The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2019.11.20

Your daily does of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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How NBA executive Jeff David stole $13 million from the Sacramento Kings. Via ESPN:

THE MOVING VAN from Sacramento chokes its way through Miami’s thick August air. It contains the objects of Jeff David’s life, all destined for the Davids’ new house in the affluent Pinecrest neighborhood. It is July 2018, and much of David’s family is on hand to help with the move. Jeff’s mother-in-law and her partner had arrived the previous night to help wrangle the kids while Jeff and his wife, Kate, led their family from their rental home in Coconut Grove.

Jeff, the former chief revenue officer of the Sacramento Kings, has taken the day off to move after landing a new role as CRO of the Miami Heat. His life is seemingly picture-perfect. He has an adoring wife of almost 10 years, three healthy children. And after two stints with the Kings spanning more than a decade — while helping secure hundreds of millions of dollars in arena sponsorships for the team — he has joined one of the NBA’s most respected organizations in an appealing, sun-drenched market.

On this Monday, walking through the Davids’ new front door is a dizzying procession of cable guys, utility workers and movers. Amid all of this, Jeff receives a phone call from a former co-worker with the Kings. Her name is Stacy Wegzyn, and she works in HR. Jeff last remembers sitting in her office in Sacramento just months earlier, being told that the Kings were going to eliminate his position. After a few pleasantries, she gets down to business. She tells Jeff she’s been going through his old files, and in doing so she found one labeled “TurboTax” that references an entity called Sacramento Sports Partners.

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Friends. One of the best things I’ve seen the good folks at the athletic department put out.

Bench Talk.

Just Missed. Rivals’ Eric Bossi goes through his all-decade list of players he missed in terms of evaluation and Jarrett Culver and Zhaire Smith made that list:

Bossi’s take: Woof. I’ll include these guys together because we managed to leave not one, but two, players from the same class who became first-round draft picks out of the national rankings.

When I saw Smith in high school he was a hard playing and really athletic guy playing mostly on the interior at 6-foot-4. I don’t think there was any way to see he was going to be a one-and-done. Culver, on the other hand, was in the Rivals150 for a while and was a guy that we really liked. However, we let a few off performances discourage us. Took him out of the rankings and ended up with egg on our face when he ended up a top-10 draft pick after just two years of college.

Texas Tech Football

Academic All-Big 12.

Blackout. Remember that it was decided (not sure by who) that playing at night at home means the team wears all black. I’m absolutely good with that rule.

#21. ProFootballFocus ranked all 130 starting college quarterbacks and Texas Tech’s Jett Duffey is at #21:

Perhaps the better fit in the Matt Wells led offense at Texas Tech, Duffey has taken over for the injured Alan Bowman and played well enough to warrant a redshirt for Bowman this season as Duffey has exceeded expectations with his play. He ranks 29th in adjusted completion percentage, 28th in passer rating from a clean pocket and perhaps, more importantly, is the country’s 11th-highest-graded quarterback on longer-developing passes thrown at least 2.6 seconds after the snap. He can buy time and allow the passing concepts to open up lanes in the secondary with great success and has completed 62.1% of those longer-developing passes, ranking 10th. He’ll have to have all that magic if the Red Raiders want to get to a bowl game with games against Kansas State and Texas remaining on their schedule and them needing two victories to get to six wins.

Texas’ Sam Ehlinger is at #20, just one spot ahead of Duffey an I tink that most of us are pretty happy with Duffey’s performance. Not perfect and inconsistent at times, but I’m pretty happy overall.

Blidi Prepping for Playoffs. Via the Albuquerque Journal’s James Yodice, this is a profile on Texas Tech commit Philip Blidi, a big defensive end from New Mexico and the article discusses a handful of things, but I had no idea that Blidi does not live with his parents, but at the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home:

But, partially because he had an older brother who had done it, Blidi moved west, and lives at the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home, a child care agency in Portales.

It’s like a group home, Blidi said, where he lives with about 10 other kids, supervised by house parents. His only family is younger brother Brandon, who moved in with him last summer, and a cousin.

“But besides that, I don’t have any other family in New Mexico,” Blidi said.

The home, and Portales by extension, have become his family.

“At the Children’s home, there are a lot of rules and stuff like that, but I came from a strict home,” Blidi said, adding, “I probably didn’t really start liking it here until after my sophomore year.”

We probably don’t talk enough about how a scholarship can mean the difference in a person going to college or just not, well this maybe the poster for that.

Trophy Games. Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams writes about trophy games done right is a good thing in college football:

You’ve probably heard the story by now: From 1961-70, the Red Raiders and the Horned Frogs dubbed their head-to-head meetings the West Texas Championship. To the winner went The Saddle, a traveling trophy. Then The Saddle got lost and a piece of pageantry died with it, a cool chapter of history forgotten for decades.

Fast forward to a few years ago when then-TCU AD Chris Del Conte and Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt took the necessary steps to breathe new life into that history. Using pictures of the original, M.L. Leddy’s Boots and Saddlery in Fort Worth crafted a new saddle to look identical to the old one.


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