Tech takes on Texas in second to last game of regular season

The Texas Tech men’s tennis team is set to play No. 15 Texas at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, at the McLeod Tennis Center.


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Tech hosts Red Raider Basketball celebration

The Texas Tech men’s basketball team is hosting a Red Raider Basketball Celebration to praise the Red Raider’s Elite Eight appearance this year on Tuesday, April 24, at 6 p.m. at the United Supermarkets Arena.


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Matador Mailbag: The Dating Game, the 2018 Texas Tech edition

Crazy week in the mailbag as we play matchmaker, marriage counselor, and hipster finder.

While at Texas Tech, my degree was in Sociology and Political Science. I planned on curtailing this into a career in law, but instead it took me into a career in Sales and Supply Chain (don’t ask how). With this being said, I still keep much of the lessons taught during my Sociology courses. Many of these courses were different studies on how people or groups of people interact with each other in social settings, so when I got this tweet from Ms. Shelton herself, I knew I was the right man for the job.

Ms. Shelton, you indeed do sound like a “Gruvy Girl.” I’m sure any man would love to go out with you to Tech games, but heed my advice: you don’t need no man. As TLC once eloquently put it “I don’t want no scrubs, a scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me.” Be like TLC and don’t go chasing for these twitter scrubs, before you end up with “a guy hanging out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride.”

That being said, Red Raider nation please submit your application to be Ms. Shelton’s date in the comments below, and she’ll vet you all and make a decision. We’re here for you girl!

Now let’s get on to the rest of the questions.

Not sure Isaiah, I forgot to tell my wife to pay our daughter’s daycare this morning, so when she dropped off our daughter, the daycare was expecting the money and as she put it “they looked at me like I had egg on my face (she didn’t say egg), and it made me late for work” . I think I may need to buy her flowers. As far as your situation, I think I may have the perfect woman for you to help replace the void you may now be feeling. Her only requirements are that you take her to Tech games and you bask in her awesome #RaiderLove. I think we may have found our first contestant on the dating game.

Tech is only a game back of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State for the Big 12 lead. This series against Oklahoma is huge as it can give Tech the top spot in the conference again. Right now, the Tech bats are hot and we may have the best player in the Big 12 (Grant Little) and the best starting pitcher in the Big 12 (Davis Martin). I expect Tech to win the first two games with Martin and Caleb Killian starting and then have the third game up in the air.

The men’s team will surprise people next season. On the surface, Tech is losing six of their top eight scorers, that is pretty damning for virtually every program in the country not named Duke or Kentucky. Tech, however is put in a much nicer position, because now almost every player on the team will be a player recruited by coach Chris Beard. Not only that but the infusion of transfers onto this team means that many new players like Deshawn Corprew, Tariq Owens and hopefully Matt Mooney will already know what it’s like to play college basketball. Tech fans shouldn’t expect the same year as last season, but this will definitely be a NCAA tournament team.

As far as the ladies, don’t expect much from them in the next couple years. There’s not a lot of talent on this roster whatsoever, but I do think Marlene Stollings can do what Tubby Smith did with the men’s team. Smith made the men’s team competitive even though they were still losing and then by the third season he was able to get some victories once he matured the older players and brought in his own guys and made the NCAA tournament. Stollings is the same caliber of coach, she’s never been a championship level coach, but has always been successful. I think she can at least bring the Lady Raiders back to the Kristy Curry days.

Yes I am good, my wife didn’t leave me thank goodness (see the above answer).

Tim Tadlock never looks too upset, even when he’s arguing with the umpire and getting tossed from games, I always think to myself, “that was the most polite manager tossing I’ve ever seen.” Gibbs on the other hand, is one of those guys that’s so excited it’s scary.

Look at that exuberance, it’s awesome yet terrifying. I’d love to play for him but I’d ask coach just to give me a simple high-five. It is National High Five Day by the way.

This answer is easy, there’s no one more hipster than Jeramey Gililan. One day in the VTM Slack messaging group, I asked him questions and he nailed the quiz. He is undoubtedly a hipster. Most importantly, he denies being a hipster which is the most hipster thing you can do. go follow him on twitter @JerameyDane and look at him, doesn’t he have hipster written all over him?

Same time same place next time boys and girls. Like always, tell me how wrong I am in the comments, and leave anything else you’d like to add.

Source: Viva the Matadors

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The NBA needs to step into the future and make every eligible underclassmen available to be drafted

The MLB and NHL does it, why can’t the NBA?

To the surprise of very few, Zhaire Smith made it official Tuesday afternoon and signed with an agent, making him ineligible to return to Texas Tech.

Smith had previously declared for the draft without signing with an agent, giving him the opportunity to return to the university. This move has become very popular among college athletes as players try to gain every advantage they can to get in the NBA. Just last year, Zach Smith did the same thing, except he inevitably decided to return to Texas Tech.

Prospects go through this process for several reasons:

  • To get a feel of the process for the future.

By entering the draft you get to see how the draft process is. You get to go through workouts and see just what a draft prospect endures. By going through these drills one time, when the athlete officially enters the draft, he will already know what to expect and be better prepared to impress.

  • To find out where they stack up against other prospects.

NBA scouts don’t speak to college athletes, however once they declare, they are no longer college athletes. By declaring, these athletes get to speak to these scouts and compete against other prospects and see where they may get drafted. For a player like Zhaire Smith, entering the draft without an agent gives him a chance to see if he’d truly be a first roound pick. The worst thing he could have done is hire an agent from the onset just to find out that he’s not as highly regarded and could slip to the second round where the contracts are not guaranteed.

  • To be more noticeable.

Scouts scour the world to find the top prospects but don’t always find every top prospect. By entering their name in the draft, prospects automatically get to put themselves out in front of teams. When Zach Smith entered last year, there was a slim chance that he wouldn’t return to Tech, but going into his senior season more NBA scouts knew who he was than if he had not declared.

This practice of entering the draft without an agent seems harmless and for all intents and purposes a good deal for athletes to maximize their draft-ability yet it seems as though some people don’t agree with some of the athletes entering the draft.

Now there is a 99% chance that Nojel Eastern returns back to Purdue this upcoming season, but there truly is no harm in him entering. With that being said, there has to be a better way for athletes to show themselves without having to temporarily leave their college team and get scrutinized. The solution is simple: make every eligible underclassmen available to be drafted.

In baseball, once a player has been in college for three years, they are automatically eligible to be drafted to the MLB. They do not need to declare, they simply get drafted by an organization and then decide whether they get to join the team or not. In the NBA, seeing as there is only 60 draft selection, it is unlikely that a player turns down the opportunity to make at least six figures to come back to being a broke college kid.

In my opinion, the NHL model is even better. All eligible athletes are drafted into the NHL and from there they get to do off-season workouts with there NHL franchise. If the player does not make the NHL or AHL team and is still young enough to play on their Junior Hockey League team then they get to stay there. It is very similar to how the NBA treats European players. Manu Ginobli was drafted in 1999, where he instead decided to stay in the Italian league. The Spurs kept his rights until he was ready, and after dominating Italy for three years, he then signed his contract and started playing with the Spurs in 2002.

The NBA needs to have that policy for their collegiate athletes as well. There is nothing against the NCAA rules that permits the players from being drafted and if these players haven’t signed with agents, drafting them and letting them stay in college for 1-3 more years allows your player to mature at the collegiate level while still having their rights to sign them at a future date.

I think I may have just solved the NBA Draft, everyone can thank me later.

Source: Viva the Matadors

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First Pitch: Offensive firepower, sweeps, and new pitching roles

This week, we look into the sweep over Kansas State and the win over New Mexico.

Hello, and welcome to another edition of First Pitch! In this installment, I will be looking into the last four games for the Red Raiders and talk about some of the things I saw. I feel good things are on the horizon for this team, something I wasn’t as sure about one week ago. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Offensive firepower

76 runs. Amazing for a four-game stretch, this Red Raider team hit in 76 runs in the last week an incredible stat that will probably not be outdone by this team. This team has now climbed into the top of the NCAA in most offensive categories. They are 4th in batting average, 3rd in hits, 6th in home runs, 2nd in on-base percentage (OBP), and 3rd in scoring at nine runs per game. This type of production is what was expected by many people including myself leading up to the season, and hopefully it will continue as Tech goes into the toughest stretch of its schedule.

This offense has been led by Grant Little and Josh Jung all season. They both put up amazing performances over the past week. Little had 9 RBI in Friday’s win against Kansas State and was awarded VTM’s Hitter of the Week. Little had 13 RBI total for the weekend, more than some players get all season. Josh Jung followed up Little’s weekend performance with a Tuesday performance like no other. Jung went 5 of 5 with 8 RBI. Oh, and he hit for the cycle and also got an extra home-run. Jung had a day to remember, one that had only happened five other times in team history.


While Kansas State isn’t a good team, sweeping them was significant to me for a couple of reasons. First, we hadn’t swept anyone in the Big 12 up to that point. It had been a huge deal to me that we couldn’t win a 1-0 game against West Virginia at home and couldn’t finish such a great start to the series at Kansas and ended up getting blown out in the final game. These shortcomings ultimately put fire into the team I imagine, as there was no doubt who would win any of the three games this past weekend as Tech dominated from the first pitch. My second reason mostly piggybacks off of my first reason. We need to be able to sweep bad teams. We did it all through non-conference play with sweeps against Maine, UTSA, South Alabama, and Northeastern. If we can continue to sweep the bad teams in this conference, we’ll have a better shot at winning the Big 12 title.

New pitching roles

Most of the pitching staff is set. That is something I realized last week as I mentioned the three main starters on this team. I do not believe that rotation will change unless an injury occurs. What I do want to talk about is the bullpen and some new roles there. Let’s start with Ryan Shetter. Shetter started out the season as the weekday starter. He did make a relief appearance in the first game of the season against Maine but didn’t perform too well and I believe that is why Coach Tadlock put him back in the starting role where he was last year. Shetter has now settled into a long setup role. What I mean by that is that Shetter will come into the ballgame and pitch the 6th, 7th and sometimes 8th inning if it calls for it. His main role is to keep the lead manageable for the closer behind him to come in and finish the game. I think Ty Harpeneau has become the closer for this team. He only has two saves on the season, but I believe that he will get the nod if the team needs a save now that Ryan Shetter can hold down three innings. Harpeneau is experienced and I think fits beautifully in the closer role.

That is all I have for you today! What do you think of this Red Raider offense? Do you think they can continue this hot offensive streak and how do you think the team will fare against a good Oklahoma team this weekend? Let us know in the comment section below!

Source: Viva the Matadors

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Culver looks to lead Tech next season

With fellow freshman Zhaire Smith deciding to remain in the NFL Draft, freshman star guard Jarrett Culver will be the lone returning offensive star on Tech’s team next year, and all eyes will be on him after Tech’s first Elite…


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What could Tre Watson bring to Texas Tech?

An analysis of graduate transfer Tre Watson after his visit to Texas Tech.

With the final spring game over with, it will be a few months until we see the Texas Tech Red Raiders on the field again. The final few scholarship spots on this roster are still being recruited and one player on Tech’s radar is the Cal graduate transfer, Tre Watson. Watson leaves Cal after a sub-par season, where he rushed for under 100 yards. Watson is still a great back, as in 2016, he had over 900 all-purpose yards and 8 touchdowns on over 150 touches. He has a ton to bring to this team as experience is just some of what he brings to the table.

Watson was injured in the second game of the season against Weber State. He is an extremely versatile back that will fit into Kliff Kingsbury and Kevin John’s offense perfectly in a role spot, complementing running backs Tre King and Daleon Ward. Watson caught 21 passes in his junior year and at 5’11 is no small back.

With well over 1000 yards in his career, Watson could bring some needed experience to a running back group that will also bring on freshmen Ta’zhawn Henry and SaRodorick Thompson. These two will need a great mentor and will be getting plenty with seniors Tre King and Desmond Nisby already on the team.

If Watson chooses to commit, he will most likely be used as a third-down running back, using his versatility to catch passes and pass block for whatever quarterback starts. One thing I will give Coach Kingsbury credit for this off-season is going after some versatile experience.

NCAA Football: California at Southern CaliforniaRichard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

In 2016, Watson was one of the best options out of the backfield for former Texas Tech and now New York Giants quarterback Davis Webb. He caught 21 passes out of the backfield. Last year, 51 passes were caught be Red Raider running backs. Watson fits perfectly in Kingsbury’s offense, as he would be able to get the ball in a multitude of ways. That year, Watson had the best year of his career and if he can return to that form, he could be a weapon for this Red Raider offense that needs a leader in the backfield.

What do you think of Tre Watson? Do you think he will fit in this offense? Let us know in the comment section below!

Source: Viva the Matadors

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Nine Tech golfers named to Academic All-Big 12 Teams

On Tuesday, April 17, the Texas Tech golf programs had nine student-athletes appointed to the Academic All-Big 12 teams.


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Ask the Expert: Who is Seth Collins?

Our friends at Building The Dam answered a few questions about Seth Collins.

Given that lack of proven playmakers at wide receiver this fall, the commitment of Seth Collins is huge for the program right now. To get an idea of what to expect, our friends at Building The Dam, the SB Nation site for Oregon State, agreed to answer a few questions on the latest commitment for the Red Raiders. The have their own take here, and they do an outstanding job with their own coverage of the Beavers. Toss them a follow if you were ever curious about Oregon State.

1. It seems like Seth Collins started at quarterback, but then moved to wide receiver. What was the story there?

He was a late add by then-new head coach Gary Andersen. Collins was slated to go to SJSU to play QB before Oregon State represented his first P5 opportunity at QB. He started as a true freshman and was pretty electric especially with his legs. One of the highlights of his QB days was him hurdling a Weber State defender in a non-conference game.

While he was electric with his feet, the passing game struggled with him at QB and following a mid-season injury that saw him miss a few games he returned for the Civil War vs Oregon as a WR. That game was probably my favorite Seth Collins game in Orange and Black. While he primarily lined up at WR he also saw some time in the backfield and as the WildCat QB. Oregon didn’t have much of an answer for him(unfortunately we didn’t have an answer for them either and they won). Following the season the coaching staff made his move to WR permanent, at which point he elected to transfer to a school that would play him at QB. He committed to Northern Illinois in the winter, before eventually deciding to stay at OSU and move to WR.

2. Everything I’ve seen online states he was regularly plagued by injuries, but he’s got immense talent. Is that more/less accurate?

He is freakishly athletic and a matchup nightmare when he is on the field, but sadly between injuries, a pair of illnesses and a suspension he didn’t see the field nearly as much as anyone in Beaver Nation would have liked.

3. What type of player is Texas Tech getting in Collins? Will he primarily line up outside, can he work out of the slot, and do you see him getting any sort of backfield work (as a running back)?

He lined up at both at OSU, but I think he is better in the slot personally. I hope for his and your sake they do have him line up in the backfield at times. I mentioned the 2015 Civil War where they lined him up everywhere. My biggest frustration with the Seth Collins era was the fact that the coaching staff never really seemed to do that again, I’m not sure why but if I was them I would have moved him around a lot more to keep defenses on their heels.

4. In not so ideal news, what’s the word on all the suspension chatter he was dealing with?

That whole thing was a weird deal. He was announced to be out with an undisclosed illness that saw him miss a large chunk of games to close out the 2017 season. Following the coaching turmoil, Collins elected to transfer after the season. Shortly after the transfer announcement, it was reported that he had been arrested for misdemeanor assault following an incident at a party during the season and had been suspended. It is not clear whether he would have been able to return during the season had he not been suspended, or if he had still been dealing with his undisclosed illness.

5. Typically, the fans close to the program have “opinions” on players before the leave the team. Overall, are Oregon State fans happy for Collins to move on? Or, did this loss hurt the program?

While I can’t speak for the rest of Beaver Nation, I feel like most are happy for him, I don’t think there is a whole lot of animosity toward him, but things never really seemed to click for him in Corvallis. I think a lot of that could be attributed to a coaching staff who lacked any direction on offense with a revolving door at QB and multiple shifts in offensive schemes. I think the loss hurts the program in the sense that you don’t want to lose one of your most athletic players and we never really got to see him reach his full potential in Corvallis.

6. Is there anything you’d add that Red Raider fans would want to know?

I don’t really have much to add, but I am excited to see what he can do in the Red Raider offense.

My Take – I rarely give a personal take on someones Q/As, because I like to leave it to the experts….but, in this particular case – I have some opinions. It seems that many in Beaver Nation were tantalized with the potential that Collins possessed, but were perpetually frustrated by his lack of usage, production, and injuries. This story sounded all to familiar, and reminded me of a recent Red Raider, specifically Derrick Willies. Despite all the physical skill in the world, he’s a fringe NFL Draft Prospect at best. I think we all need to exercise some caution with our optimism here. It’s entirely realistic that Collins finds his way into the starting lineup, and we get two great years from him. But, I think it’s important to have context into his history.

Nevertheless, this is still a coup for Red Raiders….Welcome to Texas Tech, Seth!

Source: Viva the Matadors

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Tech baseball heating up at just the right time

The Red Raiders have stomped the life out of their last two opponents, but the most challenging portion of the season still awaits.

I can’t remember a time I’ve seen a college baseball team score 20 or more runs three times in five days.

That’s a lot of offense.

Texas Tech is second in the nation in total runs scored with 347. The closest power-five school to producing that kind of offensive output is Kentucky, which has plated 289 runs this season.

Tech is averaging 9.2 runs per game, which is just unheard of, compared to Kentucky’s 7.8. That’s a huge difference, and fans should really appreciate the offensive firepower in the Red Raider dugout.

Tim Tadlock’s group is going to need every bit of that firepower for the last leg of the season. Tech’s schedule over the next 11 days is absolutely brutal:

  • April 20 – No. 22 Oklahoma
  • April 21 – No. 22 Oklahoma
  • April 22 – No. 22 Oklahoma
  • April 24 -at No. 3 Arkansas
  • April 25. at No. 3 Arkansas
  • April 27 – at TCU
  • April 28 – at TCU
  • April 29 – at TCU

Five out of the next eight are on the road, two against one of the nation’s best teams. Oh, and don’t even thinking about scoffing at TCU this year. They may be down this year, but they’ve won four out of their last five, including a win against No. 22 Oklahoma. And that squad always has talent.

After that, Tech plays a tune-up game against San Diego before diving right back into the gauntlet:

  • May 4 – No. 21 Texas
  • May 5 – No. 21 Texas
  • May 6 – No. 21 Texas
  • May 8 – Dallas Baptist
  • May 17 – at Oklahoma State
  • May 18 – at Oklahoma State
  • May 19 – at Oklahoma State

Texas is looking strong this year and Dallas Baptist has already defeated the Red Raiders once this season. A series on the road against the current Big 12 leader Oklahoma State Cowboys is no easy task to finish out the year, either.

It’s a good thing Tech hitters are on an absolute tear right now. In just a few short weeks, we’ll find out if it’s a fluke or if Tech can succeed at the plate against the nation’s best pitching staffs.

Source: Viva the Matadors

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