“Guns up” is the widely known expression used by Texas Tech fans, and how appropriate is it their basketball team just keeps reloading.
After losing key contributors to last season’s Elite 8 run in Keenan Evans and Zach Smith, Tech coach Chris Beard has restocked his lineup with yet another four-star prospect, Kevin McCullar, who announced his commitment today over an MTV Cribs-like video.
“Me and my family were just sitting around talking, bouncing ideas off each other and my dad came up with an MTV cribs type of video,” McCullar said.
As you can see in the video, McCullar chose the Red Raiders over power programs Kansas State, Louisville, Virginia Tech and Houston. The 6’5 shooting guard cited his connection with the coaching staff, who have relentlessly recruiting him over the last year and a half, as the primary reason he picked Texas Tech.
“Coach Beard, the relationship I have with him, that’s the main reason right there,” McCullar said. “Him, the program itself, the role that they want me to come in and play, and just the coaching staff as a whole, the players, the Big 12 Conference, everything.”
The Big 12 Conference has firmly established itself as the top basketball league in the country, as evidenced by another impressive run in this year’s NCAA tournament. The conference as a whole went 12-6 in the tournament and had more teams advance to the Elite 8 than any other league in the nation.
“It’s a great conference,” McCullar said. “Every night, it’s going to be a challenge and a battle. There’s great competition. They got a bunch of people in there, a bunch of dudes.”
McCullar followed the team closely all season long, recalling a conversation with Beard at the beginning of the year predicting his team would go on a historic run in this year’s tournament. He lived up to his word.
“Coach Beard, everything he tells me is true,” McCullar said. “He’s just a genuine guy, I have a great relationship with him all around, and I like the role they want me to come in and play.”
With his size and athleticism, McCullar - who may redshirt his freshman year - can play a lot of different roles for a lot of different teams. For Texas Tech, though, the four-star prospect said he’ll be playing point guard.
“I haven’t decided if I want to redshirt or not yet for this coming year, but they want me to play point guard when I get up there. That’s what Coach Beard has been telling me and that’s what everybody has been recruiting me as.”
Whenever he does lace up his shoes in the United Supermarkets Arena, he’ll be expected to do more than just facilitate the offense and knock down shots. Defense has been made a clear priority in Lubbock, and that’s something McCullar said he respects.
“They play defense, for real, as a team,” he said. “Defense wins championships, and that’s the main goal. That’s why they made it so far this year, too. They played defense, and that’s the main goal - I’m trying to win a national championship.”
Five years ago, incoming recruits talking about winning national championships in Lubbock would sound pretty ridiculous, but the way Beard has coached and recruited makes bringing a title to the Hub City more realistic than ever.
McCullar said he’s confident the team can continue this success going forward.
“I believe so. I’m just going to come in and do my part, do whatever I can to help us win. They got some other guys up there, good guys. Everybody works hard. Coach Beard, he has everything going in the right direction and the fans, it’s just unbelievable. The atmosphere and everything like that. I’m excited.”