The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2020.04.20

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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Ever heard of Keirin racing? Me neither. It is basically elite track velodrome bicycle racing in Japan and it is basically a way for the Japanese to bet on something (we all need to be on something).  From the BBC:

Established in 1948, keirin was created to boost income in Japan after the Second World War.

More than 70 years on, there are 43 velodromes in the country and fans can watch keirin racing on 365 days of the year.

“In betting offices, cafes and bars, there are thousands of people watching each race,” says Hoy.

“Every year, they have one big event, the Grand Prix, and on that single day, there is more money bet than on the entire British horse racing season.”

Top riders can earn more than £1m a year in prize money, with many continuing to compete into their 50s and 60s. Such is the scale of betting on racing that riders must abide by incredibly strict regulations.

Riders must arrive at meets dressed smartly – and everyone must then surrender their mobile phone. No communication with the outside world is allowed over the entire event. Many take place over four days.

I also found this explainer video which was quite terrific.

Last week a Michigan basketball commit, Jalen Green, ended up deciding to forgo his Wolverine decision to go to the G-League, get paid $500,000 for the year, and I think he also gets a scholarship whenever he wants it. Some people think that this is an issue for college basketball because high school players now have an option other than college basketball. Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel has a nice solution, which is to make NCAA basketball like NCAA hockey:

In college hockey, or nearly any other NCAA sport, the rule is different. No hockey player has to declare for the draft. As such, no one has to pull themselves out of the draft. Even if a player is selected by an NHL team, they aren’t banished from college hockey.

Instead, the player has 72 hours after the draft to sit down with their family, an agent (yes, it’s allowed), their NHL team and their college coach and determine the best path forward — play for their school or go pro. Seems reasonable, right? After all, it’s a big decision.

If you choose the NHL, good for you. If you choose college, then you can’t join an NHL team until after your college team’s season ends. You’re committed.

The system works. There are almost no complaints. There are no college hockey coaches begging to switch to the college basketball system. There is roster uncertainty into the summer, but that’s the trade-off to work with great young players.

I’ve always like the MLB rules, which is that if a player is drafted out of high school, they can choose college where they would have to stay for 3 years or go pro. The hockey method is probably better, but I’m not so dug-in that I can’t imagine the other. I’d also add that Wetzel’s wrote at the beginning of his article that the NBA is not college basketball’s friend, but they are the competition. I’d agree and the NCAA probably need to start thinking about the NBA in those terms.

Avalanche-Journal’s Carlos Silva, Jr. talked with Brittany Brewer after being drafted by the Atlanta Dream:

“I really hope that’s what my story shares,” said Brewer, who’s listed at 6-foot-5. “I’m from Abilene, and I didn’t play AAU except maybe one year just for fun my senior year. I just wanted to have the experience.

“Just to know that really hard work is what gets you there. And then also just forming good relationships with people. … Hard work and valuing the relationships that you have are really important to get to this next journey.”

That odyssey became a little clearer after Brewer found great success under then first-year head coach Marlene Stollings, who challenged the junior post to become more physical in the post and develop a jump shot to stretch opposing defenses.

Russel Tchewa made it official over the weekend, tweeting that he has entered the transfer portal and that he will seek a program with more playing time. I think that this is a situation where head coach Chris Beard is being honest and letting Tchewa know that there’s just not going to be a lot of time for him at the 5 with stretch forwards Joel Ntambwe and new commit Esahi Nyiwe. As you may recall from our eligibility chart, Texas Tech is still likely one scholarship over the limit and Jahmi’us Ramsey has until this coming Sunday to enter the NBA Draft.

RedRaiderSports did a Q&A with incoming freshman defensive back Kobee Minor and JUCO transfer sophomore defensive back Cameron Watts. The football program also had a preferred walk-on commitment for the 2020 class from Lutheran South Academy defensive end Jake Justice and RedRaiderSports’ Ben Golan talked to Justice about why he chose Texas Tech. You can check out Justice’s highlights on Hudl where he played receiver and defensive end.

Here are some tweets.

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