These Texas Tech Red Raiders are in the middle of what could be one of the best seasons in program history. Last season was definitely (in terms of results) the best season in team history. It has been really impressive how Head Coach Chris Beard and his staff have taken a team that lost five seniors and a 1st round draft pick last season and turned them into a contender in the Big 12. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be some teams that come knocking to see if Beard would be willing to leave Lubbock and come to a place that has more recruiting and talent. Here are three programs that might be coming for Beard at the end of the season.
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
A program with a storied history including 11 National Championships and over 1,700 all-time wins. UCLA just fired their coach Steve Alford after five decently successful years at the helm. Alford had 124 wins in his time at UCLA and also coached 11 NBA Draft picks. This shows to me that UCLA is not going to mess around with this next hire. I have no doubt that one of the first calls they make is to Chris Beard. Beard has turned this Texas Tech program from a respectable one into what looks to be a powerhouse in the Big 12 for years to come.
This one hinges on Jim Boeheim retiring at the end of the season, which could honestly happen. Originally Boeheim was going to retire at the end of last season, but he changed his mind and is still coaching there. Boeheim might be looking to retire at the end of the season, and again, Syracuse might be looking to hire an up and coming coach like Beard.
University of Texas
Again, this one hinges on there being a coaching change, which I’m not sure will happen after this season. Beard has a connection there as he spent his first four years as an assistant at Texas. I am positive if there is a coaching change at Texas, Beard will be the school’s first call. Shaka Smart has not been what the Longhorns hoped he would be when he came over from VCU. He hasn’t achieved a very good Big 12 record and more importantly, they haven’t won in the NCAA tournament. Those close to the program down in Austin believe that Smart could be on his way out at season’s end if he doesn’t turn this around.
Why should he say no?
Beard would have a huge amount of young talent on this roster next season, even with guys like Jarrett Culver, Matt Mooney, and Tariq Owens leaving the team. Veteran Davide Moretti will lead this group of young talent next season as the team is still poised to have success even without a star like Culver. Newcomers like Kevin McCullar and Jahmius Ramsey will be able to immediately fill roles for this team and Malik Ondigo will finally be ready to take that next step in becoming a solid big man for this team.
Beard has built here in Lubbock something that no other Big 12 program outside of Kansas has. The recruiting keeps getting better, the home crowd somehow gets better, and the style of play that Beard has taught this program continues to get better and make its mark in the Big 12. In just three years, Beard has transformed this program from a middle of the road Big 12 team that might get in the tournament to a Big 12 Powerhouse that will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
And who would want to leave that?