Big 12 Previews

Texas Tech Red Raiders Basketball: 2020-21 Season Preview

NCAA Basketball: Cal. State - Bakersfield at Texas Tech

Leading up to the opening of the 2020-21 Big 12 Men’s basketball season Heartland College Sports will analyze each of the Big 12 men’s basketball teams. Today it’s the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

2019-20 Season Recap

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.

Top returning 2020-21 leaders

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).

2019-20 seniors/lettermen/transfers lost: G Davide Moretti (13.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg), F TJ Holyfield (8.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg), G Chris Clarke (5.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, team-leading 137 assists). G Jahmi’us Ramsey (15.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg), G Deshawn Corprew transferred to Texas A&M. C Russel Tchewa transferred to USF. F Andrei Savrasov transferred to Georgia Southern.

 

Recruiting

Recruits signed: 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); C Vladislav Goldin, 7-foot-1, Putnam Science Academy (Putnam, CT/Nalchick, Russia).

According to 247Sports.com, the class was No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 9 nationally (it’s the best overall class in Tech history). 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. Goldin is a late-comer to the recruiting class and will probably redshirt. F Esahia Nyiwe was part of the class but is not on the Texas Tech roster. And no one seems to know why.

Looking ahead to 2021, the Red Raiders have just one signee, but it’s a good one — 6-foot-6 forward Jaylon Tyson out of John Paul II High School in Plano, Texas. He’s another Top 100 recruit for the Red Raiders, rated No. 51 by 247Sports.com.

Transfers eligible for 2020-21 season: F Joel Ntambwe (UNLV), G Jamarius Burton (Wichita State), G Mac McClung (Georgetown) and F Marcus Santos-Silva (Virginia Commonwealth) are all eligible to play this season.

Transfers expected to sit out in 2020-21: None.

 

Looking ahead to 2020-21

On one hand, Texas Tech looks gutted. Holyfield and Clarke ran out of eligibility. Ramsey opted for the NBA and was drafted by the Sacramento Kings (along with fellow Big 12 alum Tyrese Haliburton of Iowa State). Moretti left to play professionally in his native Italy. Tchewa, who had a bright future, transferred out. That’s basically a starting lineup for the Red Raiders. But, on the other hand, head coach Chris Beard seems to excel at circling the wagons. But let’s start with what is returning. Edwards is coming off a fine season and should be Tech’s No. 1 option from the jump. Shannon is crazy athletic and refining his game. McCullar came on late last season. Avery Benson is a gritty reserve guard, while Clarence Nalondy played little and Tyreek Smith redshirted. If that was all the Red Raiders had coming back, that would be cause for concern. But Beard owned the transfer market once again. Ntwambe was supposed to play last year, but couldn’t get the waiver. At UNLV he averaged 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in his freshman year. He’ll get a shot to start. Santos-Silva, a grad transfer, averaged nearly a double-double two years ago. Burton averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assist per game as a sophomore. McClung, who received his waiver in October, averaged 14 points per game at Georgetown. Ntambwe and Santos-Silva can solidify the interior, while Burton and McClung can bolster the perimeter. I mean, these four guys could hit the floor with Edwards and the Red Raiders would be competitive immediately. Then toss in the recruiting class and you have the potential for great depth. The only player on the roster that probably isn’t ready to compete right now is Goldin. As mentioned, Burnett and Peavy are Top 40 recruits and they’re not in Lubbock to sit. Considering what the Red Raiders lost, Beard did incredible work keeping the program competitive entering this season. This Red Raiders team could look a lot like last year’s team — one that starts a bit slow and gathers steam as the season goes on. Remember that last year’s group really hit its stride after the Big 12-SEC Challenge game with Kentucky in late January.

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