The Texas Tech men’s basketball team will look to build off of a surprisingly strong 2015-2016 season that included their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007. The deep and talented Big 12 schedule means that reloading the roster quickly is a must for teams to stay competitive. Here’s a quick preview of some new faces that fans will see on the Red Raider sideline this season.
Chris Beard: Head Coach
If your tournament bracket was busted by Arkansas-Little Rock last March, Beard is the man to blame. His Trojans upset 5th seeded Purdue in the first round after a 29-4 season that included regular season and tournament conference titles.
Coach Beard won’t be a new face to seasoned Red Raider fans. He spent 10 years here as an assistant under Bob Knight and was a part of multiple Red Raider tournament appearances. The reigning Sun Belt Coach of the Year will have his work cut out for him in arguably the nation’s toughest conference, but Red Raider fans should be thrilled to have him aboard.
Shadell Millinghaus: Guard
Millinghaus is a scoring guard from Northwest Florida State College, where he averaged nearly 17 points per game last season and was named an All-American. Millinghaus can be expected to play a role similar to what Devaugntah Williams did last year and should see minutes straight away.
Niem Stevenson: Guard
Stevenson was the first signing Beard landed for Tech and should provide an immediate scoring punch. The 6’5” junior college All-American averaged 24.7 points per game last season for Seward County Community College and will likely see playing time at both guard positions.
Anthony Livingston: Forward
In Livingston, coach Beard has a clear picture of exactly what kind of player he’s getting. The graduate transfer from Arkansas State averaged 19 points and 16 rebounds against Beard in Sun Belt Conference play last season and will add scoring ability and versatility to the frontcourt.
Thomas Brandsma: Forward
If Livingston is a familiar face for Beard, Brandsma is an old pal. The senior will call Lubbock his fourth different collegiate home after stops with Beard at McMurry, Angelo State and Little Rock. Brandsma may not see much playing time this season, but he will help integrate Beard’s system and be yet another veteran voice on the bench.
Giovanni McLean: Guard
McLean is a graduate transfer from Quinnipiac, where he led the team in scoring as the primary ball-handler. Sweet shooting and playmaking could earn McLean point guard minutes in a crowded backcourt, and the former highly rated recruit has the potential for more if called upon.
John Brown: Forward
The freshman class isn’t big, but the freshman forward from Magnolia, Texas is. Brown is the only freshman on the roster and will have the chance to develop behind seasoned upperclassmen and within coach Beard’s system. Don’t expect the 6’10” product to play much this season, but his development going forward is something to watch.
Along with these six, transfers Brandone Francis and Tommy Hamilton will join the roster but be ineligible this season. Francis is a 6’5” combo guard from Florida and Hamilton is a 6’11” forward from DePaul. Both were highly rated coming out of high school and should make an impact on the 2017-2018 season.
There’s plenty of reason to be excited about the incoming talent in the Texas Tech program. Coach Beard hasn’t had much time with this group, but experience and depth should help the team grow together as the regular season approaches. Check back tomorrow as we preview the players returning from last season.