Texas Tech Basketball: Has Texas Tech Built a Modern Roster?

Evan Miyakawa wrote a terrific post about how to build a modern NCAA basketball roster. We’re going to get to that, but also wanted to mention that Miyakawa also runs EvanMiya a stats focused website that I should use more often (old habits of going to the same sites). Let’s get to the 3 keys:

1. Fill your roster with good basketball players.
2. Returning players should account for at least 50% of the playing time.
3. Prioritize recruiting players who will play at least 2 seasons for you.

Now, there’s lengthy explanations so please go read the whole thing.

1. Good Players. Man, this is subjective and difficult to point to given that talent sort of proves itself out. There’s also the note that every team in the Top 10 finished with a top 100 player and last year, JT Toppin finished 139th in EvanMiya’s rankings and if you take out every player that graduated and/or moved on to professional basketball, Toppin would be pretty close. And for comparison purposes, T-Rank had Toppin 144th overall and that list has seniors listed and T-Rank’s list has the classification and there are 89 seniors on that top 150 list so Toppin would have a pretty good chance of being a top 100 player. I also did projections from EvanMiya and T-Rank to give an objective idea as to the returning players and portal talent. EvanMiya had Texas Tech as the 30th best team in the nation and 7th in the Big 12 with Texas Tech having the 10th best incoming transfer rank. T-Rank projects Texas Tech to be the 20th best team in the nation and 6th in the Big 12.

2. Returning Starters at Least 50% Minutes Played. Miyakawa does a lot of math and concludes that top 10 finishing teams have returning starters play about 60% of the minutes, transfers play about 23%, freshmen account for 17%, and the average number of transfers is 2.1. The minimum for returning minutes is 50% and that seems to be a pretty critical point.

I did total minutes and Texas Tech just barely falls short of the 50% threshold, the returning minutes is 46% (3,170 returns out of a total of 6,825). I think the one key factor is that if/when Devan Cambridge returns, that would be a 20 to 30 minute guy had he been healthy all of last year and that likely would have put Texas Tech over the threshold.

3. Recruiting Players for 2 Seasons. This has been a bit tricky. Last year’s roster had 2 players that were going to be one-and-done, Joe Toussaint and Warren Washington and I think possibly Devan Cambridge. Because Cambridge gets a redshirt, that changes a bit so he has a 2nd year now.

Texas Tech’s current haul includes Elijah Hawkins and Federiko Federiko who will both be done after this year (barring injury). JT Toppin and Kevin Overton have at least 2 years and then there are freshmen Christian Anderson, Leon Horner and Jazz Henderson. That means that the majority of the roster are two-year players. Darrion Williams, Chance McMillian, Devan Cambridge, Kerwin Walton, and Eemeli Yalaho. Since Toppin has already tested the waters for the NBA Draft, I would expect this to be sort of a one-time deal for him, but I’d love to have him back for 2 years.


Likely has a top 100 player.

Just short of 50% of minutes returning, 46% is close.

Prioritize 2-year players. Mostly check. Toppin, Overton, Anderson, Horner, and Henderson check that box and I think the staff is definitely recruiting impact freshmen for next year’s class

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