The Texas Tech Red Raiders basketball program has reportedly added another high quality match-up to their already strong non-conference schedule.
This morning Jon Rothstein tweeted that the Red Raiders had agreed to play the Memphis Tigers on December 1st at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since Memphis became a member of the American Athletic Conference. The Red Raiders will be looking for their second win over an AAC foe, and their first win against the conference since beating Houston in December of 2013. Memphis will seek their first win over a Big 12 school since topping Oklahoma in a December 2016 game.
Texas Tech will play Memphis on 12/1 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, per a source. Other games in event: Miami/Yale, St. John's/Georgia Tech, NC State/Vanderbilt.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 1, 2018
Memphis will look to rebound from a disappointing 2017-2018 year, where they missed the post-season for the 4th consecutive year with a 21-13 record. Former NBA star and Memphis guard Penny Hardaway will take over the reins as head coach for the Tigers this season, and he will be looking to improve on his predecessor and former Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith’s tenure at Memphis.
After reaching the 2016 NCAA Tournament and winning Big 12 Coach of the Year for Texas Tech with a team led by Keenan Evans and Toddrick Gotcher, Smith left the program to go to Memphis on April 14th, 2016, after only three seasons with our Red Raiders. Smith was fired as head coach of Memphis on March 14th, 2018 after less than two years as coach. He compiled a 40-26 record (19-17 in the AAC.) The Tigers return their four leading scorers from 2018, led by rising senior Jeremiah Martin at nearly 19 PPG.
Unlike seasons past, the Red Raiders have put together a tough non-conference schedule with multiple marquee match-ups throughout the early schedule. On April 11th, Jon Rothstein announced that the Red Raiders had agreed to a game in Madison Square Garden against perennial basketball powerhouse Duke.
The game is slated for December 20th, and will be one of the most highly anticipated Red Raider basketball games in recent memory. Texas Tech will reportedly also play in the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, a tournament which will include major conference teams Nebraska and USC, along with host Missouri State. Just last week it was announced that Tech will play against Arkansas in Lubbock for the annual Big 12- SEC challenge.
With this newly announced game against Memphis, there will be many opportunities in non-conference for Chris Beard’s squad to try to carry the momentum from this past season’s Elite 8 run. These are the types of high caliber non-conference basketball games that Red Raider faithful have been wanting for a while, and it seems as if Chris Beard will continue to bring more to the table in the near future.
Excited for the upcoming season? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!