The Texas Tech basketball program continues to take steps forward.
Chris Beard leaving was a tough pill to swallow. Whether Tech fans will admit it or not, he was the best coach this program has ever seen. He took us to heights Tech basketball fans couldn’t have imagined. He gave a directionless program some hope. Then, as quick as he came, he left for Texas and a lot of fans, including myself, had no idea where this program was going.
Then Tech promoted Mark Adams to fill the vacant head coaching position.
Adams has come in and given this program new energy. While retaining important players like Kevin McCullar, Terrence Shannon Jr., and Marcus Santos-Silva, among others, he also has been able to bring in big-time transfers in his short tenure as coach with Kevin Obanor being the most recent.
Obanor was probably the most highly touted transfer outside of Kofi Cockburn, who ended up deciding to remain at Illinois anyway. Obanor chose Tech over a potential top-10 team in Arkansas and a fantastic coach in Eric Musselman. That has shown me all I need to know about Adams and his staff.
Coming in to the job, the biggest concerns for Adams was about recruiting and whether he could get the top prospects to Lubbock. It’s not an easy task. Beard did it, but it took him time. In a couple months, Adams has gotten multiple top transfers to Lubbock, along with convincing key players to stay.
Looking at the roster where it stands now, Tech has no shortage of scoring. Listed below are all the players on the roster to averaged double figures last season:
Kevin McCullar: 10.4 PPG
Terrence Shannon Jr.: 12.9 PPG
Bryson Williams (UTEP): 15.1 PPG
Davion Warren (Hampton): 21.2 PPG
Adonis Arms (Winthrop): 10.5 PPG
Mylik Wilson (Louisiana): 12.9 PPG
Kevin Obanor (Oral Roberts): 18.7 PPG
KJ Allen (ELAC, JUCO, 2019-20): 18.5 PPG
Not included in that list is Ethan Duncan who also averaged double-digits in high school.
Beard’s biggest flaw might’ve been the ridiculous amount of scoring droughts that plagued his tenure. Some of his teams would go through lengthy stretches of games where the ball just couldn’t find the basket. This shouldn’t be an issue with the guys Adams has brought in. I’m not just talking about players either. Barrett Peery ran one of the fastest offenses in the nation at Portland State. This program is going to look much different offensively.
We all know Adams will have this team ready on the defensive side of the ball. It’s what he does. The best damn defensive coach in the nation. Offensively is where the program needs a change. Shannon Jr. and Obanor are going to have some very large roles on offense, they just need to take advantage of them.
Wilson and McCullar along with some Clarence Nadolny sprinkled in are going to do a lot of the playmaking on this team. There really isn't a true point guard on this roster. Players will need to step up. McCullar played point in high school, so he has at least some experience running an offense. Wilson and Nadolny will need to prove they’re ready to handle that type of role as well.
This team is shaping up to be a monster, and I can’t lie, I didn’t expect to be this hyped for the season.
Beard left for Texas. He was the greatest thing that had happened to this program and there’s no doubt about that, but Mark Adams is out to prove he can keep Tech in national contention year in and year out, and I’m here for it.
This 2021-22 basketball season is gonna be a special one. This is not a rebuild, this is a reload.