Texas Tech basketball and head coach Chris Beard have been busy over the last month, including the commitments of Zhaire Smith and Malik Ondigo while Jordan Brangers wrangled his way out of his commitment to Texas Tech to transfer to Western Kentucky (which is where Brangers is from). Knowing all of that, I thought it would be good to take a look at the scholarship numbers.
|Keenan Evans (6-3/185)
|Hyron Edwards (6-0/175)
|Josh Webster (6-3)
|Shadell Millinghaus (6-2/195)
|Brandone Francis (6-5/210)
|Jarrett Culver (6-6/180)
|Justin Gray (6-6/210)
|Niem Stevenson (6-5/205)
|Zhaire Smith (6-5/190)
|Zach Smith (6-8/220)
|Daniel Mading (6-9/200)
|Norense Odiase (6-9/255)
|Tommy Hamilton IV (6-11/260)
A couple of notes about the table. I’m adding up the black boxes to get the totals at the bottom of the table. Each black box represents a year of eligibility and each red box represents a redshirt year available. It would seem unlikely that Evans, Gray or Smith would use that redshirt year, but you never know.
This is a pretty balanced team, much more balanced than when the season ended and we weren’t sure who was going to commit.
In the backcourt, this will be interesting because I think the idea will be to combine Josh Webster and Keenan Evans, Webster at the shooting guard and Evans at the point. Hyron Edwards is going to be a pretty good combo-guard, someone who can play both the point and can shoot. I have Brandone Francis at shooting guard because it gets a little crowded, same thing for Jarrett Culver, but as you can see, the small forward position is pretty loaded as well.
The shooting guards and small forwards, other than Justin Gray who I think is purely a small forward, are probably interchangable, although we’ve never seen Francis, but if you play Francis and Gray together, that’s a pretty big shooting guard and small forward combination.
The power forward and center combinations got much better as a result of the commitments and signings of Mading and Ondigo. Prior to that, this was a group that didn’t have a ton of young depth and Mading and Ondigo immediately give them young size. With Zach Smith and Tommy Hamilton likely on their last year, this opens up time for Mading and Ondigo with Odiase receiving a redshirt year from not really playing in 2016.
And it will be interesting to see what Zhaire Smith and Jarrett Culver grow into in terms of their size and position. Zhaire is very raw, but is a freak athlete, while Culver is a bit more refined and if he really can play shooting guard at 6’6″, that’s pretty great.
The other item to note here is that there are only 13 scholarships for each year and as of right now, Texas Tech is at 14, which means that one player won’t return. I don’t want to speculate (particularly because I don’t have a clue) but it will work out in some form or fashion.
The other key here is that Beard will most likely have 4-5 scholarships next year, at a minimum.