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Red Raider Hoops | 2010-11 Texas Tech Basketball Preview - The Frontcourt

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PROBABLE STARTERS

Mike Singletary | 6-6/235 | Senior | Small Forward

Last Year | I have such a love-hate relationship with Singletary. He can be a talented scorer that can be a real difference-maker on offense. Defensively, Singletary can be abysmal and disinterested at best. Singletary led Texas Tech in scoring and rebounding last year and shot nearly 45% from the field. Again, when Singletary is focused, he can be really good, but it's gotten to the point that he's a liability defensively. There's no doubt that Singletary has the ability to be, at the very least a competent defensive player, and at this point, I think it's more about effort. Singletary played 35 minutes a game last year, mainly because he can be so good offensively.

Expected Role | Much like Roberson, I would hope that Singletary will be better with fewer minutes. I'd much rather see Singletary play 30 minutes a game, at the most, rather than the 35. I'm also hoping that if head coach Pat Knight is serious about defense, and he should be, then Singletary needs to learn that he's going to sit down if he lapses defensively. If there's one thing that I've learned, it's that offensive success does not normally out-weigh being a defensive liability. I'd still expect Singletary to score and I'd still expect him to see plenty of time. I'd love to see Singletary stretch his game a bit and although his bread-and-butter offensively is to be able to post-up his defender, if he could ever develop a mid-range game and figure out how to handle the ball a bit better, he's be a really tough cover for just about any defender.


D'Walyn Roberts | 6-7/200 | Senior | Combo Forward

Last Year | Roberts started 30 of 34 games last year, but it seems as if he was only really healthy for 10 of them. Although it's been a while, Roberts injured his ankle during the middle of the year and he really didn't ever get healthy until the NIT Tournament. And when Roberts is completely healthy, he's a difference maker. His last four games against Kansas, Seton Hall, Jacksonville and Ole Miss, he averaged 11.25 points, 11.25 rebounds, 1.75 assists, .1.75 steals and 1.75 blocks a game. He's not going to go out there and score 20 points a game, but he's so long and athletic, he's capable of covering a handful of positions and he's also capable of blocking shots. Roberts averaged 7.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks a game last year, but he's capable of averaging 10 points a game, 8 boards and 2 blocks.

Expected Role | If you were to give me the numbers that Roberts averaged over the last four games for all of 2010-11 and I'd tell you right now that this team makes the NCAA Tournament. Roberts is that good and that important to this team and I'm not sure if I can express how important he is to this team. He's the guy that grabs offensive rebounds, scores without having to have a play run to him offensively, makes opponents think twice about entering the lane and those attributes may not fill up boxscores, but is so vital to the success of a football basketball team.


Robert Lewandowski | 6-10/256 | Junior | Power Forward

Last Year | Such a rough year and down in just about every statistical category. Lew played 15 minutes as a true freshman, but played only 10 as a sophomore, shot 58% as a freshman and 40% as a sophomore, 6.5 points a game as a freshman and 2.2 points as a sophomore, and 3.7 rebounds a game as a freshman and 2.0 rebounds as a sophomore. Sophomore slump. I don't know that there's any other way to characterize it. The one thing that I did notice was that Lew did add weight from a freshman to a sophomore and he didn't seem as athletic, but he's added weight again. And it wasn't bad weight, as Lew was skinny as a true freshman, but that may have been part of the trade-off.

Expected Role | Lewandowski should start, without a doubt. Lew does have a certain skill set evidenced during his excellent freshman year and I don't think that those skills have diminished. Last year, Darko Cohadarevic took quite a bit of the minutes at this power forward spot, but with Darko graduating, it's entirely up to Lew to take this job. Lew has a decent offensive game, can spot up and shoot, but not a real low-post game. He's also a decent rebounder and a good enough defender, not great, but he works hard. I think that Lew's biggest hurdle to clear is all mental. He can be a pretty good player and he should average at least 8 points and 6 rebounds a game in about 20 to 25 minutes a game this year. There's no reason why he shouldn't.

More after the jump.

BACKUPS

Brad Reese | 6-6/195 | Senior | Small Forward

Last Year | Reese started out gangbusters for Texas Tech and was a huge part of the reason why the Red Raiders were able to beat Washington early in the season. Reese was Texas Tech's 5th leading scorer last year and the thing about Reese was that he's a very hot-and-cold shooter and likes to shoot 3-point shots more than using his length inside and creating matchups. That's my biggest gripe with Reese is that he could take advantage of opponents by taking them on the block. Reese has long arms and could be an offensive matchup nightmare and there were times last year that Reese was the point man on Texas Tech's 1-3-1 zone.

Expected Role | Reese could be a spot starter, maybe taking the place of Lewandowski depending on the matchup, although I'd expect that Reese may be the first guy off the bench because he can play multiple positions. I'd love to see Reese improve his shooting percentage, only 38% last year and although he wasn't awful shooting beyond the arc, 36%, Reese is settling for the easy shot rather than creating his own shot or getting to the line. Reese could also average more than the 2.9 rebounds a game, which was the same amount as G David Tairu who is 3 inches shorter than Reese.


Paul Cooper | 6-8/257 | Junior | Power Forward

Last Year | Last year for Gulf Coast CC Cooper averaged 5.7 points a game, shot 36% from the field and 4.1 rebounds a game. A lot of folks have said that Cooper was injured all of last year, an ankle injury, that kept him from playing to his full potential. This makes me nervous

Expected Role | Everything that I've heard is that Cooper is an athletic 6-8 forward and we can expect that Cooper will split time with Lewandowski at the power forward spot. We've already seen the article that says that Cooper is going to be huge for this team, but PK has already said that if Lew and Cooper don't produce then they won't play. I'm fine with that. I have no expectations for Cooper since he did so little in junior college. For now, I'll just say that if Cooper is even somewhat competent, then this is a win. As long as Cooper is not Ricardo DeBem then I'm okay, but Texas Tech has been on a less than impressive streak as far as having JUCO big-men come in and contribute immediately. UPDATE:  LAJ's Courtney Linehan wrote this morning that Cooper is out 4-6 weeks with surgery to remove bone spurts.  He needs to be healthy.


Jaye Crockett | 6-7/200 | RS Freshman | Combo Forward

Last Year | Redshirted the year and did not play.

Expected Role | I'm excited about what Crockett could bring to this team. I'm hoping that he's a D`Walyn Roberts 2.0, but with a little more offensive punch and offensive variety to his game. The neat thing about Crockett is that he's added 2 inches and 25 pounds since he graduated from Clovis as the school's 2nd all-time leading scorer. Crockett was a big time scorer in high school and scored in a variety of ways, both inside and outside (29 points and 12 rebounds). I'm hoping that Crockett has continued that offensive variety because he could potentially be a really tough matchup in the league. If Crockett could take any leftover minutes from Roberts, maybe 15 minutes a game, I'd be happy.


Theron Jenkins | 6-6/215 | Senior | Small Forward

Last Year | Jenkins was a little off-and-on last year, but more off than on. Jenkins averaged only 2.9 points a game last year and his high game was 12 points against Texas, but that was the real high-point to Jenkins' year. Jenkins didn't really fill a particular role for this team and isn't as versatile as Reese offensively, but I do think that Jenkins is a harder worker on defense than Reese.

Expected Role | Jenkins is coming off of ankle surgery, which means that I'd expect that Jenkin's role to be reduced, at least to start the season. Not only that, he's in a bit of a logjam as far as playing time with Singletary, Roberts, Reese and Crockett all seemingly ahead of Jenkins. I wouldn't expect it, but it would make sense for Jenkins to think about redshirting this year (if he has a redshirt year available) which would give him an opportunity to be a much bigger part of the team next year. I think that Jenkins is a usable part, but it's going to be tough to find him some minutes.

REDSHIRTS

Zach Jones | 6-8/198 | Freshman | Forward

Last Year | Played for Brady and averaged 21.5 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game as a senior as well as being named his district's offensive MVP.

Expected Role | I don't know anything about Jones and haven't been able to find any video on him, but this is the type of pickup, probably not on scholarship, that could pay off in a couple of years. Obviously needs to add some weight, but if he's a decent offensive player then maybe by the time he's a sophomore of junior, he could be a contributor to the team.