LAJ’s Krista Pirtle wrote a handful of articles to preview the season and I thought we’d blockquote a few and links to all of them, somewhat of a way to get acclimated to the season, which is set to start on Friday night against Houston Baptist at 6:30 at the United Supermarkets Arena. If you thought things were busy before just you wait.
Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard talked about his coaching journey where he pretty much started at Texas Tech and has come back to that initial stop:
“I always respected (Bob Knight),” Beard said. “I watched a lot of Indiana basketball growing up, even though I was from Texas, because I felt comfortable with the way they played. The pace of play coach Knight played with is the pace of play we like. So the chance to get with, in my mind, my idol and one day work with him was pretty special.”
Beard will have a deep rotation this year, in large part because of a hanful of transfers to the team. Beard gave quotes to Pirtle about each player and here’s the one about Anthony Livingston:
“Anthony has a special talent. At Little Rock we played against him. He’s a great combination of skill and size. He’s a guy who, in my opinion, can play basketball after college. I think he can be one of the impact players in the Big 12.”
Again, there’s more on each transfer, JUCO and graduate transfer.
Pirtle also has quotes from each of the seniors this year and they each talked about how they grew up playing and I’ll blockquote the one from Matthew Temple, but go check out the rest of them.
“I played a lot of sports growing up. Basketball was just one of them. Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, basketball was probably the fifth or sixth most popular sport. It really wasn’t the same exposure to the game and intensity that guys growing up in the states got to go through. It was more of a hobby for me growing up because it wasn’t very popular compared to other sports. Most of my playing I got in with my dad and my brother just playing in the driveway or going up to the school on weekends and playing around. Then when I was living in the states, my dad asked me if I was sure I’d make a varsity team. That kind of hit me. He just had no idea what kind of competition level there was here. Growing up I didn’t take it seriously, like it was something I could play in college. I guess that started coming probably my senior year of high school.”
Pirtle writes about the mental aspect of the team how the team responded when Beard was hired to the team’s motto this year, 4:1:
“Four is to mental and one is to physical,” junior Norense Odiase said. “Basketball is four times more mental than physical. To get a stop defensively, it’s mental to get the stop after 10 extra seconds rather than to give up the play.
“Fine tuning of those aspects will make us stronger.”
I’d imagine that when you see 4:1, this is what they’re talking about and I’d guess that you’ll see lots of hashtags as the season progresses.
Pirtle takes a closer look at the Big 12 Conference and the juggernaut known as Kansas, who should have the best team and the best players again.