The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2020.06.10

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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The facet is completely turned on in 2020. Texas Tech informed us all that former Lady Raider basketballer Noel Johnson died after a battle with ovarian cancer at the all-too-young age of 47. Johnson was an absolute force and part of the Lady Raider 1993 NCAA Championship, was inducted into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame, the Texas high School Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Texas Tech Hall of Fame. Johnson was the head coach at Midwestern State for 12 years and was the program’s winningest coach in program history.

Marsha Sharp:

“I am heartbroken today,” Hall of Fame coach Marsha Sharp said. “Noel Johnson was one of the most decorated and beloved players in the history of Lady Raider Basketball. Her teammates and coaches respected and loved her greatly. We all send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to her family, her friends and her Midwestern State family. Rest in peace, Noey! We will miss you everyday.”

Kirby Hocutt:

“We’ve lost a great member of our Texas Tech family,” Texas Tech director of athletics Kirby Hocutt said. “Noel’s affinity for the school and the Lady Raiders was genuine. She was a great player but an even better person. She brought the same fight she had on the court to her battle with cancer. She will be missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.”

Marlene Stollings:

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Noel,” head coach Marlene Stollings said. “Her determination, grit, and willingness to give back to our team even while fighting for her life will forever serve as an inspiration to all of us. She was a passionate leader who played a pivotal role in winning the 1993 national championship changing Texas Tech sport history forever. We know her legacy will continue to shine as a beacon of hope forever in the hearts of everyone who knew her.”

In short, Johnson was amazing and a force on and off the court. Expect some sort of honor on the Lady Raider jersey this year for Johnson.

Rest in peace Noel.

24/7 Sports’ Brandon Marcello predicts the finish for the 2020 season and has Texas Tech picked . . . 10th in the conference. Before you get really upset, this is what Marcello wrote about Texas Tech:

The three bottoms teams are interchangeable, but Kansas’ offense is on track while West Virginia and Texas Tech left a lot to be desired last season. Tech’s receivers are stacked and West Virginia’s group was young, but the edge goes to the Mountaineers at quarterback. Kansas hasn’t finished eighth or higher in the Big 12 since 2008, but I’m going with my gut and the tremendous coaching job of coordinator Brent Dearmon. The Jayhawks pull off a pair of upsets and climb out of the cellar in 2020.

That’s it. So yeah, I don’t think that Marcello really took a good hard look at things, just looking that Texas Tech lost to Kansas, so let’s pick them last. Should you get upset at this? No, of course not. It’s just one dude. I’d pay more attention to Caesar’s Palace win totals where they’re predicting that TCU, Texas Tech, West Virginia, and Kansas State are all predicted to finish within half a game of each other between 6.5 and 5.5 wins, while Kansas is predicted to have 3.5 wins.

ESPN’s heather Dinich writes that it is expected that most programs will begin offseason workouts either July 13th or July 24th:

The beginning of coaching interaction would depend on the date of the first game. Some programs kick off the season on Aug. 29, or Week 0, which moves the three phases of proposed activities — required workouts, enhanced training and preseason camp — up a week. For teams that begin the season on Labor Day weekend, the required workouts would begin on July 13, followed by an enhanced training that begins on July 24, and a normal preseason camp start date of Aug. 7.

The switch from voluntary workouts, which have had staggered starts across the country this month, to required participation in “summer access” is a normal transition in the sport’s calendar, but the recommendation of an additional two weeks specifically for coach-supervised walk-throughs and meetings was added with the hope of giving coaches extra time to evaluate players’ conditioning and playbook knowledge. Players aren’t allowed to wear helmets or pads during walk-throughs. According to the plan, they can use footballs, but it will be different than NFL OTAs, Berry said.

Here are some tweets.

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