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Texas Tech Basketball: What You Need To Know

Texas Tech's season opener is next week, here's what you need to know.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Raiders 2015/2016 basketball season tips off tonight in an exhibition game against Concordia at 7PM CST. They'll have one more exhibition game next Monday against West Texas A&M and then the real games get under way November 13th when High Point comes to the United Supermarkets Arena.

Texas Tech returns the majority of their key players from last year and have a few new faces.

0 Devaugntah Williams G 6-4 205 1L SR Canton, OH
1 Isaiah Manderson C 6-10 255 1L SO Bronx, NY
2 Devon Thomas G 6-0 170 TR JR Silver Spring, MD
3 C.J. Williamson G 6-6 200 HS FR Orlando, FL
4 Donovan Ham G 6-2 200 HS FR Atlanta, GA
5 Justin Gray F 6-6 210 1L SO Tampa, FL
11 Zach Smith F 6-8 215 1L SO Plano, TX
12 Keenan Evans G 6-3 180 1L SO Richardson, TX
15 Aaron Ross F 6-8 225 2L RS JR North Little Rock, AR
20 Toddrick Gotcher G 6-4 205 3L RS SR Garland, TX
21 Rokas Ulvydas F 6-11 235 HS RS SO Kaunas, Lithuania
22 Jordan Jackson G 6-3 180 HS FR Houston, TX
30 Andrew Sorrells G 6-3 170 HS FR North Richland Hills, TX
32 Norense Odiase C 6-9 260 1L SO Fort Worth, TX
34 Matthew Temple G 6-10 235 SQ JR Wichita Falls, TX

Canada Tour

Texas Tech went up north and took care of business. They won all 4 games by an average margin of 17.25 points. Now, these games were mere warm-up games against inferior teams but it was a great way for Texas Tech to get their name out there and it allowed for the team to build on its chemistry. This team is still very young but after playing together last year, they should be an even better team this year.

Starting 5 and Key Bench Players

G Keenan Evans
G Devaugntah Williams
G Toddrick Gotcher
F Zach Smith
C Norense Odiase

That's the projected starting 5. Evans, Smith, and Odiase were all freshmen last year and should be even better this year with a year of experience under their belts. Williams and Gotcher are both seniors and will provide the needed leadership for a young squad.

G Jordan Jackson
G C.J. Williamson
F Justin Gray
C Isaiah Manderson

Those guys will be some of the key players coming in off the bench. Jackson, a talented freshmen, led the team in scoring during their Canada tour averaging 11.5 points a game off the bench. Williamson is also a freshmen who figures to get some playing time at the 2 guard spot off the bench. Gray is a second year player who got a lot of playing time last year so look for him to get in often for the Red Raiders. Manderson will help out Odiase with protecting the paint.

2015/2016 Season Outlook

Last year the Red Raiders finished 13-19 with a 3-15 record in the Big 12 which was last place. As I've stated, this team is very young. Texas Tech was having to rely on freshmen for the majority of its production last year. These weren't Duke or Kentucky freshmen, these were guys who needed practice and experience together before they were going to be effective.

With a year under their belts as a team, I believe this team will be improved. I'm projecting a record closer to 17-15 and 7-11 in Big 12 play. While this isn't a huge improvement it would be Texas Tech's first season to finish above .500 since the 2009/2010 season in which the Red Raiders were selected for the NIT. If the Red Raiders finish above .500 and are invited to a post season tourney the year will count as a success and will be a step in the right direction.

Basketball Coverage

This season I will be posting a Tale of the Tape article over each of our opponents and there will be a post-game recap as well. In my Tale of the Tape article I'll also mention how you can watch the game since a lot Texas Tech basketball games are on various channels that can be hard to find in your TV guide. We here at VTM look forward to the 2015/2016 Texas Tech basketball season!

Texas Tech basketball