#31 Texas Tech Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Texas Tech Red Raiders
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #31
Conference Rank: #5 Big 12
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2017-18 was Texas Tech’s best season since they joined the Big 12 in 1996. The Red Raiders won 27 games and made it to the Elite Eight where they lost to eventual national champion Villanova. However, this season Texas Tech will be without six players from the 10-man rotation they used last year. Stars Keenan Evans and Zhaire Smith are gone, and Chris Beard will have to continue to prove he can win with some new faces. The Red Raiders should still have enough returning talent and incoming players to remain competitive in the Big 12 and get back to the NCAA Tournament.
2017-18 Record: 27-10, 11-7
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Chris Beard
Coach Record: 45-24 at Texas Tech, 141-54 overall
Key Departed Players:
Keenan Evans, Guard, 17.6 ppg
Zhaire Smith, Guard, 11.3 ppg
Niem Stevenson, Guard, 7.5 ppg
Zach Smith, Forward, 6.2 ppg

Tommy Hamilton, Forward, 5.4 ppg
Justin Gray, Forward, 5.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Jarrett Culver, Sophomore, Guard, 11.2 ppg
Brandone Francis, Senior, Guard, 5.1 ppg

Norense Odiase, Senior, Forward, 3.8 ppg
Davide Moretti, Sophomore, Guard, 3.5 ppg
Malik Ondigo, Sophomore, Forward, 1.1 ppg

Key New Players:
Deshawn Corprew, Sophomore, Guard, Junior College Transfer

Kyler Edwards, Freshman, Guard
Josh Mballa, Freshman, Forward
Matt Mooney, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from South Dakota
Khavon Moore, Freshman, Forward
Tariq Owens, Senior, Forward, Grad Transfer from St. John’s
The leading returning scorer for the Red Raiders is sophomore Jarrett Culver. Zhaire Smith received all the hype, but Culver is an NBA prospect in his own right. Culver averaged 11.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals as a freshman. Culver has the potential to become an All-Big 12 member this season. Brandone Francis, Norense Odiase and Davide Moretti are the other returning rotation players from last year’s Elite Eight squad. Francis is a sharpshooting senior guard who averaged 5.1 points while shooting 38.4% from three last season. Odiase is a fifth-year senior big man who has been hindered by injuries throughout his college career. Odiase played in 37 games last season, averaging 3.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in only 14.8 minutes per game. Moretti was only a backup to Keenan Evans last season, but this year he’ll likely be handed the keys as the starting point guard. Moretti has experience playing overseas and should improve upon his 3.5 points and 1.1 assists he averaged in 12.3 minutes per game as a freshman. Malik Ondigo also returns after playing in just 14 games as a freshman. The Red Raiders will have three transfers joining the roster, two of which are graduate transfers. Matt Mooney was a big-time player at South Dakota, earning two All-Summit League First Team selections. Mooney averaged 18.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.0 steals last season and should instantly make an impact at Texas Tech. Tariq Owens started 26 games for St. John’s last season, averaging 8.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.8 blocks. Owens could become a starter in his only season with the Red Raiders. Deshawn Corprew transferred in from junior college where he averaged 12.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Chris Beard also brought in three true freshman this offseason. Khavon Moore is the highlight of the freshman class as a four-star, top-60 prospect who is a 6-8 forward with big-time potential. Kyler Edwards was a three-star, top-200 prospect while Josh Mballa was unranked out of France. Chris Beard has proven to be one of the top rising coaches in the nation and he has another talented team to work with this season. The Red Raiders are unlikely to repeat last year’s success but should find themselves in the middle of the Big 12 race yet again.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.6 (154th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.8 (16, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.0 (109, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.1 (11, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.8 (258, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.9 (119, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.4 (221, 8)
Rebound Margin: 3.6 (59, 3)
Assists Per Game: 14.3 (119, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.3 (117, 6)
Madness 2019 NBA Draft Rankings:
#23 Jarrett Culver
Madness 2018 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#48 Khavon Moore