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Friday Morning Links on VTM | Two More to Whitaker's Staff; Marquez and Ward Ready; Smith Getting Settled

Candace Whitaker adds two more to her coaching staff. Bradley Marquez and Eric Ward are ready for the season. Tubby Smith is settling in with his coaches and players. More on the Big 12 as the Game of Thrones.

Jeff MacPherson races up the mountain during qualifying for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Jeff MacPherson races up the mountain during qualifying for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

1. Two More Additions to Whitaker's Staff | Candace Whitaker has added Kirk Crawford as an assistant coach and Melissa Maines as director of operations for the Lady Raider basketball program. The LAJ has a good article where Whitaker talks about hiring both Crawford and Maines.

2. Campus Photos | Totally Texas Tech is on fire recently and has more campus photos of the new video board and renovation.

3. Marquez and Ward Ready | Good stuff from RRS where WR Bradley Marquez and WR Eric Ward discuss getting ready for the season. This is a pretty cool/nice move by the coaches, which is they didn't want Marquez in live tackling situations to get him ready for his baseball summer:

"Simply as a precautionary, the coaches kept me out of the scrimmages and any of the live tackling (this spring)," Marquez said. "They wanted me to be ready for baseball and they knew football season wasn't until August and they didn't need me right then. They didn't want to cause me anything to further hurt me for baseball.

"When I got to the Mets, the trainers had been in contact with Tech and everyone was in the loop. They knew I was 100 percent and when I got down here I had a physical and got a full go with no restrictions."

And here's Ward talking about the changes:

"Around the facility, I think it's just more freedom to be yourself," Ward said. "You're not, for lack of a better term, expected to be like someone you're not. The coaches respect you and you respect them for having a playing background. There's more freedom to just go out there and make plays and be creative with it as well."

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4. Big 12 as Game of Thrones, Part II | Well, if you didn't get all filled up on the Big 12 teams as Game of Thrones characters, Wide Right & Natty Light did their own version. Check it out.

5. Predicting the Season for Weeks 2 and 3 | ESPN's Ubben hates you and he predicted a Texas Tech win against SFA in week 2 and a loss to TCU in week 3. How dare he!

6. Smith Getting Settled | The LAJ talks with Tubby Smith about transitioning from the prior staff to getting things situated on his end. Smith talks about his coaches, but he also talks about what he wants to impart on his players:

"We try to instill doing things, being on time, making sure we hold them accountable and being responsible," Smith said. "By that I mean, as I said before, make sure they’re taking care of their academics, doing the grades their supposed to do and the conditioning program and putting in the time that’s necessary in order to develop and be competitive. I’ve been proud, very pleased with how they’ve conducted themselves."

7. Phil Steele Predicts Yards and Points for Big 12 | Phil Steele released his computer predictions for yards and points for the Big 12 and this metric has Texas Tech 6th, right behind Baylor. There is a large gap between the first four teams and then the rest of the Big 12.

8. Rip Griffin Park ranked 19th | Per the official site, Stadium Journey has ranked Rip Griffin Park as the 19th best ballpark in the country.

9. Soccer Announces Schedule | Brandon Rawe sits down with head coach Tom Stone to discuss the soccer schedule being released.

10. Big 12 Strength of Schedules | Crystal Ball Run ranks the Big 12 schedules, not just non-conference, and they think that Texas Tech has the easiest schedule.

11. EDSBS Loves Kliff's New Painting | EDSBS takes a closer look at the new paining in head coach Kliff Kingsbury's office.