Takeaways from the Kirby Hocutt Show
Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt continued with his weekly radio show this new year. Here is what he had to say about various topics including an interview with Gary Parrish, a CBS college basketball TV analyst and columnist.
... Big changes are coming to the fan experience. Hocutt said of beer and wine sales as well as lower concession prices goes into affect on Saturday when Texas Tech basketball hosts Kansas State.
... Hocutt talked a lot about Lady Raider basketball. UConn tranfer Lexi Gordon will hit the court for the Lady Raiders in about a year. She'll be a huge hit with fans and a big help for Marlene Stollings. Hocutt said he feels the same way with Stollings as he did with coach Chris Beard. They've had standouts like Chrislyn Carr be named Freshman of the Week twice in the conference and was named national player of the week once. He commended Zuri Sanders as well as stepping up into a leadership role under Stollings' first year.
... Parrish called in to the show from New York. He's just tremendous," Parrish said about Beard. He said Beard's time at Arkansas Little Rock gets lost in the story. Beard was able to turn a "terrible" program to a good one before he left, which is now back to terrible.
... Parrish said every team Beard's coached has been better than before and consistent then drop once he leaves. He named Beard as one of the best coaches in the country.
... Hocutt brought up the new NET ranking system used this season rather than the RPI rankings everyone was used to. Parrish said it's a step in the right direction but they're clumsy with it. It's how it is because they haven't released that algorithm in full for everyone to understand. The first week was a joke with teams being in the top 10 when they know they shouldn't be. Now, it's shaping up into what they believed it would provide, a true outlook on each team.
... Going back to Beard, Parrish said it's unique that Beard is winning the games he's supposed to and not being upset by teams like Princeton or Memphis. He said there are teams out there that are good but will drop a game every now and again. "His record was way up there like 35-2. He doesn't lose to the teams he's supposed to beat hardly ever."
... Sub-100 players as freshmen aren't supposed to be starting for Big 12 teams, but Parrish said Jarrett Culver and Zhaire Smith are testaments of Beard being able to do exactly that and turn them into pros being selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.
... Parrish said Kansas is supposed to win the Big 12 by about one game above Texas Tech. He said this could flip game-by-game in the league but he's sticking to Kansas this year with no surprise of Texas Tech possibly grabbing it this year.
... Hocutt re-addressed the beer and wine sales moving forward. He said it was important to be able to bring people to the games to create memories with lower food prices rather than wanting to stay home and enjoy.
... Popcorn going down from $5 to $2. Six items are going to be listed at $3 or cheaper. Hocutt said they hope to see less binge drinking before games and that's been the case from what they've heard from peers around the country. Club Red inside the USA will still be open as well. Beer is listed at $8 a pop.
... Lady Raiders vs ACU this past weekend had around 4,000 people in attendance, a boost, while the men had over 11,000 in attendance, both with not many students in town. Hocutt said they're trying to urge people to show up early because of these numbers. They have 18 buses to take people to and from their vehicles at the Soccer Complex where parking is located for men's basketball games.
... The "Ask the AD" section, as usual, rounded out the show. Kirby said he believes the targeting call will be looked at more than likely by the rule committee but he knows moving forward it'll be hard to get officials consistent all across the board with the emphasis of protecting the neck and head area.
... With fundraising being a part of concessions, groups will receive 15 percent of the revenue on concessions for their group instead of 10 percent. Groups from around the city volunteer at stands around the stadiums to gather money for their organizations.
... Dan Law Field renovations are in view. Hocutt said there will be a meeting in the next few days to discuss that with the firm taking control of those renovations.
... Beer choices for the future are going to be Anheuser-Busch brands so expect to see Modelo, ZiegenBock, Michelob Ultra and the usual stock to be available.