Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Big 12 Orientation, Week 8: dirt aggy Basketball.

The man who raises the sons of Tech's Basketball Parents

da Basketball At-A-Glance:

  • Team Founded in 1925
  • 0 National Titles
  • 0 Elite 8s
  • 6 Sweet 16s
  • 14 NCAA Tourney Appearances
  • 5 Conference Tourney Championships (0 Big 12)
  • 13 Conference Regular Season Titles (0 Big 12)
  • 1 Raging Asshole Coach
  • 1 Raging Asshole Coach's son
  • 1 Raging Drunk failure Coach
Arena:  United Spirit Arena, opened 1999. (capacity 15,000).

History with TCU.  As has been the case with our other old-SWC foes, the Frogs and Raiders have quite the basketball history.  The only difference between Tech and the others?  Tech will actually give us a home/home series on a regular basis.  I'm not saying other teams are scared because, seriously, being scared of TCU Basketball is like being scared of a boxful of kittens, but it is kind of interesting.  The two teams have met 114 times with Tech taking 70 of the contests.  Things have gotten a little better recently with TCU winning 3 of the last 7 meetings, but as with most things TCU Basketball in the post-Tubbs years, there's not a lot to brag about.  The only good thing about Tech is that if we're hoping for some padding at the bottom of the Conference standings, their recent iteration could certainly fill the bill.

Famous ex-Tardballers:

Recent History.  I'll be honest - writing about Tech Basketball is about as fun as you all imagine it to be, so instead I'm simply going to take the easy way out and reprint the wild assed assumptions I made about the program in a post from February.  You guys don't read these things anyway, do you?

You could certainly argue that by allowing noted dickhead Bobby Knight to appoint his even bigger dickhead son -last seen doingTHIS - as his successor, Tech made their bed before any of the Leach stuff went down. But the results are very curious. In Knight's first season in 2007-2008, the Raiders went 16-15 and 7-9 in Conference play, highlighted by a take down of #5 ranked UT before losing in the first round of the Conference tournament, about the best you could hope for a first year HC in his first job. In his second year, however, there was drop off as the Raiders only managed to win 3 Big 12 games and were once against bounced in the first round of the Conference tourney. 2009 would only bring 4 Conference wins, although the Raiders would reach the NIT, so Knight was given a little more rope. But any good will generated from that post season berth was done the next year when the Raiders would revert to their sub-500 ways, lose in the first round of Conference tourney for the third time in Knight's four seasons and he would be dismissed. Knight would likely point out that he improved his Conference win total each of those final three seasons, but when said win total has only moved from 3 to 4 to 5, that's not impressing anyone. Tech would then go on to hire recent Kentucky flameout and known drunk Billy Gillespie to return the basketball team to the promised land. I'll admit, despite Gillespie's history, I thought this was pretty much a slam dunk hire by the Raiders given his success coaching UTEP and aggy. The reality of the situation, though? Not so much. The Red Raiders currently sit at 8-21 and 1-16 in Big 12 play. Considering they close their season this weekend against top ten ranked Mizzou, I think we can go ahead and chalk up loss #17 in Conference, something even TCU has never achieved. So for those counting at home, during Leach's first 8 years on campus, Tech went to the post season five times. Since then? Once.

2012 Outlook.  If there's a definitive example of "nowhere to go but up!" it's Texas Tech in 2012.  8-23 and 1-17 is just bad, bad stuff.  Given, Gillespie inherited a rebuilding job; Considering Pat Knight took Lamar - LAMAR!! -to the Dance this past season, it's safe to say the man CAN coach a teency tiny bit and the product in LBK may not have been up to par.  But, 8-23?  1-17?  I mean, the Big 12 was REALLY good this year in basketball... but whew.  Only TCU gets to all of their Conference games but one!  It's kind of OUR thing.  Is it possible that getting run out of Kentucky with pitchforks and targeted meth lab explosions did a number on his confidence?  I think it's a given he's drinking more because what the hell else are you going to do in Lubbock?  But seriously, last year's team was just BAD.  They ranked 300+ in points and rebounds, putting up a paltry 59 and 30 per game, respectively.  Of their 8 wins, they ran the gamut of directional schools and schools named after states that don't exist.  When the clock turned to Conference play, of the 18 games they played, they really only competed in 2:  the one win over Oklahoma and an OT loss to Texas.  So, yeah, they're gonna need some confidence this year.  I'd give you a preview of who is returning, but the Raiders only had one (1) player on last year's team average double figures, and BARELY at that.  That player, Jordan Tolbert, was a freshman and actually has a bright future as a player, but can he rise above the shitheap that is Texas Tech basketball?  As an example of how uninteresting Tech basketball was last year, consider the major story for part of the season wasn't about Tolbert, it was about Luke Adams, a freshman who scored 4.2 PPG.  But the story wasn't about his talent, it was about his hearing, or lack thereof.  As someone with a family member who has a disability, I don't mean that as some sort of slight.  I'm just saying - when the major story of your team is one of human interest off the court, that probably means your season isn't going as it was supposed to.  The good news for Tech is that they only lost one senior off of last year's team, and he didn't have too much of an impact.  The bad news is the underclassmen coming back didn't inspire a whole lot of confidence, either.  Should be a fun dog fight at the bottom of the pile. 

Miscellania.  Did you know that Tech originally played in the Livestock Judging Pavillion?  That's pretty fitting.  Also interesting:  the fastest sellout in United Spirit Arena history?  Not for Tech - it was for a Taylor Swift concert.  Upstaged by a country music singing robot pixie?  Not good for pride.  But, perhaps my favorite bit of Tech lore is this:  1996 is widely considered to be the most successful season in Texas Tech Basketball history.  Under then Coach James Dickey, the Raiders would run up a 30-2 record which included a flawless run through Conference play, make the Sweet 16 of the NCAAs and finish in the Top 10 in both the AP and Coaches' polls.  However, the very next season Tech would have to forfeit their spot in the post season due to academically ineligible players.  After a thorough investigation it would turn out that Tech had been big time cheating since 1990 and would ultimately have to erase their participation in the 1996 post-season from the record books.  This would lead to four straight losing seasons and Dickey's eventual firing.  Life'a a bitch when you can't cheat!  So, much like Texas Tech's greatest football season ever has a huge asterisk next to it due to being teabagged by the pressure of high expectations, Tech's greatest basketball season has a similar taint as well.  I can't WAIT to see what their greatest baseball season looks like!

3rd Annual Spitblood TCU Scramble

This year's tournament will be held at Whitestone Golf Course in Fort Worth on August 25th.  Shotgun start is set for 2pm so you lazy booze hounds can make it.  All proceeds go to charity.  $100/player, $400/team.  Includes green fee, koozie, FREE beer, hamburger, and prizes if you earn them.

The format is a scramble.  Do not stack your team with A golfers.  Try to balance with an A, B, C, and D golfer.  (why do I even say this, you sand bagging SOBs never listen)  You WILL get made fun of if you turn in a 17 under.

Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Dead Ass Last.  There will also be closest to the pin and longest drive individual prizes as well.  1st place takes home the coveted Spitblood Purple Jacket.

Last year we set a record for attendance with over 80 golfers.  This year we aim to get 100 players.  We have the entire course reserved and it will be one hell of a time. 

We are pooling money on Crowdtilt.  Click this link to sign up.  If you don't have an account sign up is fast and easy.  You can sign up through Facebook or by just using your email. If you are paying for more than 1 entry you can contribute multiple times.

After sign up please email your team name and players to thefinch@spitbloodtcu.com .  Sign up as soon as you can because the spots will go fast.  Feel free to email me with any questions.