#118 Texas Tech Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Texas Tech Red Raiders

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #118
Conference Rank: #9 Big 12

Texas Tech Team Page#118 Texas Tech Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Texas Tech Basketball Tickets

During his first year at Texas Tech, Coach Tubby Smith suffered through his first ever losing season. The Red Raiders were hovering around .500 until a six game losing streak in late February and early March put an end to any hope of a winning overall record. There is rebuilding to do, but now Coach Smith can bring in his own players and seriously start to turn the Red Raiders program around.

2013-14 Record: 14-18, 5-10
2013-14 Postseason: None
Coach: Tubby Smith
Coach Record: 14-18 at Texas Tech, 525-244 overall

Who’s Out:
Texas Tech does lose four of their top five scorers to either graduation or transfer. Jaye Crockett led the team with 13.9 points and 6.4 rebounds. Jordan Tolbert was the only other double digit scorer, finishing right behind Crockett in the scoring and rebounding departments. Tolbert is headed to SMU. The team’s fourth leading scorer, Dusty Hannahs, is headed to Arkansas. Dejan Kravic was the team’s interior scoring threat. He also blocked 82 shots over the last two seasons. Jamal Williams saw his playing time decrease during his senior season and averaged just 11.1 minutes per game.

Who’s In:
The Red Raiders could field a pretty good team with just their six newcomers. Junior college teammates Devauntah Williams and Justin Jamison figure to make the biggest impact this year. Williams is a big-time scorer and should emerge as one of the team’s top shooters. Jamison, a former baseball player, will give the Red Raiders a big body in the paint. At 6-9 and 260 pounds, he can take up a lot of space. He may not be a major scoring threat, but Jamison is efficient and will work hard on the glass and on the defensive end. With very little returning options in the frontcourt, Jamison will have to be ready to play major minutes. That is also true for incoming freshmen Norense Odiase and Zach Smith. At 6-9 and 265 pounds, Odiase is another big body who can eat up space in the paint. Smith is a more athletic option and could be the top rebounder on the team as a freshman. By all accounts, small forward Justin Gray is the most talented freshmen on the roster. At 6-5, he could help out the frontcourt and spend some time at the four spot if Coach Smith opts to play small. He is athletic enough and a good enough rebounder to play there against most opponents. However, his future is at small forward. Kennan Evans is a talented combo guard who will at least add a big scoring punch off of the bench.

Who to Watch:
Despite all of the potential of the newcomers, Texas Tech will rely on some returning players. Most notable is in the backcourt where Robert Turner, Toddrick Gotcher and Randy Onwuasor will battle for major minutes. Turner was Coach Smith’s first signee coming out of the junior college ranks last season and he turned into a major contributor for the Red Raiders, starting all 32 contests and averaging 9.3 points and 2.6 assists. He will be the one who needs to turn into a leader and get all of the new faces involved. Gotcher stepped into a part-time starting role as a sophomore and averaged 7.3 points per game. With the influx of talent on the perimeter, Gotcher may see his minutes decrease if his shot does not fall more consistently. Onwuasor, a 6-3 combo guard, committed too many turnovers and went just 3-for-20 from beyond the arc as a freshman, but he is a good athlete who will be more consistent with that year of experience under his belt.

Final Projection:
The two things that will determine how good this team will be this season will be the depth of the frontcourt and the production of all of the newcomers. Aaron Ross, a 6-8 sophomore who averaged less than ten minutes per game in 2013-2014, is likely out until January with an injury and Alex Foster, another 6-8 sophomore, barely played at all last year. That means just about all of the minutes in the frontcourt will need to come from the newcomers. If they are not ready, it will be a long season for Texas Tech. For now, a winning record and a trip to the CBI will be a very good stepping stone for the program.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Robert Turner, Senior, Guard, 9.3 points per game
Devaugntah Williams, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Toddrick Gotcher, Junior, Guard, 7.3 points per game
Justin Gray, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Justin Jamison, Junior, Forward, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.4 (241st in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.4 (129, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.6 (99, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.7 (176, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.4 (334, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.1 (NR)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.8 (70, 3)
Rebound Margin: 3.0 (83, 4)
Assists Per Game: 11.4 (262, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.0 (144, 7)


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