I had wondered about where things sit after the portal window sort of closed and the teams are sitting where they are at regardless as to whether or not their roster is finished. In the case of Texas Tech, I was pretty well sure that the projections would not be favorable given that this team has lost a few main pieces, Kevin Obanor, Jaylon Tyson, Fardaws Aimaq, and De’Vion Harmon that really powered the offense last year.
As you all are well aware, I’m a huge fan of Bart Torvik’s site, T-Rank (if you hover above Funalytics you can click on the 2024 projections and this changes daily, so my table won’t be 100% correct), and the projections aren’t as bad as I thought they’d be. One other thing to keep in mind is that this is supposed to be fun and are mathematical projections, not gospel.
Hindsight is always 20/20 and if I’ve learned anything, it’s the idea that continuity is good, being experienced is also good, being versatile and rangy is terrific, and having a couple of good ball-handlers that can create offense is what can drive a team to a good bit of success. The continuity is retaining Pop Isaacs, Lamar Washington, and Robert Jennings. Jennings isn’t even on the projected roster so for T-Rank so let that factor into the equation. Continuity and experience in retaining Kerwin Walton and D’Maurian Williams. There’s length and players playing bigger than their size with Jennings, KyeRon Lindsey, Darrion Williams, and Devan Cambridge. And the entire transfer class of Cambridge, Warren Washington, Joe Toussaint, Darrion, and Chance McMillon, all adding experience to the roster as well.
Based on T-Rank, the team is better off than my guess from a national projections standpoint and of course, this really doesn’t take into account that the team, the players, may be happier and possibly playing with less distraction.
Statistically, this looks about right, although with Houston losing so much talent, I don’t know that they’ll be that high as the season progresses. Texas is probably right there with Kansas from a talent standpoint and Baylor isn’t far behind. I don’t know why I’ve never really been a believer in TCU, I am for whatever reason not sure that they are better than Baylor, but that’s probably based off of history because I haven’t studied their team. I do know both Baylor and TCU lost a bunch from last year’s team, George and Flagler for Baylor and Miles for TCU. From Texas Tech’s end of things, I think this seems about right, a very good defense, but maybe an offense that struggles to put the ball in the hoop. Lots of this depends on the ability of players like Pop Isaacs, Lamar Washington, and Robert Jennings to really develop a bit more offensively and that goes for the transfers as well, replacing double-digit scorers like Tyson, Obanor, and Harmon won’t be easy.
If you dig into Torvik’s projections for Texas Tech, which we’ll delve into in a bit more detail later, Isaacs, Toussaint, Washington, Williams, and Cambridge are all expected to score close to double-figures with Washington, Williams, and Cambridge expected to carry the load on the glass. I personally don’t think that Isaacs will have that high of an assist rate, my thought is that Toussaint and McMillian will be your primary passers with Isaacs playing off the ball along with Walton.
The overall point though is that I think this is a tournament-worthy team and when McCasland was hired, he was a long ways away from that. The transfer class is quite strong, although I think we all wish there was more size, there are good teams that don’t have multiple bigs and as long as they can defend and switch, which is really what I think Texas Tech’s lineup is going to be really good at.