It’s crazy to think that just a month ago, the 2018-2019 Texas Tech men’s basketball team took the court for the last time in the National Championship game against Virginia. We all watched as the Red Raiders accomplished tasks that some thought would never be possible.
Now, it’s time to look to the future, and oh does it seem bright. Tech coach Chris Beard and company have made some big moves this offseason by adding experienced guys that can help improve Tech’s already anchored roster.
Let’s check out some of these new Red Raiders.
1. Joel Ntambwe
I’d like to thank everyone at UNLV for a great season last year, and all the schools that have recruited me. After going through all my options along with my family, I decided to continue my collegiate career in Lubbock, Texas and play for the Texas Tech Red Raiders. pic.twitter.com/SCZ97Y8fnb— Joelnt (@joelntambwe2) May 26, 2019
Meet the latest addition to the Red Raider squad. Former UNLV forward Joel Ntambwe announced just yesterday that he would be sporting scarlet red and black next season. This news brought much excitement to Tech fans around the nation, including me.
Ntambwe is the most recent transfer to join forces with the Red Raiders. The 6’9, 210-pound forward saw plenty of playing time after starting in all 31 games as a freshman. That kind of experience playing at the highest collegiate level will add maturity to this young roster.
He showed glimpses of what he is capable of, averaging 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds. Ntambwe proved to be a headache for the opposing defense by putting a body on his man and grabbing the offensive rebound. He did just that 172 times last season for the second most offensive rebounds for UNLV.
Coming into this Tech program young and hungry is going to give him an upper hand. His size and strength is already looking solid, and will only improve during offseason conditioning.
Ntambwe is set to have a great career at Tech and help assist the Red Raiders down in the paint.
2. TJ Holyfield
The Stephen F. Austin transfer decided to spend his final season playing college basketball in Raiderland. Holyfield was a primary offensive target for the Lumberjacks averaging 12.9 points while shooting 54.8% from the field and 41% from three-point range. He also led the team with 6.4 rebounds per game.
What’s even more impressive about Holyfield is his ability to get back down the court and play lockdown defense. When the going got tough, he was the one taking the ball away and racing down the court for an open look. He led the Lumberjacks in blocks with 1.3 and also came up with 1.1 steals per game.
Holyfield just feels like an all around complete player. His senior presence will also be plus in the locker room. This one was quite the grab by Beard. He’s likely to put some big numbers for the Red Raiders next season.
3. Chris Clarke
This guy could not be a better fit for Texas Tech. Defense is the name of the game for Coach Beard, and that's exactly what Chris Clarke brings to the table. In his junior season, the Virginia Tech transfer averaged 8.2 points, shot 57 percent from the floor and 42 percent from the three. He also racked up three assists and 6.3 rebounds per game, showing he can do it all.
Clarke has what it takes to be a great two-way player, and what better program to do that with than Texas Tech. He lead Virginia Tech with 31 total steals on the season as well as rebounding on both sides of the ball.
This couldn't be a better match if you asked me. A defensive-minded athlete playing for a defensive-minded coach.
Beard is absolutely amazing at recruiting. I’d say he’s one of the best in the country in that department. He couldn't have chosen better guys to coach then the ones mentioned above. Ntambwe, Holyfield and Clarke are to come into the program prepared and eager to earn their spots. These offseason additions will hope to add another successful season for the Red Raiders. One where we hopefully cut down the net at the end of it all.