Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

October 18, 2012

Texas Tech back on court after bumpy offseason

Big 12 basketball notebook

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The past year hasn't been kind to Texas Tech's basketball program.

After a disastrous eight-win season, the Red Raiders endured the fall of Billy Gillispie, their one-time hotshot coach who resigned under scrutiny on Sept. 20, citing health concerns and with the university investigating allegations that he mistreated some of his players.

Chris Walker was been given a six-month contract to shepherd the team through this season, and he admitted Wednesday that finally getting on the court for practice has been a blessing.

"They've had adversity, and the true guys have come out," Walker said during an interview with The Associated Press. "They've handled it with class, and they've handled it with integrity."

Now, they're ready to start playing games.

Texas Tech won a single Big 12 game last season, and its 8-23 record was its worst in more than two decades. Several players have come and gone, but the roster that Walker — a disciple of Jay Wright and Steve Alford — has taken over looks similar to the one that finished last season.

"Everybody's excited about practice. Fired up about it. Trying to stay focused, working hard and just taking advantage of the time," said Jordan Tolbert, the team's leading scorer.

Tolbert called all the adversity "a learning experience," but acknowledged the challenge in adjusting to the recent changes. Walker took over day-to-day operations of the program Sept. 7, but wasn't elevated to interim coach until Oct. 4, just over a week before the start of practice.

"We're trying to understand him," Tolbert said, "and he's trying to understand us."

Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt has said a report on its investigation into allegations of additional practice-time violations than ones previously reported to the NCAA has been submitted to the governing body. He has so far declined to comment further.

The Red Raiders open the season Nov. 11 against Troy. Hocutt hasn't said whether Walker will have a shot at the permanent job, but that doesn't seem to be affecting the interim coach's disposition — or his outlook on this season.

"It's all about attitude," Walker said. "I was remarking with someone the other day, in a joking manner, that there have been a lot of interim coaches out there and they just don't know it.

"People look at this like I've been diagnosed with cancer or something, like I've got six months to live," he said. "I look at it like I've got six months to give."

Text Only
Sports
  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Really one true champion?

    I decided to spare the colleagues in front of me – and myself from making a scene – by holding back flipping my table at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Dallas.
    I had become exhausted by the constant use and misrepresentation by the Big 12 with their moniker of “One True Champion.” If they are going to live with the slogan, then they need to abide by that slogan.
    Perhaps its a simple case that they are keeping constant with the poor math of the 10-team Big 12 Conference.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hill expected to be used in multiple facets

    The picture became a little clearer recently of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 23, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • shock pic.jpg Time to rest

    Shock beats San Antonio before entering All-Star break

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • McIlroy leads, Tiger Woods in contention after 1st day at British Open

    July 18, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Stocks