The Texas Tech Red Raiders begin their basketball season Tuesday night against North Florida. The Red Raiders are coming off an NCAA Tournament Berth. Since then, Texas Tech has gained a new Head Coach, raided the transfer portal, and is looking to come back stronger than ever. Mark Adams is looking to begin the year with a win against a youthful team in North Florida. The Ospreys are coming off of an 8-15 record in 2020-2021.
North Florida is an interesting team coming in. They are super young, only tout one upper-classman but bring back six players that played over ten minutes per game for them last season. Their Head Coach is Matthew Driscoll, a man who has been the Head Coach of the Ospreys since 2009. On the court, they are led by Junior Forward Carter Hendricksen. Hendricksen averaged 14.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game in 2021-2021. He was also named ASUN Conference 1st-Team in 2021. He also shot 35% from the three-point line and 76% from the free-throw line.
In the backcourt, they are led by Sophmore Guard Jose Placer. He averaged 14.5 points, along with 3.3 assists per game last season. Placer also shot 38% from behind the arc, and 76% from the free-throw line. These two are the Ospreys’ main offensive threats as they can shoot the ball well enough to garner attention wherever they get the ball on the offensive end of the court. Their best returning rebounder is Jonathon Aybar, who averaged five rebounds per game. Emmanuel Adeoyin is the main initiator of the offense, as he averaged over four assists per game last season.
The Red Raiders will look to start the season on the right foot against a team that struggled mightily against Power 5 Competition last season. The Red Raiders only bring back four players from last year’s team that made the Round of 32 in last season’s NCAA Tournament. This team will look very different with a new, up-tempo, offense implemented by new assistant coach Barrett Peery. Defensively, the Red Raiders will continue to implement the no-middle defense that allowed them to dominate opponents over the past five seasons.
Texas Tech 84
North Florida 54
First game jitters will allow for a closer than expected game, but Tech’s depth will just be too much for the Ospreys to overcome. Otherwise, Tech could totally destroy them if everything clicks from the start. So, most likely a huge win. GO TECH!