When your team breezes through non-conference play with only loss, tournament aspirations hang higher than the tallest hill in Lubbock. However since that excellent start, Tech has gone 4-8 in conference and the NCAA tournament feels too distant to reach.
Because this team was filled with veterans, expectations were set high at the beginning of the season. Texas Tech has one of the most experienced squads in the conference but all that experience didn’t add up to wins this season.
The first season with a new head coach can produce many stumbles. Learning a new system, new personalities, and different expectations is difficult even for veteran players.
Many of these veterans were transfers who hadn’t played at Texas Tech with any of these players before. With each passing game this team learns more and more about each other and how to be successful under Chris Beard’s direction.
Though there are six seniors on this team, the Red Raiders will be returning many key pieces from this team. Playing as many crucial games as possible is the best way for a team to grow and improve for the following season.
Wouldn’t a tournament that allows the team to play more high stakes games together be better than being ousted after one or two games? Putting this team in a situation where they could play, and hopefully beat, more teams on their level to build confidence and chemistry could end up being better for the team than a quick exit from the big dance.
While an NCAA tournament appearance would be nice, a deep NIT run wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.