The argument is over, Texas Tech is a good place to be for basketball. It’s arguably a top-10 job to have in the entire country. Coming off an National Championship appearance, Texas Tech is somewhere that any coach would be lucky to end up. Fortunately for us, it looks as though Chris Beard will be staying put. He’s gonna remain loyal as long as Kirby Hocutt and company stay loyal to him and this offseason that loyalty looks to be in the form of a big fat check.
Beard wants to be here. It’s obvious in the way he talks about Lubbock, the way he talks about this school. But some people in this great state think a school down south is going to poach him when they eventually get smart or get un-Smart. I’ve been quiet on the subject for the most part, but I’m here to say that Beard won’t go anywhere, he loves this place too darn much.
Let’s kick this argument off saying that the University of Texas seems to want to stay with their current coach in Shaka Smart and it looks as though he won’t be leaving there this season, but next season could be different. Some Texas fans were happy with a 69th place trophy, but others still think he should leave. Some alumni were even happy about Texas Tech losing last night and it seemed as though these alumni were proud of their team’s 69th place finish.
Don’t get me wrong, if Texas wants to be happy with 69th place, let them. Beard has transformed expectations for this program almost overnight. Five years ago, Texas Tech would have been very happy with a NIT Championship, but now even thinking about missing the NCAA Tournament disappoints me a little bit.
Now let’s not pile on Texas this entire article, I want to focus more on the schools that currently are looking for a head coach. UCLA finally found its’ head coach today in Mick Cronin, but that means another great job just came open at Cincinnati, should we be worried? No we shouldn’t, and it honestly relieves me to say that. After Tubby Smith left to take a “Top-25” job, I was scared we as a program were going to descend back into the post-Bob Knight era, a time where the basketball was almost as scary as the attendance numbers.
-Tubby Smith leaves for Memphis— David McCoy (@DavidMcCoyWCCO) March 31, 2019
-Texas Tech hires Chris Beard to replace him
-Three years later, Texas Tech is in the Final Four in Minneapolis.
I’ll give Kirby Hocutt credit for being ballsy enough to get on a plane and get Beard. There was a recent article from Ed Garney at the Las Vegas Review Journal that talked about the process that Hocutt went through to get Beard. I’ll be honest, if I was UNLV’s Athletic Director, I would have been furious too, Hocutt essentially called her and told her Beard was going to interview with him if he wanted to and that was that. Those 19 days in Las Vegas aren’t talked about much. There really isn’t a reason for them to, nothing much happened when he was there and honestly not much good has happened for the basketball program since.
Chris Beard was briefly the coach of @TheRunninRebels in 2016. Tonight, his @TexasTechMBB team is heading to the NCAA championship game after beating Michigan State@edgraney story→https://t.co/Ae1kTJQLQm pic.twitter.com/x2LADdhUXp— Las Vegas RJ Sports (@RJ_Sports) April 7, 2019
In my humble opinion, as long as Kirby Hocutt shows the same amount of determination to keep Beard as he showed in getting him, Beard will stay. Now, let’s talk about why he shouldn’t leave Tech from a basketball standpoint. Jarrett Culver and five others are leaving the team but that doesn’t mean that Texas Tech is headed for a big drop in wins or missing out on the NCAA Tournament. A ton of people thought that after last season and I honestly thought the Sweet Sixteen would be awesome for this team going into the season.
I was oh so very wrong, but that isn’t the main point. This staff is very good at developing players. They have molded players such as Brandone Francis from a spot up shooter when he got here to a legitimate playmaker. They were also able to incorporate two graduate transfers into their team and make them all-tournament caliber players this season.
They not only have solid players such as Davide Moretti and Kyler Edwards coming back, they have a ton of new talent coming in that are ready to contribute. Jahmius Ramsey will come in and be able to contribute as a defensive anchor, being able to guard three different positions immediately. Kevin McCullar has come in already and has been practicing with the team since January. He will play some of everything, as he is a great ball handler but he can also play forward as well.
Khavon Moore will most likely get a medical redshirt for this year and will get a full offseason to put on muscle to become the starting power forward on this team. We don’t know much about Andrei Sarasov except he has a college ready body and a good jumpshot. Josh Mballa and Malik Ondigo will most likely play inside for the Red Raiders next season. Both of them got to learn from Tariq Owens and Norense Odiase this season and will be crucial rebounders and inside defenders.
The players coming back are just one in a ton of reasons Beard should stay. Let’s not forget to mention the new basketball practice facility being built right across the street from the United Supermarkets Arena right now. Beard has transformed this community from outside sports (football and baseball) lovers to lovers of the hard-court and what he brings to it.
As long as Lubbock and Texas Tech loves Beard as much as Beard loves Lubbock and Texas Tech, I wouldn’t be worried about him leaving.