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Red Raider Hoops: Texas Tech Basketball's Media Day

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Texas Tech held their media day in Lubbock where the media is introduced the 7 newcomers on the team as we learn that the team thinks that they will be more athletic than they were last year.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech held their media day, where we were introduced to all of the new players and the current team.

Listening to the players, they very much stress that this is a much more athletic team, one that will have an easier time getting up and down the floor and creating some easy opportunities and buckets.  That would be nice, especially considering the team lost so much offense with the graduation and transfer of last year's best players.

LAJ's Krista Pirtle has a notebook of things, and includes a note about how DeVaughntah Williams is the best shooter that head coach Tubby Smith has had at Texas Tech (which is only a year):

"He has excellent range," Smith said. "He's probably as good a pure shooter as we've had. That puts a lot of pressure on the defense if we're capable of making the outside shot as well as putting it on the floor. That's what he can do. He gives us a new dimension. I think he brings the total, more complete package."

The DT's Diego Guytan writes about yesterday's press conference and Smith feels that this team is more athletic, as mentioned above, and notes that this year's team needs to learn how to finish games:

"I believe that we have a good nucleus in our returning players, and they are going to be expected to carry the load," Smith said. "We have some solid people, good players that are doing the things we're asking them to do."

Tech's 2014-2015 roster includes freshman forwards Zach Smith, Justin Gray and Norense Odiase, freshman guard Keenan Davis, junior transfer guard Devaugntah Williams and junior transfer forward Justin Jameson.

In the 2013-2014 season, Tech finished the season with a 14-18 overall record, but pulled upsets against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, two teams who reached the NCAA tournament.

After last year's season, finishing close games turned into a key focus during the offseason for Tech.

"We got to find a way to finish games," Smith said. "That was one of our issues last year, we were in every game but late game situations we didn't finalize."

RaiderPower's Philip Arabome also covered the event and has a good notebook of things (make sure and check it out, it's more detailed than the LAJ) and here's PG Robert Turner talking about freshman C Isaiah Manderson:

Both Turner and Toddrick Gotcher have high hopes for their newfangled bunch of athletes. For example, Turner spoke on the development of Isaiah Manderson, a 6-foot-10 freshman center, and the learning curve for him. "He's a very hard worker and picks up on things very well. If he forgets something, or a play as far as freshmen go he plays hard, which replaces everything," Turner said. "That's what you want from him. He's hungry to get better every day after drills, he comes to me and asks, ‘What can I do better?' And that's something that blows me away that a young guy comes in and asks me that every day."

As a quick aside, the media day was held late yesterday evening, which means that there just isn't a lot in print this morning and the official site, which normally does a fantastic job of having quotes transcribed and videos of the players being interviewed on the official site pretty quickly after football events, just had the video linked above.  I'm sure that there will be some more stories that come out today, but it is a bit disappointing to not have similar treatment for the basketball team.  And the video linked above is good as we get our first glimpse of Justin Gray, but the die-hard basketball fans really crave information and the official site needs to do a better job of feeding that.  And I get that it's late in the day and maybe it happened that late because they needed to accommodate the students' schedules, but I think these group of fans would really appreciate the extra coverage.  Not only that, the extra coverage and overtime work would be beneficial for the program itself.