Texas Tech Hoops – Getting into the Rankings

Texas Tech (10-1) will begin Big 12 conference play tomorrow against the Texas Longhorns (8-4). Taking a look at the non-conference schedule and record is something that I wanted to note, because this squad has accomplished a lot so far to kickoff the 2015-16 season. Let’s take a quick look at some of the things that our Red Raiders have done in terms of ratings.

According to kenpom.com Texas Tech is currently the #42 highest rated team, with their adjusted offense rated #93 and adjusted defense rated #23. To those that don’t follow these stats on a regular basis, to be in the top 100 in both AdjO + AdjD is outstanding for a Tech team that was picked to finish #10 in the Big 12 preseason poll.

The Pomeroy site of advanced analysis has a projected record right now of Texas Tech going 8-10 in the Big 12, and finishing the season with an 18-12 regular season record. This “projected record is based on cumulative probabilities of winning each game and may not equal the sum of individual game predictions”. But, it is by far the best I have seen the Red Raiders in a long time.

All the projections we are looking at are theories based off computer analysis. But, if you have been watching the games you don’t need to be only encouraged by the computers and numbers. The team is looking better as a unit and as players on the court. The mistakes have been cut back by a more experienced bunch and the offense and defense seem to flow much more efficiently then the past few seasons. Tubby Smith and staff are working their magic.

Our Texas Tech team has closed out their non-conference schedule with only one loss to a then ranked #16 Utah team. The ESPN RPI Rankings have us ranked #5! According to their site the strength of schedule that Texas Tech has played is ranked as the #14 hardest schedule out of the entire D-1 college basketball world. Again, let that sink in and be proud of playing that difficult of a schedule has resulted in only 1 loss for our team.

With all the ratings and rankings out there, it really comes down to two polls that most college basketball fans really care about. The AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll. If you are a top 25 team in these polls you are on the national stage for all fans and media to pay attention that you are one of the best teams in the country. I have to admit that every week no matter what the numbers or stats say about a team, I read who is ranked in the top 25 polls. It is a human vote that pays more respect to a basketball program over anything that an AdjO or AdjD rating could ever give.

On Monday we finally received the respect of a few, and had some votes cast for Texas Tech to be in the top 25 in both the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll. It has been a really long time since that has happened. This is my 5th year to be writing about Tech basketball on DTN/VTM, or STP and I have never had the pleasure of writing about our team receiving votes in the top 25.

It is such a great feeling to have the Texas Tech basketball program trending in the correct direction! Seth said it best…

Now that we are getting respect, and have shown we can be a team that can hang with anyone outside the Big 12 we need to keep climbing. Let’s cheer for our squad to get a victory tomorrow against the Longhorns. It will be one more step, and it will be a huge one. The Big 12 ranked us as the #10 team in the preseason, but none of that matters now. It only matters where we finish at… and I’d love to see us get a few more votes next Monday to get even closer to making it into those exclusive top 25 polls. Wreck ’em Tech!!!

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