It was announced last week via Twitter that a group of Texas Tech Alumni will be creating a team for The Basketball Tournament, an annual winner-takes-all Basketball Tournament that occurs in the summer. Center Norense Odiase and guard Matt Mooney have already signed up to participate We asked who people wanted to see play for the Air Raiders this summer, here are our picks for some of the slots on the team!
Keenan Evans, Point Guard
Everyone knows Evans’s impact on the program in the late Tubby Smith years and the early Chris Beard era. He led the program to an Elite 8 appearance in 2018 and won the Big 12 Player of the Year award in that season. Evans averaged 12 points per game over his four-year Texas Tech career.
Evans bounced around the NBA G-League for two seasons before taking his talents overseas. He is currently the starting point guard for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, one of the premier basketball teams in all of Europe.
Zhaire Smith, Shooting Guard
Another huge piece of the 2018 Elite 8 team. His athletic ability is insane and would also add some shooting to this team. He hasn’t been signed to a professional contract in a while but has been working back from an infection in his rookie year that threatened his life. This would be an incredible opportunity for Smith to find a new team. Smith averaged 11 points and 5 rebounds in his single season with Texas Tech.
Justin Gray, Small Forward
Gray, like Evans, came to Texas Tech at the back end of the Tubby Smith era and was a starter for the team that made the Elite 8 in 2018. Since leaving Texas Tech, Gray has played overseas, averaging 11.6 points and 4 rebounds per game in the Polish EBL. Gary averaged 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds over his 4-year career at Texas Tech.
Tariq Owens, Forward
Another member of the 2019 Final Four team, Owens is an elite shot-blocker and defender that would bring experience to this team. Owens has been in the G-League and participated in the NBA Summer League last season. In his lone season with Texas Tech in 2019, he averaged 8.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. He is also the program’s single-season record holder for blocks.
Davide Moretti, Guard
Need a shooter? Moretti is your man. He’s a career 40% three-point shooter and a 90% free-throw shooter. Moretti averaged 9.1 points per game over three seasons but averaged double-digits in his last two seasons in Lubbock. Moretti is currently playing for Carpegna Prosciutto Pesaro where he is averaging 9.5 points and 2.5 assists per game.