattern myself after football coaches," Knight said. "You don't see them with coats and ties on the sidelines, it's a golf shirt or a sweatshirt. So I just like to be comfortable. If it was up to me, George Raveling did the greatest thing when he was at Iowa. They all wore sweatsuits, matching sweatsuits when he coached at Iowa.

"His whole thing was, 'This is what I wear in practice, why wouldn't I wear in practice, what I coach in 99 percent of the time, why wouldn't I wear that for games?' I think if guys want to wear suits, fine. But I don't see the reason for it. We're coaches. I'm not a model. I'm just fortunate enough that my university allows me to wear casual attire, but a lot of it has to do with Under Armour.

I've never cared about what a coach wears, so long as the team wins.  Suit, polo shirt, cargo shorts, whatever.  This probably stems from the thought that I wear a shirt and tie every day and I absolutely hate it.

Graham also wonders if SF Mike Singletary has any more Big 12 Tournament magic after his 43 point performance last year:

"I think it's always going to be in the back of my mind," Singletary said Monday. "Thinking that I have that in me, hopefully it can happen again against Colorado, and hopefully throughout the whole tournament."

Regaining Winning Feeling:  FWST's Dwain Price writes that the Red Raiders hope to regain that winning feeling after losing seven straight and head coach Pat Knight was very complimentary of his defense:

"We play defense like that sieve you've got to drain the spaghetti with," he said. "It's just like holes all over the place -- like the dam that breaks."

That problem for the Red Raiders was evident during Saturday night's regular-season finale at Colorado.

Tech shot 50.8 percent from the field and scored 90 points on the road but still lost by 11 points.

That's because Colorado shot 58.8 percent from the field and converted 7-of-16 3-pointers and 34-of-48 free throws on its way to 101 points.

"Going over the tape, we barely even got one stop," Knight said. "And it's not just getting one stop.

"You've got to put two or three stops together, come down and score, and get another couple stops together."

Baylor's Drew and Recruiting Tactics:  ESPNDallas' Jeff Caplan has an interesting article about Baylor head coach Scott Drew and his somewhat controversial recruiting tactics.  Go read the whole thing, but I wanted to pull a couple of blockquotes from the article:

For example, Drew mailed a flier to recruits that showed a picture of him standing between former Texas Tech coach Bob Knight and former Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie with a caption that read: "Which of these Big 12 coaches has signed a McDonald's All-American?"

A big, red X was stamped across Knight and another across Gillispie. That tactic, along with other negative recruiting mailers throughout the years, has infuriated some conference coaches.

Drew apologized for the flier, but only after Knight cornered him in a bathroom during Big 12 Conference meetings and told him the coaching profession doesn't operate that way. Drew hasn't surrendered his aggressive approach, a recruiting style that one source familiar with the conference deemed "the most negative recruiting in the country."

Snip.

At last year's Big 12 tournament, Texas coach Rick Barnes had harsh words for Drew, stemming from Drew's hiring of Dwon Clifton as director of player development, a newly created position. Clifton happened to be the AAU coach of Kentucky freshman superstar John Wall. Although Drew isn't the only coach adding AAU coaches to his staff, many consider it a shady practice. It ultimately did not pay off in Wall's recruitment, but Barnes made it clear he didn't like it.

"There's a line that he knows that he can't cross with me," Barnes told The New York Times. Asked whether he had anything else to say about Drew's recruiting practices, Barnes said, "I wish I could."

This is one thing that I've always admired about PK, is that he doesn't dip his toe into unquestionable recruiting tactics, but now that the Texas Tech program has struggled to take off, would you trade Drew's recruiting tactics for PK's integrity, or is this one of those situations where you can have both, integrity and strong recruiting, but it's just not happening right now with PK?

Talk with Brewer:  DMN College Blog's Mike Graham has been busy as he talked with recent QB commit Michael Brewer:

Q: Why did you commit to Texas Tech?

MB: They're bringing in a new coaching staff, and I really like coach [Tommy] Tuberville and all the guys that he's bringing in around him. I felt like [offensive coordinator Neal Brown's] new offense would be the best for me out of all the options I had. I feel very blessed and grateful to have all the options that I had, but there was no other place that I wanted to be at the end of the day.

Q: Was it a tough decision to turn down a grayshirt offer from Texas?

MB: It was pretty tough. They wanted me to grayshirt which was, all it was, was coming in a semester late and be their quarterback in the 2012 class. Comparing all the schools that I had, I felt like Texas Tech was the best fit for me. It's close to home so my family can watch me every week, and I'm really excited to get to work with coach Brown and coach Tuberville.

Go read the whole thing. 

Tubs in Midland:  Head coach Tommy Tuberville was in Midland yesterday and CBS 7 has some video of yesterday's event.  Perhaps RaiderDoc can give us a rundown of yesterday's festivities.

More Videos:  The official site has some more videos, specifically interviews with Offensive Coordinator Neal Brown, Defensive Coordinator James Willis, Outside Receivers Coach Tommy Mainord and Running Backs Coach Chad Scott.  There's no link and the video player is really small, but I'm just trying to get you through the day.