The wait is over, basketball season is FINALLY here!
The highly anticipated start of college basketball is here, and Texas Tech fans are excited to see what the team will do this year after an exciting 2018-19 run.
The Red Raiders go into the season without some of the big names from last year’s squad like Big 12 Player of the Year Jarrett Culver, Tariq Owens, Norense Odiase (whose twin I sat with in the stands my senior year but never got to watch him play due to injury), and Brandon Francis. We lost a lot of big names, but I have faith in Chris Beard.
The squad goes into the season with only three returners that played last season in Davide Moretti (the Italian stallion), Kyler Edwards and Avery Benson. With those returners, the team is made up of two senior graduate transfers, Moretti as the sole junior, three sophomores and seven freshmen.
For the game against EIU, the young Raiders are up against quite some experience. The Panthers have no underclassmen on their roster. The roster is made up of seven juniors, six seniors and a graduate transfer. All those players haven’t played together from the start, however, with 11 of the current players transferred in primarily from junior colleges and a few from other institutions.
This situation takes me back to when Beard first took over the team three seasons ago. He had a young team with Justin Gray, Keenan Evans, Zach Smith and a young Odiase and built them up to the team that took Tech to the Elite 8 in 2017, and I believe he can do the same with this young group. Beard knows he’s got a young team, but he also knows just what he’s working with.
Statistically speaking, the teams were evenly matched last season, down their respective averages of 72 points per game. But will the young red and black be able to match or beat those stats and start the season to keep the 47-game nonconference winning streak alive? We’ll find out, at least, in part, tonight.
How far will the team go this year?
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Back to the natty!
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