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Red Raider Hoops| Roster Conundrum Solved . . . Absolutely Not


After me trying to figure out how it was all supposed to work, a couple of weeks ago, head coach Billy Gillispie finally released the 2011-12 roster.  To say that I am confused and perplexed as to how the roster is going to shake down next year is an understatement.  Each basketball team is permitted to have 13 scholarship players each year.  Scholarships are one-year contracts with the player and renewed annually.  Texas Tech currently has 13 players under scholarship this year and has commitments from 3 players next year.  Texas Tech only has one senior on the team, Robert Lewandowski.  Thus:  13 - 1 (Lewandowski) = 12 + 3 (new recruits) = 15.  I wish I could explain it, but I can't, so let's delve into how this is supposed to work.

4 PG Ty Nurse 6-1/180 JR TR Vancouver, B.C., Canada/St. Mary's Catholic/Midland College
5 PG Javarez Willis 5-11/171 SO 1VL Homer, La./Humble (Texas) Christian Life Center Academy
10 PG Kevin Wagner 5-8/145 FR HS Lubbock, Texas/Estacado
20 SG Toddrick Gotcher 6-3/190 FR HS Garland, Texas/Lakeview Centennial
3 SG DeShon Minnis 6-3/200 FR HS Philadelphia, Pa./Egg Harbor Township (NJ) Atlantic Christian
23 SF Cameron Forte 6-6/195 FR HS Tempe, Ariz./McClintock
30 SF Jaye Crockett 6-7/200 SO 1VL Clovis, N.M./Clovis
44 SF Jaron Nash 6-7/175 SO TR Waterloo, Iowa/Waterloo East/Tyler Junior College
2 SF Terran Petteway 6-6/185 FR HS Galveston, Texas/Ball
32 PF Jordan Tolbert 6-7/210 FR HS Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints Episcopal
15 C Robert Lewandowski 6-10/256 SR 3VL Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West
12 C Kader Tapsoba 6-10-215 JR TR Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso/Africa/Tyler Junior College
11 PF/C Dejan Kravic 6-11/230 JR TR London, Ontario, Canada/Westminster/York University (Canada)


And these are your walk-ons:

13 Luke Adams 5-9/150 FR HS Big Spring, Texas/Big Spring
0 Pierre Hayden 5-8/145 FR HS Dallas, Texas/Skyline
35 Clark Lammert 6-8/185 FR HS San Antonio, Texas/Churchill


Some thoughts are after the jump.

There are a couple of things to note.  The first being that Kravic is already part of the 13 man roster, is considered a transfer and is already on campus.  However, Gillispie already has commitments from three players:  PF Jordan Goodman, SG Dusty Hannahs and PG Daylen Robinson.  There's only one senior on the team, Lewandowski, and Gilllispie has already offered and they have already accepted offers for at least three spots next year. I have no idea where the scholarships are going to come from unless someone currently on the roster has given up their scholarship and will be a preferred walk-on or Gillispie has already told everyone on the roster that his job is to win basketball games, that scholarships are one-year contracts and that if they want to keep their scholarship, they have to get their rear in gear.  But even if Gillispie has gone with this latter approach (i.e. you have to earn your scholarship), no matter how hard a player will works, Gillispie has already committed and given out a scholarship next year to three different players.

I can't remember who made the comment recently, but maybe this is Gillisipie's way of churning the roster, but even so, you don't hand out offers to kids in high school without having an available spot.  The only other thought would be that maybe some of the late signees, like Minnis or Forte have been giving essentially a one-year option to make the best of the situation and if they don't pan out, then he lets them go.  I'm not a fan of doing something like this, but the truth of the matter is that scholarships are one year contracts, but I do want a coach that commits to a player for four or five years rather than throwing them away after a year.

And if you came here asking to talk a little bit of basketball and made me guess as to who I think starts next year, not knowing anything about almost all of the new players on the roster, here's my best guess:

4 Point Guard Ty Nurse
6-1/180 JR
20 Shooting Guard Toddrick Gotcher 6-3/190 FR
44 Small Forward Jaron Nash 6-7/175 SO
30 Small Forward Jaye Crockett 6-7/200 SO
15 Center Robert Lewandowski 6-10/256 SR

Here's my rational.  Nurse is a prototypical point guard in that he ran his team at JUCO, not scoring a lot, but he didn't turn the ball over and he was an okay shooter.  He's not going to wow anyone with athleticism, but he's consistent.  I also think that if Javarez Willis improves, he could see time starting at the point, but I'll go with the veteran for now.  The only reason I think Gotcher starts at shooting guard is because he's the only player on the team that has the measurables of a true shooting guard and can actually shoot.  Nash is without a doubt a small forward as he was absolutely terrible at the 3-point line in JUCO and would guess that this also translates as far as a mid-range game.  In terms of spacing, I'm thinking they need someone on the outside, Gotcher, Nurse or Willis to stretch the defense a bit and Nash wasn't the type of player that stretched the defense while in JUCO.  Crockett, and this isn't breaking news, is the best player on the team.  He will lead the team in scoring and if Gillispie wanted to play a bit bigger, he could play Crockett at SF and Tapsoba at C and Lewandowski at PF. Crockett exhibited a bit of an outside shot last year and he could also help in the inside-out part of the game, but he seems to me to be valuable as a post defender (although he's prone to foul) considering the lack of actual power forwards on this team and he can be a tough matchup for opposing players.