Texas Tech Hoops | VTM Staff Weekly Roundtable

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Spo

Different thoughts and opinions from the VTM staff members on certain questions and topics for the Red Raiders basketball team. This week – wins and losses for the season, team MVP, and which non-conference games we are excited about.

How will the team do this season in terms of wins and losses?

MikeTTU - I looked over the schedule, I believe that out of 31 games, Texas Tech go 13-18. The biggest difference from last year will be in the Big XII, where I think Tech beats an average Big XII team (K-State, West Virginia, Iowa State) on the road and this time finish up cleaning duties against UT in the season finale. We still beat TCU both times and a team like West Virginia or K-State at home, Obviously, Tech won't make the NCAA tourney with this record, and Tubby will have on of his few non 20 win seasons, but It's a long round ahead.

kevinkinsler - 13-17 (5-13 conf.) The team gets in a good groove during non conference play, but once the Big Xii competition gets going we struggle to find consistent success. We have enough bright spots to split with the bottom teams and find a way to pull off an upset or two. Should be a good base in Tubby's first year.

LoneStarRedRaider - I see us going 18-13 overall and 8-10 in conference play.

Seth C - I think if the team can be .500 on the year, I'm going to be totally happy. Dan's detailed that the top of the Big 12 is fantastic, but the middle ground is pretty average. WVU and UT aren't all that great right now and they've been powerhouses. K-State has struggled early and pretty much everyone thinks of TCU and Tech on the same level, but I have to think that Texas Tech has more returning talent. I'd love to think that if this team can get 6 conference wins, I'll be pretty happy.

SARR - I'm basically with Seth across the board. If the team can get to .500 in Tubby's first year, and then build on that, I'd have to say that would be a successful season. And if we can steal a few here and there, and get to 20 wins (possibly with a few NIT wins) it'd be icing on the cake.

DanSwany - All my answers to these questions were answered in the team preview the other week, and I haven’t changed my mind on any of them. I think we will go 16-15 (Big 12 7-11). The wins will come and we will knock off a few teams in the Big 12 games that people count us out of. Our squad can hang with and beat UT, West Virginia, TCU, and K-State. We will surprise a few non-conference teams that weren’t expecting us to show up, we just have to knock down our long-range shots to keep us in the game.

Who will be the team’s MVP this season?

MikeTTU - I think no doubt about it the MVP will be Robert Turner. Sure the junior is a newcomer, but already he has proven to be a scorer in the paint and something we didn't have from our point guard last year; a long range threat. I also think that his defensive presence with some of the younger PGs in the league will help Tech score a few extra points each week.

kevinkinsler - Jordan Tolbert. Good outside shooting and quality PG play open the floor for Jordan to really take advantage of his skills in the extra floor space. Dark horse is Robert Turner.

LoneStarRedRaider - I'm buying in to Robert Turner early. If he's able to hit outside shots, our big men can really dominate the paint. #hotsportstake

Seth C - I'm going with Jaye Crockett, who has expanded his game to the point where I think he's a terrific small forward, a change in position that will do him some real good if he wants to play professionally. He'll be the rock of this team. I think he's been the rock for the last year for sure.

SARR - I also think Crockett is the MVP on the team. I've been watching the Alabama game tonight and he's easily the most athletic man on the court most of the time. The Euro-step after a steal at the end of the first half was awesome. It seems that the team struggles to find a shot so hopefully Crockett can create some space with his athleticism this year.

DanSwany - Jaye Crockett is the senior leader of this team. He has been through 4 different head coaches in his 5 years at Texas Tech. He was first statistically on the team in scoring and rebounding last season. He has always been one of the best on the team, and will be again this year. His talent on the court and his leadership on and off the court make him the easy pick for MVP.

Which non-conference game are you most excited to watch Tech play this season?

MikeTTU - Unfortunately, all the good non-conference games are played when I'm off at winter break, but the one I am most excited for is the Legends classic. This tourney is live on ESPN, which will help recruiting wise, and we get to play descant out of conference teams. Pitt is good, but is definently off from last year, and I don't have much knowledge on Stanford and Houston, other than they didn't make the Tourney.

kevinkinsler - At Arizona State. Road game against Alabama is early, and while it will show us things we'll need to work on, the game against the Sun Devils comes just before conference play opens up and should give a really good view of the team near the end of the 'preseason'.

LoneStarRedRaider - Probably tonight's game against Alabama. We attended this game last year when Tech hosted the Crimson Tide. The Good Guys were in a big hole in the second half but kept fighting to end with a 4 point loss. It was fun to watch those guys play their hearts out.

Seth C - For some reason, I've always been infatuated with Arizona, even as a kid, I loved watching those Lute Olson teams play. Arizona will probalby be the toughest game to win, and Aaron Gordon is supposed to be a fantastic freshman.

SARR - As far as non-conference, I'll be interested to see how we match up with LSU and Arizona State. Neither are perennial power houses, but they are still decent teams in good conferences so those two games will certainly be good barometers for the season.

DanSwany - Arizona is by far the best team on our non-conference schedule, and maybe the best team on our entire schedule. Zona will be a top 5 undefeated team when we stroll into their house. This will be a huge learning experience for our team. I’m interested to see how the team responds. I’m also excited to watch Aaron Gordon, California’s Mr. Basketball twice and MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game. Jordan Tolbert will have a major battle on his hands. I hope we step up to the challenge.

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