After a great run in the NCAA tournament, the Texas Tech Red Raiders season came to an end in the Sweet Sixteen following a 78-73 loss to the 2-seed Duke Blue Devils.
The Red Raiders were in the game till the last minute, but couldn’t keep up with the Blue Devils’ eight-minute stretch of not missing a single basket to close the game.
Tech led at halftime but once the second half started it was clear that it was going to be a shootout until someone made a crucial mistake. Tech would get a four point lead here and there but the final two minutes saw Duke pull away enough and Tech just couldn’t get out of their own way.
Proud is an understatement for the way that I feel about how this team performed this year. My guy Kendall will go over the season as a whole, so be on the lookout for that article soon.
Now that the season is over and there will be some pretty big changes for Tech, I’ll be taking a look at what’s in store for the future and what the roster might look like.
The best place to start would be pointing out that Terrence Shannon Jr. entered the transfer portal on Friday and was immediately contacted by the likes of Illinois, Kentucky and UConn amongst others. This is huge news as TJ is a key piece of this team and would be a huge loss if he were to not return to Tech, which he didn’t rule out as a possibility.
Bryson Williams, Marcus Santos-Silva, Adonis Arms and Davion Warren are done with their college eligibility and will not be returning. Kevin Obanor is eligible to return next season but could test the professional waters as well as Kevin McCullar.
I don’t see anyone from the roster that I haven’t listed transferring, which gives us a much more solidified core heading into the next year. Mylik Wilson, Clarence Nadolny, Chibuzo Agbo, KJ Allen and Daniel Batcho are some of the key names that will be returning that played at some point during the season. I can see each of these guys contributing a lot more than they did next year, especially Wilson and Nadolny who essentially acted as the second unit guard combo.
I am interested in Batcho the most out of the returning guys. He has the athleticism to be a dominant Center, he just need to refine his game which will come with time and experience.
Getting into the recruits, we have one of the most talented teams in the nation as we are ranked in the top 30 according to 247sports. That class includes Richard “Pop” Isaacs, Robert Jennings and Lamar Washington.
Isaacs will be a true point guard, which will help us tremendously as we never really had a guy this past season that we could say that about. He’s an outstanding distributer of the ball and creates looks for himself off of the dribble with ease.
Washington is a sharp shooter that can get it done off the dribble or by catching and shooting. He has potential to become a knockdown shooter when we need a bucket and should be a contributor early on with Isaacs.
Jennings is a bigger body who dominates on the offensive and defensive glass. He’s a solid inside presence on both offense and defense and will be another big that can likely switch all five positions in Mark Adams defense.
Texas Tech has one guy from the transfer portal so far in Jaylon Tyson. Tyson was committed to Texas Tech coming out of high school last year, but opted to follow Chris Beard to Texas. That only lasted a few games as he decided to transfer from Texas and eventually ended up back in Lubbock.
I’ve never been as excited as I am about Tyson about anybody else that Tech has recruited. He is capable of dominating both sides of the ball and doesn’t have a weakness that I can pin point. I think that he’s going to be in the starting lineup barring any injuries.
With the season just a little over a week from being finished, there’s still going to be plenty of time to add some key players. I think that the most important things on Tech’s mind right now are getting Shannon and Obanor back as well as pursuing some more guys to replace these starts. Yohan Traore is a center who was committed to LSU then de-committed once Will Wade left. If the Red Raiders can get him to Lubbock. that will be a game-changer as far as the recruiting class goes.
Next season brings in a lot of promise for the Red Raiders and potential for another deep run into the tournament. This years team kept the standards high when many counted them out and for that I will always be thankful. Maybe the season ended a little sooner than we would’ve liked, but they have nothing to be ashamed of.