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DTN Daily Diatribe | Texas Tech News, Notes and Links | 2011-12-15

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ODDS AND ENDS | If books aren't your thing then you should check out the two lists of long-reads, here and here. If reading isn't your thing, then check out the year in pictures . . . but with Legos.

LADY RAIDER BASKETBALL | I rarely link to ESPN, but they have an excellent story on Texas Tech signee, Minta Spears, and thought that you'd enjoy it (I did!).

LAJ's David Just has an excellent profile on PG Monique Smalls, who started as a true freshman, and is now a junior:

Smalls says she now understands where and how to get posts Kierra Mallard and Kelsi Baker the ball. She knows how shooting guard Casey Morris catches and shoots from the perimeter. And she can create opportunities to get the ball to Christine Hyde’s strong hand for a powerful drive to the basket.

It may have taken Smalls two years and change — 74 games — to make that happen, but the rewards have been worth it. Tech beat No. 16 Penn State on Dec. 3, is off to an 8-0 start and owns a top-15 ranking for the first time in Curry’s six seasons.

"We’ve tried to stay patient with her and I think she has stayed patient with herself," Curry says. "It’s been a lot of fun to see her evolve into the player she’s becoming."

Go check it out.

TEXAS TECH BASEBALL | Per the official site, RHP John Neely was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason second team All-American. Congrats!

RED RAIDER BASKETBALL | LAJ's Nick Kosmider profiles F Jordan Tolbert and I had never thought about this, but I thought this was an excellent quote about post players, in particular Tolbert, from head coach Billy Gillispie:

"The best post players score before they catch the ball," Tech coach Billy Gillispie said. "I know that’s impossible, but they position themselves so that when they catch it, the scoring is easy, because all they have to do is catch it with an angle to the basket and lay it in."

I had never thought about that, but this seems like an accurate statement.

I haven't had time to watch this, but remember the basketball team is spending time with local charities and churches and there is some YouTube video from Day 4.

TEXAS TECH FOOTBALL | Wanted to lead off with this, QB Jacob Karam, per the official site, will be a University College Banner Bearer at the fall commencement later this month. What an honor. Congrats!

This is something to put in your Palm Pilot, spring practices start on February 17, 2012 and the spring game is scheduled for March 24, 2012.

The front page on RRS.com says that Texas Tech has two new JUCO commits and from looking at the photos, they appear to be on the same team. Every coach has their own page, and in looking at all of them, Robert Prunty has two players from Riverside C.C. (California) that are targets, LB Will Smith (6-3/220 Rivals profile) and DE Lee Adams (6-3/265 Rivals profile). The official site at Riverside C.C. says that Adams committed, doesn't mention Smith, but also says that WR/KR Sadale Foster (5-8/180 Rivals profile) has also committed, but that doesn't appear to be the story from the front page news on RRS.com.

Apparently Riverside C.C. is a program that was 1-9 in 2009 (I think), but had a great turnaround in 2010 (10-1) and then went undefeated in 2011. This is a pretty good article about how the program has turned around and mentions Smith and Adams. Smith didn't get many looks coming out of high school, but since he's attended Riverside C.C. he had improved his stature, while Adams was originally a signee at Arizona St. that got into some trouble (the article mentions he's had no problems while at Riverside C.C.). I won't have recruiting profiles up this morning, maybe later this weekend.

Also on the JUCO recruiting front, I ran across this article that says that there are four players from Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. that are considering Texas Tech: WR Javon Bell, LB Chris Payne, OL Rashad Fortenberry and QB Raymond Cotton. I still haven't seen anything from RRS.com or RP.com to confirm Bell's commitment, which is why I'm waiting on that profile as well.

I mentioned this yesterday in the comments, but I've talked a bit about roster attrition within an athletics program and obviously, here at DTN we are more at tuned with Texas Tech players leaving. I just wanted to point out that other teams do this too and ran across one about UT, per BON, and one about OU, per CACM. You can call it churning the roster or whatever, but this is essentially players getting cut or their scholarships aren't being renewed and it happens all of the time.

UPDATE I [Note by Seth C, 12/15/11 7:33 AM CST ] KBTX, a Bryan/College Station news station, says that head coach Tommy Tuberville is interested in Texas A&M offensive line coach, Jim Turner as a possible replacement for recently terminated OL coach Matt Moore:

While Tim DeRuyter is the first Texas A&M football assistant to leave, Offensive Line Coach Jim Turner could be packing up his office soon.

Turner has been mentioned as a possible assistant on Urban Meyer's staff at Ohio State. KBTX Sports has also learned that Texas Tech Head Coach Tommy Tubberville may also be interested in Turner's availability.