Photo By Steven Chapman

Rapid Fire: Stevenson, TCU Series, 2017 Recruiting Class senior writer Joe Yeager, reporter Alyssa Chrisope, reporter Zach Tanner, reporter Dan Meyer and publisher Jarret Johnson discuss recent Red Raider athletics happenings and what's worth watching on the tube.

1. Tech signed the first prospect of the Chris Beard era on Tuesday when junior college all-american shooting guard Niem Stevenson inked with the Red Raiders. What are your thoughts on what he brings to the team and on Beard reeling him in?

Alyssa: Seems like a very big get for Texas Tech. Makes me a little more excited about the Beard hire.

Dan: Stevenson is a big-time get for Beard, especially being so new to the role. Stevenson is going to bring scoring ability, and a lot of it, to Lubbock along with the ability to stuff the stat sheet. Not only did he average 24 points per game, but he averaged 7 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Not only that, but he fills a big need for the Red Raiders at the 2. 

Jarret: Big for so many reasons, but most especially because Tech needed a scorer and boom, Stevenson enters the picture. I'm impressed with Beard so far.

Joe: Stevenson is a stone-cold scorer--not a pure shooter--who will give this team another burst of nitro glycerin. What's more, he has the size, physicality and pure athleticism to be an excellent defensive player. A lineup with Stevenson, Gray, Williamson and Smith on the court will be, I strongly suspect, hell to score against.

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Zach: He puts the ball in the hole. This is good for Tech basketball.

2. Tech has a two-game lead over TCU atop the Big 12 standings heading into a three-games series showdown in Fort Worth this weekend. Will Tech bounce back and take a stranglehold on the conference title or struggle against the Frogs? Predict the series winner. 

Alyssa:  I will stick to what I said in the baseball show. I think Texas Tech will take this series after it comes down to a rubber match on Sunday. A big part of that is Baker being out, and TCU’s loss to Oklahoma State.

Dan: I really wanted to say Tech, but I see TCU winning this series 2-1. The pitching has been more consistent and Tech is coming off a rough series against the burnt orange team. All things even, I may still go with the Red Raiders, but with the games being at TCU I give them a slight edge.

Jarret: Tech bounces back and takes the first two games of the series, but drops Game 3.

Joe: I'm afraid TCU will win the series and may sweep. The current Tech team is going through a slump much like what happened to the basketball team at the very tail end of its season. And we know what happened against Butler in the NCAAs.

Zach: This series will tell whether Tadlock is a good coach or a great coach. After suffering a letdown during the weekend against Texas, the guys have to get fired up to face the Horned Frogs on their diamond. I think Tech loses the series but steals a game. 

3. Which 2017 football prospect are you keeping an eye on this spring evaluation period? 

Alyssa: I talked to Matt Hankins and am interested to see how that pans out. It seems like would be a solid get for Tech and his relationship with the coaches is fresh right now, they are in the mix for sure, but I expect his offer list to keep growing.

Dan: I'm really keeping an eye on Ranchview ATH Dayo Odeyingbo. He's not the highest-rated recruit, but he's got the size and versatility to be a very valuable player for whichever team gets him.

Jarret: Okie defensive end Brock Martin has intrigued me because of his productivity, wrestling pedigree and the fact he recovered from a devastating knee injury in approximately four months. I also don't know what to make of his productivity (17 sacks in less than 10 games) given the level of competition he faced. I like that Tech offered and that he had them at the top after visiting, but word is out and the Red Raiders will have to fight to reel him in. Stay tuned. 

Joe: Andrew Marshall, the 6-foot-8 360-pound OT from Globe Tech. He is a globe unto himself and should come to Tech to hold the symmetry.

Zach: Kyle Mitchell, JUCO OT out of American River College in Sacramento. Kind of a low-key offer, but Coach Hays was out in California last week/weekend evaluating prospects in person with very limited spots remaining at his position group this recruiting cycle. Looks like Mitchell is a diamond in the rough and may well be Tech's next football commitment. His film is very impressive, too - quick feet, sticky hands, and a mean streak.

4. Which player grabbed your attention the most during spring football camp? Why?

Alyssa: Jett Duffey. Mainly because of the weight he has put on and how much he has progressed already since getting to campus. 

Dan: It's kind of a tough question, but I am going to go with Breiden Fehoko just because he's had my attention all along. Everyone knows that Tech's defense needs to improve and he's a huge part of that. His work ethic and ability to be a leader even as a young player is going to be imperative to the defense making the much needed strides towards respectability. 

Jarret: Gary Moore (pictured above). I was tempted to say Batson, because he has probably had the best all-around offseason so far, but Moore is poised for a breakout season at such a critical position. He has added 20-25 pounds of weight and I have heard stories from several about him taking over portions of practice during spring ball. 

Joe: Even though I only got to see him in action once, Ondre Pipkins really made me sit up and take notice at the Open Practice Bowl. I know it was only one performance, but he was absolutely dominant inside, more than the interior o-line could handle most of the time. 

Zach: Derrick Willies. It would appear that he is as good as advertised, providing exactly what Tech lacked last year in the receiving corps - height and jump-ball ability. He and Mahomes have a chance to be the best offensive pairing in the Big 12.

5. Anything good on? What have you been watching on the tube recently? It can be any TV show, Netflix/streaming show, or Russian history documentary (Joe), sport, whatever.

Alyssa: I just finished the newest season of House of Cards, which I thought was very good, and of course I’m watching Game of Thrones like everyone else. 

Dan: I enjoy watching 'Street Outlaws' right now. Growing up in the midwest, it was all about going fast and doing dumb things so it's right in my wheelhouse. I am also ready excited for the NFL Draft to start so I have been watching all of the preview shows, mock draft shows, Gruden QB camps, and Welcome to the NFL stuff.

Jarret: I just finished Vinyl which was up and down (2.5 stars tops) and of course watched the season premiere of Game of Thrones on Sunday. It was a good enough opener but the writers better come on and tie up some loose ends or it will go down in the Lost category rather than the Wire, Sopranos or Breaking Bad. 

Joe: Lordy, the only toobage I've been doing is IRL (Indy Racing League). Three races in and--surprise, surprise--a Penske driver, Simon Pagenaud has the series lead. Over the course of the last two races, there have been zero cautions. I'm convinced the current cars are too easy to drive.

Zach: The NBA playoffs have been particularly interesting this year. OKC/Dallas drama, Clippers injury drama, Curry injury drama, Toronto sucking in the playoffs yet again drama, Heat/Bobcats drama.... great canon for NBA fans right now, and my Spurs are taking care of business.

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