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What should Beard do with his last scholarship?

There’s only one left... assuming Culver leaves.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Northern Kentucky vs Texas Tech Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There are currently no scholarships up for grabs for the Texas Tech basketball program. There will be 13 guys on scholarship and that is the amount allowed by the NCAA. That being said, there is a great chance that Jarrett Culver will be moving on to the NBA thus freeing up one scholarship. Should Beard target a graduate transfer or go with a new prospect going forward?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Northern Kentucky vs Texas Tech Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

That’s a really tricky question, with Culver still on the team the 13th and final scholarship remains locked up. The second he declares for the NBA draft, that scholarship becomes open. Currently, there are three players that have declared that Texas Tech has been in their top 5. You can see these players here. There are two incoming freshman and one graduate transfer that in this list.

The purpose of this article is not to dive deep into the players themselves but to dive into whether or not Coach Beard should allocate his resources to trying to bring in a new prospect or a veteran who has proven himself at the lower division one level.

Coach Beard will be hurting for some senior leadership as there is no one on or off scholarship coming back to the program next season. The closest thing he will have to seniors are Davide Moretti and Deshawn Corprew. Seniors and veteran leadership have always been really valuable to Beard as he has said in the past that the National Championship is often won by a more experienced team.

This could make Beard want to go after TJ Holyfield even more. He is a proven forward coming off an injury. He has played in the NCAA Tournament (against Tech in 2018) and has a ton of experience. He would be a guy that could come in right away and contribute. He would also have the veteran leadership a young group like this would need.

NCAA Basketball: Stephen F. Austin at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

On the other hand, Beard might want to take someone he could potentially groom for a few years. The two guys that he is looking at are both shooting guards and compared to Holyfield coming in and being a forward. Beard might want to go all young so that he could have a stronger group of guys going into the future. I’m not saying that I want this season to be a rebuild but it sure would look that way if Beard was to take one of these young guys compared to a proven senior.

When I say rebuild, I don’t mean that we won’t make the NCAA Tournament, or that we won’t even win a game or two in it. I don’t think we’ll make it back to the Final Four this quick, but I do believe that if he goes in the direction of a younger guy he might be building for a title run in 2 or 3 seasons.

Either way, I’m sure whoever Beard and his staff lock onto, it’ll be a good move. They have a proven track record of developing talent both graduate transfer and freshman. I would personally lean towards getting one of the younger talent guys as I believe Chris Harris Jr. could come in and play almost immediately. We’ll see what happens, but I believe that no matter what, Beard will make the right move.