Prologue: Hope everyone had a good holiday and have arrived in 2018 greeted by an ascending basketball program that has made you forget all about the last minute bowl loss to South Florida. Well, until just now that is.
With basketball earning it’s first Top 10 ranking since the mid 1990’s and a baseball program, ranked #5 in the preseason poll, priming to make another run to Omaha, it feels pretty good to be a Red Raider. Everything is going well and should lead to very exciting spring and summer months, something that Tech fans haven’t been accustomed to most of us just count down the days until open night at the Jones. It’s going to be refreshing.
There are a lot of things I question lately when it comes to the way Texas Tech decides and changes how easy it is for fans to come to and enjoy games. Going to back to 2016 when the clear 12x12 bag policy was announced, I was livid. As a father with young children, it created a problem for me and many other parents on how we were to put the diaper bag into a 12x12 clear bag. While frustrated and I too voiced by displeasure in the comments on Facebook, I was able to get over it and adapt before going to the game, mainly because the decision was based in “security”.
Now, I am not an expert when it comes to the decisions Tech makes, but this one doesn’t seem to be based in security. This seems more of, “we want to take care of the people who give us money and all you other free loaders can walk or ride the bus”. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but at first glance it doesn’t seem like they are much concerned with the general fan experience does it?
Texas Tech is losing a lot on offense. All four starting wide receivers, the starting quarterback and starting running back. The saving grace here is that all five offensive lineman are returning and that was a group that was significantly better than 2016’s group.
The easy names to step up are T.J. Vasher and DeQuan Bowman. We’ve kind of forgotten about Bowman, as we do most redshirts, but you’ll remember his freaky athletic ability:
He should fit right at home in Keke’s or Batson’s position and be primed for a big senior year.
As for everyone else, Quan Shorts, Xavier Martin, Donta Thompson, JoJo Robinson, Antoine Wesley are names already on the roster. Those coming in from high school include 4-star Eric Ezukanma, KeSean Carter, Corey Fulcher, Sterling Galban and Myller Royals. They have all signed during the early signing period. The only other wideout yet to sign, but it committed is Gabriel Douglas. I’m very excited about this group.
As for Jett Duffey moving to wideout, that speculation started when he was seen playing wide receiver during practice on the scout team. Kingsbury has since said he’s staying a quarterback, but his athleticism helped the defense by being on the scout team. Also, remember that Xavier Martin was a quarterback recruit and has since converted to wide receiver.
And if anyone thinks it’s a red flag when quarterback recruits change position to wide receiver, here is a reminder of a few Tech players who have done it: Michael Crabtree and Robert Johnson among others.
I think it’s too soon to make that determination. Let’s not forget it was expelled from the university for a year and just got back on campus in late August 2017. I think given time he’ll pick it up.
Well, there’s losing and then there is LOSING. As much as I was a fan of Coach Whitaker, losing by 30 on a nightly basis was ultimately her demise. Tech football, for the most part has been really close the last two years to having a winning record. I think Kirby Hocutt is just holding out hope that those missing plays, kicks and pieces all show up in 2018 and reward him and us for our patience.
Also, Tech football, regardless of what we choose to see or believe, has shown improvement over the last 3 years, whereas women’s basketball has not.
Even before last night I think it was going to come down to Oklahoma, Kansas or West Virginia to win the Big 12. That doesn’t mean Tech can’t do it, just statistically those are better teams. We will get another big test this weekend when a Top 5 West Virginia comes calling.
I like Zhaire Smith in that much. Too much athleticism. But it would be fun to watch.
All quiet on the western front...