Photo By O'Jay Barbee

Raider Power Rapid Fire: Hoops Stretch Run, Omaha or Bust?, Spring Ball Begins staff members Joe Yeager, Alyssa Chrisope, Zach Tanner, Dan Meyer and Jarret Johnson answer questions about Texas Tech athletics and recruiting, plus some current events thrown in there.

1. Pretty much every prognosticator has Tech in the NCAA Tourney as of today. Games at WVU, at home against Kansas State and at least a likely first round matchup (probably with TCU) in the Big 12 tournament remain on the schedule. Predict how Tech finishes the season and its seed IF you think the Red Raiders end up dancing.

Alyssa:  I think Tech will beat Kansas State at home on senior day and will make it through the first round of the Big 12 Tourney at least. So I think they will be seeded around No. 10 for the Big Dance. 

Dan: While Tech basketball has undoubtedly been better since their loss to WV, going on the road makes a difference. I forsee a 1-1 finish to the regular season and at least 1 if not 2 wins in the Big XII tournament at minimum. Tech will make the big dance as an 8 seed.

Jarret: Loss on senior night at WVU. Win on Tech's senior night against K-State. Tech wins two games in the Big 12 tournament and ends up a seven seed.

Joe: Tech loses a close one to West Virginia, slips past Kansas State in Lubbock, and wins two games in the Big 12 tournament. Tournament seed 8.

Zach: I'm awful at bracketology-type stuff but I'll give it a shot - losing in Morgantown, win at home against K-State, win against TCU in the first round in Kansas City, and a loss after that as Texas Tech secures a 10-seed?

2. The baseball team took 2-of-3 games against ranked opponents at the Shriners Classic in H-Town last weekend to move to 6-2 on the season. Given what we know early, what are realistic goals for the team this season? 

Alyssa: This weekend showed that Texas Tech has a lot of potential, especially with the younger guys coming in and guys like Michael Davis stepping up big time. If they continue to win big non conference games like they did this weekend, they will make the post season. Another good test for them will be this weekend again Cal State Fullerton, and the home field advantage should help them out.

Dan: I don't think it's unrealistic that this team has goals of Omaha. There's no reason they shouldn't be able to get into the postseason and make some noise.

Jarret: There's a lot of baseball to be played, but coach Tim Tadlock and staff have raised the level of expectations around here and last weekend's results indicate the Red Raiders making another run to Omaha is a realistic goal. 

Joe: The Red Raiders return to postseason play, but not the CWS.

Zach: I think anything other than at least an NCAA regional bid is a disappointing season considering the bevy of (healthy) talent on that squad right now. The hitting duo of Neslony and Goots is probably the best in the Big 12. 

3. Spring football begins Saturday and there are a lot of questions surrounding the program. What are you watching for the most this spring?

Alyssa: First I'm interested to see how this strength and conditioning has effected this team, and then of course how the defense has improved. 

Dan: I know everyone wonders about the defense, but my attention will be on Derrick Willies. As the top JUCO WR in the nation and an early enrollee, he has to step in and contribute with Tech great Jakeem Grant moving on. With his size, speed, and the offense Tech runs, he should be one of the top WR's in the nation and with the losses in the WR group, he may need to be.

Jarret: My top five questions in order: 1. Coaching staff in flux. 2. Who's going to play defensive line? 3. OL competition. 4. RB competition. 5. LB competition. 

Joe: I am interested to see who is the chief replacement for DeAndre Washington, how Quan Shorts develops, and whether Kolin Hill will make a substantial impact on the defense.

Photo By Steven Chapman

Zach: Who we start hearing rumblings about among the new guys at defensive line. Seems like they'll all get plenty of opportunities, so now we get to see who is the real deal. My early guess at the DL two-deep:

Rush OLB: Kolin Hill, Lonzell Gilmore

NT: Ondre Pipkins, Mych Thomas

UT: Breiden Fehoko, Broderick Washington

LDE: Gary Moore, Houston Miller

4. If you had the choice of Tech landing a five-star defensive lineman for football or a McDonald's All-American big man for hoops which would you pick and why?

Alyssa: A big man for hoops. One guy can't do it all for the Tech defense but a big guy on Tubby's team could make a pretty big difference. 

Dan: Five-star defensive lineman. I'm a football person first and foremost. Also, with the high-powered offense of Tech, a five-star defensive lineman could be a huge part of the defensive turn around.

Jarret: At first glance I would have said Micky D's All-American, but after thinking about it, Tech desperately needs help on the DL, if the guy ended up being the real deal him and Fehoko would make for a salty 1-2 punch inside or even if he was a five-star DE, that would work too. LOL. Plus, and this is the kicker, the hoops start would likely be a one and done, while the DL would be here for at least three years before he could jump to the NFL.

Joe: McD All-American big man. Tech has landed coveted d-linemen before and rarely have they panned out. With a McD AA big man, I believe Tubby Smith would get Tech to the Final Four in the next two years. He might anyway.

Zach: The defensive lineman. College basketball recruiting is so dirty, and the very good prospects only stay for a year before departing for the Association. 

5. The Oscars were Sunday and Spotlight won for best flick. What was your favorite movie you have seen over the past year?

Alyssa: Well when it came to the Oscars I was really excited about Spotlight winning a few awards. It was just an awesome journalism movie, which is inspiring a journalism student. Best movie of the year though has to be Deadpool, it was way better than I thought and I've already seen it twice. 

Dan: Spectre. I grew up loving James Bond movies and for them to make one that tied everything back to the beginning was outstanding. Daniel Craig put on another great performance which only enhanced it.

Jarret: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It was much better than I could have hoped for and I got to watch it with my dad, bro and nephew. My bro, nephew and I were geeking out the whole time. I also really liked Mad Max (I actually saw it twice at the theater), Bridge of Spies, Spectre and Inside Out (because I got to take my 4-year-old to in and it blew his mind). 

Joe: My favorite movie this past year is also the only new movie I saw this past year--SPECTRE.

Zach: My favorite movie was a toss-up between Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant, and both movies deservedly took home their fair share of awards. 

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