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Guns Up Nation Texas Tech Men’s Basketball Predictions

What does the Guns Up Nation Crew think will happen this year for the Red Raiders? Find out now!

It’s that time of year again in the Hub City… basketball season.

The Red Raiders have been one of the best basketball programs in all of Division 1 basketball the past three years. This year, they look to continue that trend with arguably the best roster from top to bottom in program history. They welcome in the best recruiting class in program history plus, they welcome two of the most highly coveted transfers in all of college basketball in the high flying Mac McClung and one of the most underappreciated players in college basketball, Marcus Santos-Silva.

This roster and coaching staff are primed for another great year, with their great defense and their opportunistic offense. There are high expectations for this team from the fans, but even higher expectations from the people in the program.

Our guys on the crew give their thoughts on the following topics regarding the Texas Tech Men’s Basketball team.

Predicted record (overall record & Big 12)

Where Tech will finish in Big 12?

Tournament seed & prediction

Tech Player of the Year

Bold Prediction 

Overall Thoughts on Texas Tech Season

Here… We… Go

RC Maxfield

Overall Record: 22-5 (13-5)

Big 12 Finish: 3rd (behind Baylor and Kansas)

Tournament Seeding/Prediction: 3 seed & Elite 8/ Final Four 

Tech Player of the Year: Terrance Shannon Jr

Bold Prediction: Mac McClung will shoot higher than 38.5% from 3

Overall Thoughts: This is the deepest roster in Texas Tech Men’s Basketball program history and it’s not particularly close. There are 11-12 players on this team that could start at +60% of schools in D1 basketball. How will this impact Tech? Beautifully. Coach Beard is known for his halftime adjustments and giving him more options when it comes to those adjustments, lookout. Tech is the deepest team in the Big 12, but probably the third most talented behind only Baylor and Kansas. That’s nothing to be ashamed of though, in my opinion, Tech has a Top 8 roster in college basketball. The expectations for this team are due to the recruiting class and the big name transfers that arrived on campus this past year. Coach Beard and Crew are no strangers to roster turnover and the guys that are returning, are set to make a big impact in their respective roles. The ceiling for this team is that of a National Championship, but the floor is probably that of a 7 or 8 seed that no one wants to play in the tournament. Look for Coach Beard to use every ounce of talent this roster has to get back to the final Monday. It won’t be easy, but the talent, coaching staff, and desire are all there for Texas Tech to go to its second Final Four in three years. 

Andrew McCleary

Overall Record: 21-6 overall, 12-6 Big 12 play

Big 12 Finish: 3rd (Baylor 1, Kansas 2)

Tournament Seeding/Prediction: 4 seed, Final Four

Tech Player of the Year: Mac McClung

Bold Prediction: 3 Big 12 teams make it to the final four (Baylor, Kansas, Texas Tech) 

Overall Thoughts: There isn’t a pool in the entire region of West Texas that is as deep as this Red Raider team. With that much depth, it becomes the issue of only having 5 players on the court at once and only one ball. This is a good problem to have. This is the next evolution for this program (see Kentucky/Duke/UNC etc). Coach Beard has transformed this program into a place for top-tier talent to come to play. The way he has developed talent (see recent draft picks in the NBA), it was only a matter of time before 4 and 5-star talent became attracted to this program. Not to mention, it’s obvious the culture Beard has developed. In the latest Big 12 anonymous poll, conducted by The Athletic, 18 players from the conference were polled on various questions in the league. For “Coach you’d most like to play for” 8 of the 18 responded with Beard (the next closest answer was Bill Self with 3 votes). This is also his second year in a row getting the top nod in the polling by The Athletic. Most years it would just be Kansas that would be the only thing in the way of the Red Raiders, but Baylor is LOADED as well. It wouldn’t surprise me a ton if this team “struggles”  early in the conference simply because of trying to find the right rotations and combinations of players on the floor. But this is a team that can beat any team in the nation and should be a ton of fun to follow as Tech continues to establish itself as the newest “blue blood” basketball program in the country.    

Trent Wycoff

Overall Record: 23-4 (14-4)

Big 12 Finish: 2nd (behind Kansas)

Tournament Seeding/Prediction: 2 seed & Final Four 

Tech Player of the Year: Mac McClung

Bold Prediction: Texas Tech will lead the Big XII in blocks

Overall Thoughts: It’s genuinely difficult to find faults with this roster.  While last season’s team struggled at times offensively due to lacking a true point guard and needed a more consistent presence around the rim on both ends, enter Mac McClung and Marcus Santos-Silva/Tyreek Smith to address those issues in force.  McClung is truly electric and demands attention that will open up both outside shooting opportunities and easy baskets inside.  Defensively, the team will have significant length and overall athleticism to frustrate opponents.  The only real question mark for me is simply when the team really gets on the same page with each other.  Tech will rotate often to take advantage of the roster depth, so players will have to get a feel for each other’s respective game to become cohesive as a team.  Beard has given plenty of reason for optimism there with his teams typically being ahead of schedule in that regard, and the absurd level of overall talent should mask some growing pains there.  Expect a few early issues, but once that light comes on, it will be all systems go.  This will not be a team anyone will want to play in the back half of the conference season or see on their side of the bracket in March.  Tech should contend for the Big XII title even in what looks like another dogfight of a year in the best conference in basketball and don’t be surprised if a few of the top 3-4 teams end up playing each other again late in the NCAA tournament.

Trevor Williams

Overall Record: 22-5 (13-5)

Big 12 Finish: 2nd Behind Kansas

Tournament Seeding/Prediction: 2 Seed/Sweet 16 or better

Tech Player of the Year: Shannon Jr.

Bold Prediction: Baylor is no higher than a 4 seed in the tournament

Overall Thoughts: On paper, this team is the most talented basketball team in Texas Tech history. As exciting as this is, it also means that the expectations for the group are sky high as well. With a slew of newcomers expected to have major roles stacked on top of the unusual offseason due to Covid, there is still a lot of work to be done on the court for the team to live up to the pre-season hype. With that said, there should be no doubt that Chris Beard and company will make the necessary adjustments to put the team in the best position to win. Compared to last year’s team, this season’s roster is much more well-rounded and will fare better down low in terms of rebounding and rim protection. The depth of this squad should provide plenty of flexibility for Beard to get creative with game plans and in-game adjustments based on opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. Overall, this season will be equally exciting and challenging for the Red Raiders. Half of the Big 12 Conference enters the year ranked in the top 20 & Kenpom has the same five all in the top 10 to start the season. While the hype and expectations are as high as they’ve ever been, it’s important to keep in mind just how hard it is to make a deep run in the tournament any given year. This season should be viewed as a success by advancing to the second weekend and anything after that being the icing on the cake. 

Keith Donaghe

Overall Record: 24-3 (15-3)

Big 12 Finish: 2nd Behind Baylor

Tournament Seeding/Prediction: 2 Seed/ Loss in Elite 8

Tech Player of the Year: Mac McClung 

Bold Prediction: Texas Tech will have at least one player drafted in the top 5 of the 2021 NBA Draft.

Overall Thoughts: This is by far Coach Beard’s best roster but will it be the most successful? Sources close to the team have told me that Coach Beard has been stressing communication all offseason and I believe if he can get the team to communicate it will be a very fruitful March for the Red Raiders. I think this team’s floor is probably a 14 seed team, even with injuries and poor team cohesion they are just too talented to predict them falling out of the tournament. The ceiling for TTU is well, 2021 National Champions, if they can communicate effectively and play team basketball they have as good a chance as anyone to win it all.

Tobias Bass

Overall Record: 22-5 (13-5)

Big 12 Finish: Tie for 2nd with KU

Tournament Seeding/Prediction: 3 seed & Elite 8/ Final Four 

Tech Player of the Year: Terrance Shannon Jr

Bold Prediction: 3 or 4 players will be drafted and this year’s teams make the Final Fours

Overall Thoughts: This is the deepest roster Chris Beard has had since arriving in Lubbock. Much advanced analytics have the Red Raiders as a middle of the pack offensive team, but I disagree. Texas Tech will be in the top 50 in the country, in both offense and defensive. You will see a lot of subbing, multi-guard lineups, and an uptempo style of play from the Red Raiders this year. Last year Tech was 229 in the country in three-point attempts (20.4) and 174 in makes (7.2). I expect both those numbers to go up tremendously with so much talent on offense. Many analysts have Tech finishing 3rd or below, which makes sense but it wouldn’t surprise me if Texas Tech finished 2nd. Kansas has a lot of talent, but they did lose Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson to the NBA, meaning there isn’t a truly dominant big man or elite P&R in the conference so Techs multi-guard lineups should be effective on both sides of the floor. Lastly, I expect Beards’ offense to change some as you will see more isolation sets and more guys scoring in double-figures. Every night could be someone’s night. You could see a new leader scoring every other game. This team will be a lot of fun to watch and I have high expectations for what this season could turn out to be.

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