Jeff Goodman reported that Fardaws Aimaq is out at least until February. That would be bad, real bad, but it is also dependent on how much Daniel Batch is improved over last year. At least to me that’s important.
SI ranks every college basketball team and they have Texas Tech at #17:
Texas Tech (4th in Big 12): Mark Adams’s patented no-middle defense gives the Red Raiders a high floor. And while there are plenty of new faces, this transfer-heavy bunch has plenty of offensive upside. The frontcourt duo of Kevin Obanor and Utah Valley transfer Fardaws Aimaq should be hard to stop, assuming Aimaq recovers well from an offseason foot injury.
For comparison purposes, Baylor is at #6, Kansas at #9, Texas at #12, and TCU at #22.
ESPN’s Pete Thamel reports that Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark met with Gonzaga athletic director Chris Standiford in the Dallas area as the Bulldogs were there to scrimmage Tennessee.
The move backs up Yormark’s promises of the Big 12 to be aggressive and “open for business,” and it could end up shifting the landscape of college basketball.
Sources indicate that Gonzaga has been exploring its conference options, as it has emerged as one of the premier basketball programs in the country. Both the Pac-12 and the Big East have been engaged with Gonzaga, according to sources, but the extent of those conversations is uncertain.
Gonzaga plays in the West Coast Conference, a mid-major conference it has consistently dominated as it has grown into one of the top programs in the sport. The school has been transparent with the WCC about its conversations.
The Big 12 targeting Gonzaga as a potential addition to bolster its basketball isn’t a surprise, as the conference has been regarded in recent seasons as the top basketball league in the country. The Big 12 boasts the past two men’s basketball national champions — Kansas and Baylor — and was an overtime loss by Texas Tech in 2019 from having three consecutive NCAA champions.
The addition of Gonzaga to the Big 12 would be a massive shift in the landscape, as it would perpetuate the Big 12’s reputation atop the sport. Gonzaga’s men’s basketball program played in the national title game in 2017 and 2021. Gonzaga has been a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament in four of the past five years.
I would love to add a program like Gonzaga, but . . . adding an only basketball school doesn’t add a ton of value I don’t think. It would be great for content and I would think that whatever payout they might get from the Big 12 would be bigger than what they are getting from the West Coast Conference. And the other aspect is that it would seem that Gonzaga would be a match for the Pac-12, but maybe not? I would think that maybe the Bulldogs would be a contingency for the Pac-12 as they might look to expand, but would think that San Diego State and SMU and maybe Boise State (not so sure about them though) would bring more value.
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams writes about how it will be difficult to stop TCU on any level:
The Horned Frogs are the only team in the FBS this season averaging at least 300 yards passing, 200 yards rushing with at least 20 TDs apiece on the ground and through the air. They lead the FBS with 14 scoring plays of at least 50 yards.
“The biggest thing is speed,” DeRuyter said. “That’s a really, really fast football team.
“They’re playing with a lot of confidence. I think that starts with the quarterback. I think he’s playing with a lot of confidence. He’s a veteran guy, he’s seen a lot of different defensive schemes and he knows where to go with the ball.”
Red Raider Sports’ Justin Apodaca writes from the media scrum with Tyree Wilson and Tony Bradford and what needs to happen against TCU:
“You know, last week we struggled,” Wilson said. “We need to get lined up to certain things, motions. We need our linebackers to set us right, play our gaps to be able to stop the run.”
Bradford echoed the same sentiment as Wilson but said that the TCU offense runs through breakout quarterback Max Duggan.
“I mean, TCU is full of athletes, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to stop that quarterback, he’s the is the heart of that offense,” Bradford said. “So, once we take care of him first we’ll worry about that as well., but we also understand that we do have to stop that run game. So that’s what we’re going to do.”