*Sips coffee* OK, let’s get down to business.
After five years, Coach Whitaker ended her career with Texas Tech at 54-81 overall and only 13-61 in conference play. Without a winning season to offer reason for her staying a part of the program, Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt said that the program simply “could not continue with the current state of affairs.” Assistant Coach Shimmy Gray-Miller has taken over leadership on an interim basis and will remain so the rest of the season.
The Red Raiders made history on January 2nd when they put a beating on the #10 Kansas Jayhawks 85-73. This marks the first time ever that Texas Tech men’s basketball has won in Lawrence, Kansas and also marks the ending of an 18 year drought since they beat Kansas at all. Shortly after, the Red Raiders were back home to host Kansas State in what many considered to be the truer test of this team’s resolve. Despite a slow start to the second half the men’s basketball team weathered a Wildcat rally and shut the game down, ending at a comfortable 74-58. The Red Raiders sit at 3-0 in conference play and 14-1 on the year.
In the wake of the basketball team’s victory over Kansas, C.J. Roberts announced his intent to transfer to Texas Tech. The Mizzou guard was ranked 108th in the incoming class of 2017, and signed with Coach Anderson at Missouri. However when Coach Anderson was fired from the program, Roberts was left with a crucial decision. Because Texas Tech had originally made his top 6 list for colleges, it wasn’t too long before his father came out to the press announcing CJ’s intent to transfer. He will sit out for one year, per the NCAA regulations, but if Roberts enrolled in the Spring semester then he will be eligible at the beginning of conference play next season.
Associate head coach and runningback coach Jabbar Juluke leaves the staff of the Red Raider’s football team to pursue a similar role at Louisiana-Lafayette. As a result, one of his highly recruited players coming in with the 2018 class has decommitted from Tech. Devin Brumfield, a 3-star prospect, was voraciously pursued by Coach Juluke to be a part of this Texas Tech offense. Ironically or not, one of Brumfield’s top choices outside of playing for Texas Tech was Louisiana-Lafayette.
In his first NFL start, Mahomes took on a Denver Broncos defense that was ranked third in the nation. Yet, much like the star that Tech fans had come to know, the young quarterback carved up a professional caliber defense and lead the Chiefs to a 24-10 lead before being taken out for third-stringer, Tyler Bray. Unfortunately, the Broncos rallied and brought the game to a 24-24 tie before Mahomes was put back into the game. With the game on the line, he pushed the Chiefs 83 yards down the field to set up the game-winning field goal and solidify a victory for Kansas City, 27-24.
On Sunday, a Texas Tech fan tweeted out to basketball analyst Fran Frashchilla what his thoughts were about Texas Tech’s ceiling this year. His response was simple, “all of the sudden, I think they have elite eight potential.” Coming off of an impressive victory over the Jayhawks in Lawrence (where Kansas has only lost 11 games under their current coach), and then not faltering against an unranked but skilled Kansas State team, Fraschilla believes that this Red Raider basketball team is legit. He isn’t the only one to take notice of Texas Tech’s current prowess. The CBS Sports Basketball twitter account released their own rankings of the collegiate basketball sphere before the national rankings come out on Monday. Texas Tech was sitting pretty at #5.
Now that was some good coffee.