1) Zach Smith will be included on the All-Big 12 First Team & Keenan Evans will be included on the All-Big 12 Second Team. Last season, Evans was selected to the All-Big 12 Third Team, and Smith gained an honorable mention. This preseason Smith was voted as an All-Big 12 player, and Evans was voted as an honorable mention. They are on the radar, and should both prove themselves worthy to stay on the list by the end of the season.
2) Texas Tech will finish the regular season with an above .500 record in Big 12 play. Looking at all the talent in the conference this year, I think that Tech can compete with all the Big 12 teams. Kansas and West Virginia should standout at the top of the pack, but Tech has a chance to challenge every team out on the court. There are a lot of cupcakes on the non-conference schedule, with about 3 or 4 hard NC battles. Yet, the very achievable goal of 20+ wins this year is easily within reach. Against the conference, I feel the Red Raiders will finish in the top half of the Big 12.
3) Zhaire Smith will be the best freshman on the roster. Smith saw plenty of minutes in the exhibition games, and was the leading scorer in the New Mexico State game. He can hit his shots, and gets to the free throw line to put in points. Here is what Coach Beard had to say about him…
“Zhaire Smith from the Metroplex is maybe the best athlete on the team. Yes, I remember Zach’s (Smith) on the team. Those guys are kind of the same class of athleticism. … He’s definitely going to play.”
4) The Red Raiders will make the Big Dance, and win their first NCAA tourney game since 2005. It hasn’t been that long since we made it to March Madness, but it has been a long time since we won a game in the tournament. I believe that Texas Tech will finish the season in the top 50 with enough quailty wins to be invited to the Big Dance. Not only will they be invited, I think that for the seniors that have been our core group for the last three years (Justin Gray, Zach Smith, and Keenan Evan) will go out with a bang and make some noise in the tourney. It’s our time to shine. Wreck ’em Tech!!!