Two days ago, while I’m out here wasting all sorts of time waiting for my internet to come back, Texas Tech announced their Big 12 schedule with the thought that the full schedule will be released sometime soon. Conference games will start December 17th, against Kansas at home, and then at Oklahoma before the Christmas and New Year’s break.
Here’s head coach Chris Beard:
“Every season there are 10 teams that are NCAA tournament teams in the Big 12,” Beard said. “It’s a tough conference every year. This year is no different with teams that can make the Final Four and win the national championship. There is a standard of excellence in this conference. You’re going against the best every night and always have to be ready to fight. It’s tough and exciting. We intend to be a part of the fight to win the championship.”
The other bit of news is that Texas Tech was picked to finish 5th the Big 12 this year, with the predicted order of finish as follows:
1. Baylor (7) 79
2. Kansas (3) 73
3. West Virginia 61
4. Texas 58
5. Texas Tech 53
6. Oklahoma 39
7. Oklahoma State 35
8. Iowa State 19
9. TCU 18
10. Kansas State 15
The number in parenthesis is the first place votes and the other number is the tally of the votes. Remember these are voted by the coaches or their sports information directors.
Rob Dauster is a terrific basketball writer and he previews the Big 12. This is one of those you sit down and just enjoy and read and you may not agree with it, but you’ll enjoy reading it. Dauster picks Texas Tech 3rd, behind Baylor and Kansas and I’m probably pretty well in line with that. Dauster has a ton of content, but there’s also this, which I do think has been Texas Tech’s biggest problem:
2. HAS TEXAS TECH SOLVED THEIR POINT GUARD CONUNDRUM?
The biggest issue that the Red Raiders had a season ago was that they couldn’t figure out their lead guard situation. Jahmi’Us Ramsey was their best player, but he had more or less morphed into a shooter by the end of the season. Davide Moretti was a useful piece, a good team defender and knockdown shooter, but he wasn’t going to be breaking down defenses. The staff kept waiting for Kyler Edwards to make the leap and become the consistent presence they needed him to be. They were waiting, and waiting, and waiting.
This year, we still have some of those same questions. I do think that Edwards is going to be better as a junior. He’s going to have to be in the Red Raiders are going to reach their ceiling. Nimari Burnett should be able to lessen some of that burden given his combo-abilities, and if Mac McClung can get eligible, he becomes a third option.
Chris Beard has some talent at his disposal. Terrence Shannon has a chance to be a breakout star, and the combination of Joel Ntambwe and Marcus Santos-Silva should program some physicality inside. But the key Beard’s two best teams in Lubbock were his guards. He had Keenan Evans and Jarrett Culver in 2018, and he had Culver and Matt Mooney in 2019.
Can Burnett and Edwards live up to those expectations?
I encourage you to read the whole thing.
One last bit, Jon Rothstein tweeted that Texas Tech will play Sam Houston State and Houston as part of a regional sort of tournament and Boise State is the 4th team include (who is obviously not regional).