Fans will not easily forget the season that finished a couple of days ago. This incredible run from obscurity to runner-up will impress upon the fans and the athletes a new level of hope and expectation going forward. The tears and emotions will fade, but our Red Raider spirit will burn on.
We know coach Beard’s team will lose three starters and the main contributor from the bench, as Matt Mooney, Norense Odiase, Tariq Owens, and Brandon Francis will leave the school. In addition, while there’s still nothing official, I think we all agree Jarrett Culver will declare for the NBA Draft. His prowess throughout the season garnered a lot of attention from the scouts and it would be a shock to the nation if he stayed.
This situation is not different from the one that came out after the 2017-18 season. Do you remember? After the Elite Eight, the Red Raiders lost seniors Tommy Hamilton IV, Keenan Evans, Zach Smith, and Justin Gray, plus Zhaire Smith who entered the NBA Draft and was selected with the 16th overall pick.
This year the (probable) only starter who will return for the 2019-2020 season is Davide Moretti.
There were actually some doubts he would return to Lubbock for another season, with his ability to turn back to the international stage. In an interview he recently gave to the Gazzetta dello Sport, the most important sports newspaper in Italy, he said he wants to evaluate his future year by year, but he also added he’s pretty sure he’ll spend his junior year in Texas.
If you can read and understand Italian, here’s the interview:
Su @Gazzetta_it in edicola vi racconto del sogno #MarchMadness di @davide25moretti, italiano che farà il torneo da leader di #TexasTech (dopo una stagione da 50/40/90) e che in #NCAA studia per diventare un fenomeno e prendersi la #NBA. Come il suo idolo Tony Parker... ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/y4dbQ2yMHT— Davide Chinellato (@dchinellato) March 21, 2019
I won’t talk about numbers and stats, but we all have seen how much Moretti improved in his sophomore year. Bigger, faster, with no fear to attack the rim, to shoot and take his responsibilities, now he’s called to take the nickname the maestro to another level: leading the offense.
Coach Beard will land some grad transfers (and in this article our Jacob shows which are the best players to target), but Davide will be asked to be a team leader in the locker room and on the court. He will be expected to set precedent for the young recruits (and Texas Tech delivered a fantastic 2019 recruit class, number 14 in the nation) to adapt to their new team. The street dog/4 to 1 mentality is something forged from the get-go, and Moretti will be the shining example of how far buying into Coach Beard’s plan can take you.
It’s very possible that Moretti could spend his summer abroad. Davide’s performances were noticed in Italy by the national coach Meo Sacchetti, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Sacchetti called on Moretti to represent his country. If things go in the right direction, there are chances our soon-to-be junior will have the possibility to play in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 from August 31 to September 15. We’ll keep you informed about this during the offseason.
Get ready for another year of the Spicy Meatball.