Big 12 Sports Articles

Texas Tech Red Raiders Basketball 2019-20 Season Review

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Texas Tech

Record: 18-13 (9-9 in Big 12)

Postseason: All postseason tournament action was canceled due the coronavirus. Texas Tech was tracking as a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament. 

Seniors losing: F TJ Holyfield (8.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg), G Chris Clarke (5.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, team-leading 137 assists). 

Any NBA Bound?: Holyfield and Clarke should draw interest as undrafted free agents. A two-way NBA/G-League contract would be a win for either player.   

Any One-and-dones or early entries?: G Jahmi’us Ramsey is ‘testing the waters’ for the NBA Draft, which means if he doesn’t sign with an agent he can withdraw his name from the draft pool before June 15. 

 

Any transfers: G Deshawn Corprew submitted his name to the transfer portal. C Russel Tchewa transferred to USF.

G Jamarius Burton transferred from Wichita State and F Marcus Santos-Silva transferred from VCU.

Heading overseas: G Davide Moretti (13.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg) announced is leaving the Red Raiders to play in Europe, sources told ESPN. He has reportedly agreed to a multiyear deal with Olimpia Milano of Serie A in his native Italy.

Top players expected to return: G Jahmi’us Ramsey (15.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg), G Kyler Edwards (11.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg), G Terrence Shannon Jr. (9.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg), G Kevin McCullar (6.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg).  

The player(s) you don’t know about: The Red Raiders were hoping that F Joel Ntambwe would be able to play last season, but the NCAA nixed his waiver that would have allowed him immediate eligibility. But, going into next season, he has the chance to make an immediate impact in the frontcourt and take the spot vacated by Holyfield. Ntambwe scored 11.8 points per game and grabbed 5.5 rebounds per game in his freshman season at UNLV (where, oddly, Tech head coach Chris Beard was head coach for about three weeks a few years ago). 

2020 recruiting class: G Nimari Burnett, 6-foot-3, Prolific Prep (Napa, CA); F Micah Peavy, 6-foot-7, Duncanville (Duncanville, TX); F Chibuzo Agbo Jr., 6-foot-7, St. Augustine (San Diego, CA); F Esahia Nyiwe, 6-foot-10, Clarendon College (Clarendon, TX).

According to 247Sports.com, the class was No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 9 nationally. Burnett and Peavy were Top 40 recruits nationally, and Peavy is a nice get, solidifying the Duncanville pipeline (Ramsey went to Duncanville High School as well). Burnett and Peavy could play immediately, but they’ll have to fight for the playing time. Meanwhile, Nyiwe is a late-comer to the recruiting class, coming from the juco ranks, and he brings a unique skill set to the table. 

Commitments yet to sign: The Red Raiders don’t appear to have any additional signings for the 2020 class, per 247Sports.com.

 

Summarizing the season: Texas Tech fans probably expected a come-down from the run to the national championship game in the 2019 Final Four. And that’s what they got, tought it wasn’t nearly as much of a come-down as a 19-win season suggests. Ramsey proved himself to be one of the best players in the 2019 recruiting class, and from the Kentucky loss on he was probably one of the Top 10 players in the Big 12. Moretti was up-and-down throughout the year, but found a groove late in the season, too. The Red Raiders were hoping that Edwards would grow as a player, and he ended up being the third player to average double figures last season and became a legitimate threat from the 3-point arc. Outside of Ramsey, Shannon became the other ‘freshman’ to make a significant impact, especially in the back half of the Big 12 season. Holyfield and Clarke made significant contributions as transfers, but not quite the impacts that Tariq Owens and Matt Mooney during the run to the national championship game the year before. By season’s end, the Red Raiders had proven to be a very good team and one that no one would have wanted to play in the NCAA Tournament. 

Ramsey was the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Second-Team selection, Newcomer Team and Freshman Team. Shannon was selected to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team. 

Looking ahead to 2020-21: Man this team looks dangerous next season. Losing Moretti definitely hurts and is somewhat unexpected, however Holyfield and Clarke aren’t death blows by any means. Losing Ramsey would be, but the odds are good he’ll be back, as the NBA scouting process this season is unlike any other, and returning to Lubbock would allow him to play with Peavy, his former Duncanville teammate. So let’s assume he will be back. That would mean the Red Raiders return three of their top four scorers from last season. Both transfers averaged double figures last season, too. Santos-Silva is a grad transfer and is eligible immediately. The Red Raiders will have to wait to see if Burton is eligible. Ntambwe averaged double-figures during his one season at UNLV. So if everything breaks right the Red Raiders would have six players that have averaged double digits in a season at the Division I level, and a seventh in Shannon who nearly got there. Now, you add in two exceptional recruiting classes and Beard has a deep well of players to choose from to fill out the rotation. The Red Raiders are one of the teams in the Big 12 that could challenge Baylor and Kansas next season. 

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