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Are you ready for some basketball?

With a combination of seniors and freshman, Tech will need to find some chemistry before the conference schedule opens up.

The Texas Tech men’s hoop season tips off November 1 with an exhibition game against Angelo State and excitement is starting to build in Lubbock.

After what should be an easy win against Angelo State, the Red Raiders embark on a 12-game non-conference slate built on matchups against mostly subpar competition. However, these games will prove vital to this team. The non-conference games will help build chemistry and provide experience for some of the younger players.

Last year, 10 players saw the court in at least 27 of the 32 games. Only four of those players return this year. Coach Chris Beard said at Big 12 media day the roster is “unique.” The Texas Tech lineup this year consists of five seniors and seven freshmen. Tech also has three junior transfer players. The five seniors on the roster make the team one of the oldest and most experienced in college basketball while the seven freshmen on the team will undoubtedly provide some “what in the world are you doing” moments, especially early. Again, the easy schedule should give the younger guys some valuable experience heading into conference action.

The unknown of the team chemistry is reflected in the preseason rankings. Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings,, has Tech ranked 33 in their preseason rankings. That’s the fifth-highest in the Big 12. CBS Sports, however, has Tech ranked No. 69. Quite a discrepancy. The one thing to consider here is that Pomeroy rankings are highly analytics-driven and CBS Sports rankings rely more on the “eye test.”

The rankings also are all over the place because of last year. Tech rolled into February last year with a 15-6 record and looking pretty solid for a tournament invite. The Red Raiders finished with three wins in their final 12 games (the twelfth being Big 12 first round game). Three of the losses came against top-25 opponents and one of the wins came against No. 4 Baylor. They seemingly played their way out of selection for the NCAA tournament by losing five of six down the stretch, including a ridiculous loss to Texas in the first round of the Big 12 tournament.

Texas Tech needs to be more consistent this year. At the very least, the team needs to make its signature wins stand out like they are signed in calligraphy and their losses fade away like a bad paint job. Coach Beard has his work cut out for him. He has to build a confident, consistent team with a bunch of guys that have never played together. Not to mention a bunch of guys who have never played college basketball. This team has a load of potential—potential to make you swell with pride or slump with heartache. Are you ready for some basketball? This will be a fascinating season.