After the Red Raiders bowed out of the College World Series, Tech fans have arrived at the dreaded precipice of summertime slumps: the offseason. We’ll cover what happened this past week for Texas Tech athletics and hope these 68 days until football offer sustainable excitement.
After falling to Michigan in the opening game of the College World Series, Texas Tech had a long road of recovery ahead of them. First up was an elimination game against Arkansas, the bracket favorite that fell to Florida State. It was a game that had all the back-and-forth of a title game that wouldn’t be decided until the bottom of the eighth when Cody Masters crushed a two-out RBI triple that sent Cameron Warren from first to home. Warren’s run pushed Texas Tech over Arkansas 5-4, and pitted them against Florida State. In the FSU game it all came down to the masterful pitching of Bryce Bonnin and Taylor Floyd who kept the Seminoles to three hits while racking up 15 strikeouts (a record for Tech in Omaha). The Red Raiders would advance to play Michigan again after beating Florida State 4-1. The rematch previewed a lot of momentum for Tech, but the result was far from a fairy tale. Tech would go on to end its historic season with a 15-3 loss to Michigan. Texas Tech has won their third Big 12 regular-season title in the past four years and advanced to Omaha for the fourth time in six seasons. Tech’s time in Omaha was marked by two wins, placing the Red Raiders among the final four teams for the first time in program history.
After unanimously leading the Texas Tech basketball team to the Final Four this season, Culver decided to complete his collegiate career and enter the NBA draft. It only took six picks until we heard the Lubbock native called up to the big leagues. The Minnesota Timberwolves, who were traded the pick from Phoenix, selected Culver as their star draft-pick. He enters the NBA coming off Texas Tech’s winningest season in program history: 31 victories, Big 12 regular-season champion, NCAA West Region Champs and the program’s first national championship game. Culver earned the All-America selection as well as the Big 12 POTY after his 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists per game average. His collegiate totals finish at 1,119 points, 420 rebounds and 209 assists.
Two other Red Raiders found professional homes as well. Tariq Owens received a preseason camp offer from the Phoenix Suns and Mooney decided to join the Atlanta Hawk’s summer league. Owens had set a new single-season program record with 92 blocked shots in his only season at Tech, completing an astounding 37 out of 38 games with a blocked shot - finishing 13th nationally. Mooney supplied the Red Raiders with 11.3 points per game, 126 assists and led the team with 70 steals. These stats garnered him the All-Big 12 Second Team, All-Newcomer, All-Defensive Team honors, and Final Four All-Tournament Team. Mooney had the second highest three-point total on the team with 49 3-pointers on the season.
Jarrett Culver arrived at Texas Tech as:— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) June 21, 2019
◽️ No. 312 recruit in the country
◽️ No. 64 shooting guard
◽️ No. 24 player in Texas
◽️ Big 12 Player of the Year
◽️ First Final Four in school history
◽️ No. 6 pick by the Wolves
(via @247sports) pic.twitter.com/4Wvwt6GbBI
Texas Tech track and field has had a premier year and a lot of it comes on the speed of Divine Oduduru. We’ll write up a large piece on Oduduru this week, but in essence: he is an incredibly talented Olympian who decided to wear the scarlet & black. His story is a fascinating one that has been capped off, at least in the collegiate sense, with a finalist nod at track and field’s most prestigious award: The Bowerman is awarded to the nation’s top male and female track athletes for the year. Currently Oduduru is one of three alongside LSU’s Mondo Duplantis and Florida’s Grant Holloway. There is a fan vote happening and Oduduru has, unsuprisingly given his literal track record, the lead:
You can help cement Texas Tech’s history and Oduduru’s legacy by casting your vote here: VOTE FOR ODUDURU! Voting closes June 27th.
Texas Tech’s Scottish ambassador, Junior Sandy Scott, has earned PING All-America honors. He is the fifteenth All-America selection in program history, adding to awards such as All-Big 12, PING All-Region team, Academic All-Big 12, Haskins Award Watch List and a selection to the Arnold Palmer Cup International Team. Scott’s season is marked by a win at the El Macero Classic, where he went 3-under par for his first collegiate victory. There were a total of fourteen Big 12 golfers named to the PING All-America teams.
Check our our Air Raid Podcast below for profiles on Coach Wells’ newest 2020 recruits, and keep updated with our individual player profiles from our contributors!