BEST TEAM OF 2012
Thomas Lott: Track and Field will Soar
The best team in 2012 will be the Red Raider Football team. Or not. I'm sorry, there is no chance that will happen. In fact, the Red Raiders will face the biggest challenge in 2012, but I will get to that later. The best team in 2012 will be the Lady Raider basketball team for all the reasons I mentioned earlier. With that defense, the Red Raiders can go as far as they want as long as they remain disciplined. Big 12 play is about to start and we will see very soon how far that defense will carry them.
John Baucum: Lady Raiders Nuff Said
The best team for 2012 will once again be Kristy Curry's Lady Raiders.
Joseph Yeager: All Players Back = Success
The women's softball team won 42 games in 2011 and went to the NCAA regionals. Shannon Hays' squad returns every player and should make huge noise in 2012.
Joshua Koch: Lady Raiders Tournament Bound Again
I have to agree with Mr. Baucum in the fact that the Lady Raiders will be the best team in 2012 hands down.
Tech is 12-0 to start the season and have won nine of those games by 25 or more points, the Lady Raiders are coming off their closest win, 58-57, against San Diego on Friday.
Big 12 Conference play is next, which Tech finished 8-8 in last season, but you can expect better from Tech this season.
Last year they made it to the NCAA Tournament, but not past the first round, which will change this season, and Tech has a chance to make some noise.
Sweet sixteen or Final Four anyone?
BEST PLAYER OF 2012
Thomas Lott: My Name is McGruder
The best player in 2012 at Texas Tech will be Jamodrick McGruder. The Second Baseman for the Red Raiders is often the forgotten man on the team, but his combination of speed, defense and gap to gap power will carry him to an All-Big 12 selection and a selection in the top 10 rounds of the upcoming draft for Major League Baseball. He is gifted will a talented line-up all around him and that will only help his numbers as one of the top draft prospects in baseball hits behind him in Barrett Barnes, while Scott Lejeune and Bo Altobelli will drive McGruder in countless times this season to see the Red Raiders once again have a dangerous offense spearheaded by their highly talented table-setter Jamodrick McGruder.
John Baucum: Mackey set for big year
The best player for 2012 will be a refreshed Leon Mackey. The JC transfer defensive lineman was injured frequently in 2011 but gutted it out often and faced double teams most of the time.
Joe Yeager: Next Icon?
If Jordan Tolbert continues to develop, he will be a Michael Crabtree/Sheryl Swoopes type of player. In other words, he will become an icon of modern Tech athletics.
Joshua Koch: The Deal Closer
The Red Raider baseball team is looking to make it to the College World Series this year and make an impact on the Big 12 race.
The one area that there is no question or concern is the closer position with John Neely.
Neely was named to the 2012 Top 100 Players Preseason list according to College Baseball Daily.
Last season the right-hander in 60 and 2/3 innings pitched recorded an ERA of 2.97, with 56 strikeouts, 21 walks and allowed no long balls in the season while going 9-1 and recording seven saves.
Neely will be fun to watch in the Red Raider uniform this season.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF 2012
Thomas Lott: Winning Back the Fan Base
The biggest challenge in 2012 will be for the Red Raider Football team to win back their fan base. After the first season since 1993 in which the Red Raiders failed to be bowl eligible, fans started to lose faith. In a season where the Texas Tech defense gave up the most points in a single game in their Big 12 history, fans seemed to run out of the stadium if only to avoid the stench of the injury laden season. The team had five chances to win a game and become bowl eligible. They failed. They ended the season on a five game losing streak after taking down arguably the best team in the country on the road in Oklahoma. There were seven fans in the stands in the second half of the Iowa State and Oklahoma State losses in Lubbock. People have stopped believing. You can blame injuries, coaching or effort, but it doesn't really matter. The team played horrible to close out the season and they lost the fan base. The players and coaches said multiple times they didn't care how many fans were flowing out of the stadium in their multiple shellackings they suffered this season, but they better start caring, because if the Red Raiders have another season like that, Texas Tech may have to start all over and that is never good for a college football team.
John Baucum: Building a Winning Program
The biggest challenge will be shaping up Billy Gillispie's young basketball squad. Billy Clyde will undoubtedly build a winner in Lubbock. The only question is how long it will take. Gillispie has the knowledge, passion, experience, and recruiting contacts to build a formidable basketball team. Hopefully the Red Raider faithful will support his rebuilding process.
Joseph Yeager: Being the new DC
Whoever winds up helming the defense for Tech's football team will have his work cut out for him. This unit is an utter shambles, and just getting the players' confidence up to acceptable levels will be a daunting task. The new defensive coordinator will not only need to be a superb defensive coach and thinker, he'll need to be a master psychologist.
Joshua Koch: Win Baby Win
The biggest challenge for the Red Raider football team will be winning, but if they do just that and win … the fans will back on their side and maybe even the side of Tuberville.
He is the head coach here and he is a proven winner so this season should be the best ever and if he can win then everything will be better.
So the biggest challenge for the Red Raiders this season will be just that … Win Baby Win.