Wolf Diamond Storylines
1. Texas Tech hosts annual spring game Saturday. You can catch a glimmer of what the 2012 Red Raider football team will look like Saturday at 1 p.m. when Tech hosts the annual Red and Black game in Jones AT&T Stadium.
It's been an interesting spring with the Red Raider defense getting an upper hand early through the 11 practices the team has gone through thus far. As the spring practice sessions continued, quarterback Seth Doege and the offense started to come along and the practices got more competitive.
The spring game will be Red Raider fans first chance to see new defensive coordinator Art Kaufman's 4-3 defensive scheme in action and the consensus from the first 11 practices is the defense has improved a ways from last year's fiasco.
The key to the defense's newfound success this spring has been the linebackers. If you go to the game, watch the linebackers closely. That position group has improved the most thanks to some serious weight room gains and the addition of some experienced linebackers in community college transfers Will Smith and Chris Payne. Keep in mind Terrance Bullitt will be healthy this fall to add even more depth to a group that desperately needed it.
Speaking of Bullitt being sidelined, guys like Alex Torres, Eric Stephens and DeAndre Washington will definitely miss the spring game with injuries dating back to last season and a handful of other guys are questionable for the game.
2. Spring game could pay big dividends in recruiting. Some very talented juniors will visit Lubbock this weekend as will a good chunk of Tech's 2012 signees who are already locked in to play for the Red Raiders.
Historically, Tech's recruiting season begins the day after the spring game when the first commit comes in. This year, the Red Raiders got a bit of a head start with the Class of 2013 in defensive backs Will Barrow, Tavares Garner and Jordan Sterns as well as Rivals250 receiver Devin Lauderdale.
Sterns, Garner and Lauderdale as tentatively scheduled to attend the game and that provides a chance for Tech to solidify the trio's commitments. The game also is an opportunity to excite the 2012 signees.
In addition to the four early commits, Tech is currently scheduled to host 14 uncommitted prospects in the Class of 2013. It's an opportunity for the players to form relationships and get to thinking about playing Tech football together.
We're expecting a flurry of commitments shortly after the spring game and in the past a few players who attend the spring game commit further down the road either at a camp or during their senior football season.
3. Lady Raiders will host third WNIT game. The Tech women's basketball team will host San Diego in the WNIT's version of the Sweet 16 Thursday in Lubbock.
Tech defeated San Diego in San Diego, Calif., 58-57 just before the New Year on its way to a perfect non-conference record.
Lady Raider fans are disappointed Tech didn't make the NCAA Tournament after expectation were so high this offseason and a 12-0 non-conference record, but winning the WNIT would be a big deal. The team appears to be over getting left out of the Tournament and keen on winning a 'championship' in the WNIT. Teams that win the WNIT usually make the NCAA Tournament the following season and perform quite well in it.
The Lady Raiders defeated Eastern Illinois in the first round and got a 69-55 win against Tulane in the second round Sunday.
If Tech wins, the team will take on Washington at a time and date to be determined.