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Four Things to Expect this Season from Texas Tech

Here is what you will see from the Red Raiders this year

Photo CC: (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

We are just under a week away from the start of the college basketball season. The preseason rankings, All-Americans, and expectations are set. It’s time to play basketball. For all 356 teams (Bethune-Cookman dropped out), this will be their first time playing in eight months. With no NCAA tournament last year, the players, coaches, and fans are more than eager to see where their team stacks up nationwide.  

A few days ago, the Associated Press released their top 25 rankings, and the Texas Tech Red Raiders came in at No. 14. This is the most talented team Chris Beard has ever coached, with potentially four guys getting drafted in 2021 and several more over the next two years. 

Here are the four things you will see from the Red Raiders this year:

Small-Ball Lineups and Minute Restrictions

With so much perimeter-oriented talent on this team, expect to see three, four, or even five guards/wings players on the floor at once. With no dominant big-man in the Big-12, this year the majority of teams in the conference, including Texas Tech, will go small and do it often. This will increase the pace of play, scoring margins, highlight players, possessions, and three-point attempts. With so much depth on this team and Beard’s strategy for subbing in three to six minutes stretches, the Red Raiders will play around nine to ten guys a game. In a weird year like this one, teams with the most depth, experience, and talent will prevail. Texas Tech has all three.

Let It Rain 

By Chris Beard playing multiple guards/wings at the same time you will see the three-point attempts/makes go up tremendously. Last year Tech was 229 in the country in three-point attempts (20.4) and 174 in makes (7.2). Over the past two years, Tech’s best shooter was Davide Moretti, and took the majority of those shots. With him leaving to play overseas, the wealth of three-point shots will be spread around evenly. You could see five players shoot at least three-to-four threes a game. By doing this, Tech’s offense will be less predictable, and the number of options is endless. 

NBA Style-of-Play  

Coach Beards has run an ‘equal opportunity offense’ with a lot of ball movement and backdoor cuts. Although I’ve had my issues with it personally, it has worked. Great coaches like Beard have a unique skill to adapt their system to the players they have on the roster and this year will be no different. Beard will run a similar offense but tweak it to fit his personnel. Meaning, more isolations. Players like Micah Peavy, Mac McClung, Terrence Shannon, Nimari Burnett, and Kyler Edwards can also create their own shots well. Imagine a P&R or P&P with Burnett and Peavy or McClung and Shannon? Sounds scary for opposing defenses? You would be correct. Many analytical tools have Techs offense being about average, I disagree. This team has the potential to be a top 50 offense all year long.

Rockstar Lifestyle 

When Mac McClung decided to transfer to Tech, the first thing that came to mind was not only how much fun will this team be to watch, but Texas Tech basketball now has juice. If you look at the biggest and more popular programs around the country, they have one thing in common besides current/future NBA players, and that is clout. So far today, the Red Raiders have three guys on mock drafts for 2021, big media companies like Ballislife, Overtime, House of Highlights, and others already talking about how good McClung and Burnett will be. Even analysts like Rashad Phillips has been talking about Terrence Shannon’s development over this offseason. Tech won’t have many fans in the seats this year due to COVID-19, but they will be must-see TV and will be on major airways all year long.

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