Photo By Steven Chapman

Raider Power Mailbag: Vegas Edition senior writer Joe Yeager and publisher Jarret Johnson answer questions from subscribers about Texas Tech football, basketball, baseball and recruiting.

As many of you know Joe and I didn't shoot a Mailbag video this week as we usually do, because I was in Las Vegas for a Scout publisher's convention. 

I stayed at The Palms, learned a lot about some exciting new features and tools coming to the site in the future, drank too much, won some money, lost more and had a good time trading war stories with some of my Scout brethren. 

Many of you chimed in with interesting Vegas stories or questions earlier this week which I responded to below. 

I did in fact make it back to the Hub in tact and am happy to be home. Now, to your questions.

agriraider: From the strip or of the strippers? One would make the thread a lot more interesting than the other.

Jarret: I defer to Vegas' famous motto. 

SigHansen: If a girl walks up and ask you to take her to breakfast. Run!!!

Jarret: Now THAT sounds like sage advice and perhaps an interesting story.


1. Contrary to popular belief, prostitution is NOT legal in Las Vegas.

Jarret: Aw man, did you find that out the "hard way"?

2. Why does the 2017 class seem very "bleh" at the moment as far as defense is concerned?

Jarret: Because Tech only has three commits, has had a couple decommits and no defensive commits. It is very "bleh" right now, but it's still early. Patience grasshopper. 

Joe: Zero commits is worse than bleh! Still, the main reason for lack of defensive recruits, to say nothing of high-profile defensive recruits, is the fact that David Gibbs' policy is not to make offers until actually meeting prospects in person. That takes time. And as this process proceeds apace, the defensive recruits should come trickling in.

3. Who starts, Reg or Dylan and why?

Jarret: Cantrell. He's a beast and has great chemistry with Pat, but don't be surprised if Reggie plays a LOT of snaps. He did catch nine touchdowns last year. 

Joe: Kingsbury is doing a good job of keeping everybody guessing. It really does seem to be a case of 1A and 1B right now, and who's to say which player is 1A and which is 1B? I'll go ahead and predict that Cantrell will start more games than Davis, but that their touches will be about the same. Remember, prior to last season the word was that Cantrell was probably the best receiver on the team. Note also that Cantrell is still getting back into the swing of things after one year-plus of playing no football. In theory, Cantrell should just get better and better as next season rolls along.

4. Does Justin Murphy come back as a left tackle or a right guard?

Jarret: Right guard for sure. Look for Baylen or Terence to play left tackle. 

Joe: I see Murphy is the prototypical guard. He's a big, nasty masher and a mauler, not a long-limbed light-footed tackle type. I just don't see him as a tackle.

OBXRaider: Any news on Tech announcing satellite camps? Heard aggies and uh released their dates.

Jarret: Unfortunately no. They probably have it set up, I just haven't seen it yet. Efforting for you. 


1.  Any updates/observations on the health of Odiase? 

Jarret: I haven't seen him practice or anything, but I haven't heard of any setbacks and we would have heard of that. 

Joe: I have not heard anything specific on Odiase's health, but I'm very optimistic. One reason for my optimism is that the knee tendonitis that was supposedly a serious concern, never seemed to be an issue last season. The other is that he recovered from the broken foot on or even a bit ahead of schedule and was able to play without any apparent discomfort. So, as long as he doesn't suffer another injury in the off season, I have every reason to believe he will have a healthy and very successful 2016-17 campaign.

2.  What would you characterize as the recruiting needs for the class of 2017?  (I know Joe will say point guard.  He always wants a point guard.  wink )  

Jarret: Actually, Joe wants a big and gets tired of me saying more guards. I would gladly play with two point guard types, two Justin Gray type wings and a big and would feel good about running teams out of the gym. 

Joe: Bigs! Bigs! Bigs! Assuming next season is Matthew Temple's last, Tech will go into 2017-18 with only four true front line players (Gray, Smith, Odiase, Rokas) and three of them will be seniors, meaning the need for replenishment will be great. If all of the necessary bigs just aren't in the cards, a point guard--yes, a point guard--wouldn't go amiss. Keenan Evans will be a senior, and Clergeot, a sophomore, presumably would be his backup. An understudy for Clergeot would not be a bad thing to have.

3.  Is Tech in good shape in the recruitment for Jarrett Culver?  He's gone from being a solid D1 prospect to a guy with a lot of high major offers.

Jarret: Yes, but I definitely wouldn't say he is a lean. He possesses obvious ties to the school, including his older bro Trey, who not only starred as a high jumper, but as many of you know, won a national title and was an All-American in 2015. So, he didn't just have some success or a good time, the dude thrived. Then obviously, Jarrett would get to stay home and Beard jumped on him pretty much as soon as he arrived so while Tech might have looked a little silly for not offering him earlier, Beard and Co. do not.

TechTier1: From another thread, but not answered. If the 3 recent dismissals never graduate, does that count against Tech's GSR (Graduation Success Rate)? And is the rule flawed if coaches keep thugs on the team/campus just to insure higher GSR rates?

Joe: My understanding is that, as long as a player leaves a program while in good academic standing, the departure does not count against the school from which he left. So no, the dismissal of Allen, Castaneda and Ellison won't hurt Tech unless any of them were at that time under some type of academic suspension. Is the rule flawed because it could discourage the dismissal of ne'er-do-wells? I think this is a fairly marginal concern because the coincidence of a player committing crime while in academic jeopardy should be fairly rare. The system is currently rigged to make it difficult to fail academically, so even many of the sorriest thugs are apt to be making the grade most of the time. 

RawlsLandman: Dallas is 18-1 to win the Superbowl. $100 gets you $1800 if they win the Superbowl. You gonna jump on that bet?

Jarret: No, but I sure as hell thought about it. You know what I didn't give one second's thought to? Betting one cent on the team down in Houston. I won $100 on Golden State thanks to Curry, though and spent it all on Tequila for me and my associates at "the world's largest Hooters".

NealKenn: Nearly punched a bum the last time I was there. Dude started yelling right behind me, I turned cause he yelled in my ear, then the dude started yelling at the wall asking it if it wanted to fight and to stop following him. Dude was straight up out of it. You don't see that level of bum in Oklahoma.

Jarret: I have to admit it's true about Vegas bums and I have seen my fair share of colorful bums growing up in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. 

fromcentex: How do I sign up to volunteer on this trips? All I ask is you cover my flight and room. I will pay all other expenses and do what ever grunt work you need.


Jarret: I might take you up on that next year if you agree to sit in for me during the Scout convention/lectures. 

BruceLee44: Does it appear to be a probable event that Texas Tech will host a baseball regional? Thanks!

Jarret: Yes, Tech is poised to win the Big 12 title, maybe even this weekend despite the bye, and I think that'll likely wrap it up.

Joe: This is Alyssa's side of the street, but if Tech wins the B12 regular season title, as it seems almost certain they will, I imagine Tech is pretty much a slam dunk for hosting a regional. It would be a proper reward for a tremendous season, and Tech's facilities and the local weather should be near ideal for hosting a regional.

Bluzman: Is Pitbul springing for the trip?

Jarret: Naw, it doesn't really work like that, but I picked him and the rest of the crew up some pretty sweet black and white Scout polos.

Techson: Vegas Breakfast Food Question: Aspirin, Tylenol or Bloody Mary?

Jarret: Yep.

GhostRaider: Is it true that if you don't use it you lose it?

Jarret: I don't know, I've never tried it before. 

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