Texas Tech is technically nonetheless the reigning nationwide runner-up since there was no NCAA Event performed final season.
The Purple Raiders had been on the ground warming up for his or her Large 12 match opener final March when the season all of a sudden stopped due to the pandemic.
“A surreal ending to the season. I believe it is fueled gamers and coaches and all people not solely to have the most effective 12 months you’ll be able to have, that is yearly, however I believe actually to understand the journey,” fifth-year coach Chris Beard stated. “We inform our guys, benefit from the journey, not simply the vacation spot. Stay the place your toes are, odor the roses, all these items mainly imply, man, admire every single day.”
Even with the early departures of prime scorers Jahmi’us Ramsey (for early entry within the NBA draft) and Davide Moretti (to play professionally at house in Italy), the Purple Raiders are 14th within the AP preseason High 25 .
Texas Tech returns junior guard Kyler Edwards (11.4 factors per sport) and sophomore guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (9.8 factors, 4.1 rebounds per sport). The seven newcomers embrace Division I transfers Marcus Santos-Silva, Mac McClung and Jamarius Burton — all eligible to play this season — and a few extremely touted freshmen.
Graduate switch Santos-Silva, a 6-foot-7 ahead and lone Tech senior after beginning all 64 video games for VCU the previous two seasons, is the Large 12 preseason newcomer of the 12 months.
“My primary focus was to go someplace that is acquired a profitable tradition,” stated Santos-Silva, who averaged 12.8 factors and eight.9 rebounds final season.
Tech additionally had vital roster modifications final season when coming off the additional time loss to Virginia within the nationwide championship sport.
However freshman standout Ramsey and the Purple Raiders by no means acquired an opportunity to play any postseason video games final March, after ending their 18-13 common season with a four-game skid, together with an additional time loss at Baylor after which 66-62 to then-No. 1 Kansas within the finale at house.
“I believe, actually, our Texas Tech group was one of many tales in faculty basketball that might have been informed on the largest stage of March Insanity,” Beard stated. “All people sort of likes to assume again to the Remaining 4 group, however I might argue final 12 months’s group was a very good group.”
Together with Santos-Silva, the Purple Raiders have a pair of junior guards who had been Division I starters the previous two seasons.
McClung led Georgetown with 15.7 factors a sport final season, although the 6-2 guard missed 11 video games due to a proper foot damage. McClung averaged 13.1 factors as a freshman for the Hoyas, and scored 33 factors in a sport at Large 12 group Oklahoma State.
The 6-4 Burton began 52 of his 67 video games in two years at Wichita State, the place he averaged 10.3 factors and three.4 assists final season.
Beard believes this may very well be one among his finest taking pictures groups at Texas Tech, together with a “probability to be an excellent defensive group due to our athleticism and size, and toughness and expertise.”
Certainly one of Beard’s first aims at Tech was “to easily have Large 12 gamers on the roster from slot one to 13,” a objective he feels has been achieved.
“We like our expertise,” Beard stated. “We predict we are able to compete within the Large 12, which which is able to imply that we are able to compete within the nationwide match as nicely.”
Beard had by no means gone right into a season with a beard till now.
“Clearly, with my final title, that does not make loads of sense,” he stated.
After an prolonged time with out shaving throughout the offseason, his mom, longtime girlfriend and three daughters all informed him the beard seemed good on him.
“It is loads of work, however protecting the ladies in my life pleased, particularly proper now with basketball season the place I am about to see them about 10 minutes per week complete, the beard’s price it,” he stated.
Texas Tech’s third sport within the first 5 days of the season will probably be Nov. 29 in opposition to No. 17 Houston at Dickie’s Enviornment in Fort Value. The Purple Raiders and Cougars had been initially a part of the preseason NIT tipoff match that was presupposed to be performed in Orlando, Florida. T he Purple Raiders will not depart Texas for any of their non-conference video games, and open Large 12 play at house Dec. 17 in opposition to No. 6 Kansas.