Former Red Raider basketball stud Toddrick Gotcher took some time out of his schedule to answer questions I fired his way. Gotcher had a remarkable career at Texas Tech, and was a fan favorite. He was a vocal leader on the team, and played a huge role in helping us make the 2016 NCAA Tournament. I got a chance to ask him about his time as a Red Raider. He also gave us an update on life after Lubbock, as he is currently playing professional basketball overseas in France. HERE. WE. GO…
Dan: You came out of Lakeview Centennial HS in Garland, TX. What attracted you to Texas Tech, and why did you make the commitment to play for the Red Raiders?
Toddrick: What attracted me most to Texas Tech was the family environment during my visits up to the campus. Everyone was very nice and welcoming from the players, coaches, and fans. I could really see myself having an impact on many levels to the community, as well from a basketball standpoint. I made the commitment because I was really excited about the academic programs and could gain a valuable education from Texas Tech as well.
Dan: Another Lakeview Centennial HS graduate came to play basketball for Texas Tech this season, Zhaire Smith. What are your thoughts about the freshman so far this year?
Toddrick: Man, I was very excited with Zhaire committed to Texas Tech. I knew he could impact and help the team right away. He is one of the best athletes I have seen and great all-around player that every team needs to succeed. He is very mature for his age and has the ability to become an All-Big XII player for sure. He will leave his legacy at Texas Tech.
Dan: You played ball at Tech for 3 different head coaches during 5 seasons; Billy Gillispie, Chris Walker, and Tubby Smith. With all the distractions taking place with the changing staff, how did you stay focused on basketball? What made you stay at Texas Tech?
Toddrick: What keep me focused during the difficult times and the many changes was my family. My family has always reminded me that I committed to Texas Tech to further my career in sports and academics, instead of committing to a coach. They stuck to me and I kept my focus on my academics and basketball because I had goals that I wanted to achieve at Texas Tech. I wanted to stay loyal to my university!
Dan: After sticking it out for your entire college basketball career as a Red Raider, it was your senior year that the loyalty really paid off in 2016. We had a winning season, and made the NCAA tournament. What was your experience while attending the Big Dance?
Toddrick: That entire experience my senior year was a blessing. During my time at Texas Tech, I had many ups and downs, but the entire experience made me the person and player I am today. Playing in the Big Dance was special and I hope to think that was a turning point for Texas Tech Basketball.
Dan: In your 5 seasons in Lubbock, there were plenty of memorable moments. What was your most memorable moment as a Red Raider?
Toddrick: My most memorable basketball moment as a Red Raider was definitely storming the court with our beloved fans. That experience itself was one that I would never forget. I think my favorite was my senior year when we beat Oklahoma at home. I traveled the last few seconds of the game to run towards our fans, but I replay those moments many of times. But of course, my ultimate favorite moment as a Red Raider was my Senior Night proposing to my wife after a big win. That was a dream come true and I am just lucky she said yes!
Dan: Now that you have taken your basketball talents overseas, tell us a little about your journey from Lubbock to Greece and France. What does the future hold for your next adventure?
Toddrick: Being overseas is tremendous. It is a lot different from Lubbock!!! Signing my first professional contract was eye opening and scary because I am so accustomed to living the American lifestyle. Being in America and coming overseas reminds you to be humble and you take the things in America you have for granted. Greece and France are beautiful countries and I love playing basketball here. I have always wanted to travel and the game of basketball has given me this opportunity to actually live in other countries, which is a blessing. Learning different cultures, languages, and different styles of basketball has opened my eyes up. I have been to places that I usually just see on television. I am really living out a dream and I will not take it for granted.
Dan: What are your thoughts on this current Texas Tech basketball squad that has cracked the Top 25? Any advice to the current players?
Toddrick: The team this year is very deep and all around a great team. Led by seniors and they have great pieces around them. They are definitely a top 25 team and will make some noise in the Big XII and the NCAA Tournament. This team has what it takes to go very far and I cannot wait to see. Due to the time difference from Europe to Texas, I even stay up extra late around 3 am sometimes just to watch the games and support. I am very proud of this team. The advice I will give is to keep going and playing the way that they are playing. Coach Beard knows what he is doing and I will tell the Seniors to keep leading!
Dan: Finally, our favorite question… What does it mean to you to be a Red Raider?
Toddrick: It means everything to be a Red Raider. To be a part of that Double T is special. I still wear my Double T clothing out in Europe and sometimes people will recognize it. Tell me “Guns Up”. I believe it is one of my proudest achievements of my life. I have met so many great people and have so many opportunities just from being a Red Raider. Texas Tech is the greatest university in the world!
A very special Staking The Plains THANKS from all of us here for Toddrick to take a moment with us. You can follow him at @Leagueme_0 on twitter. We all wish the best to him and his family as he keeps playing the game he loves overseas, and makes all of us proud we can call him a fellow Red Raider. Wreck ’em Tech!!!