TCU had their way with the Texas Tech Red Raiders a year ago, sweeping the season series, picking up the first road Big 12 win in the program's history in the process. Since being hired in 2013, Tubby Smith has been working to rebuild the Texas Tech program. As a result, the Red Raiders enter the season as one of the youngest teams in the country. The Frogs will look to continue their success against a Texas Tech team picked to finish last in the Big 12 for the second consecutive season.
Games 18 & 28: Texas Tech Red Raiders
Date: Monday, January 18
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena - Fort Worth, TX
Date: Tuesday, February 23
Time: 8:00 PM
Location: United Supermarkets Arena - Lubbock, TX
Know the Foe
SB Nation: Viva The Matadors
Big 12 Preseason Ranking: 10th
Location: Lubbock, TX
Head Coach: Tubby Smith
2014-2015 Record: 13-19 (3-15, 10th)
Key Losses: G Robert Turner, G Randy Onwuasor
Key Returners: G Devaugntah Williams, G Toddrick Gotcher, C Norense Odiase
New Additions: G Jordan Jackson, G C.J. Williamson, G Devon Thomas
As was mentioned previously, Tubby Smith has been working hard to build the Texas Tech program from the ground up. Entering his fourth season, Smith now has a roster composed entirely of players recruited by him. As a result, the Red Raiders are a very young team. The good news for Texas Tech is that the team returns a big chunk of their roster. The bad news is that Tech finished 317th out of 346 Division I teams in scoring last season, averaging 60.9 points per game. With the graduation of Robert Turner, the team's second-leading scorer, the Red Raiders will be without his 8.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. The only other major loss suffered by Tech is Randy Onwuasor, who transferred to Southern Utah, taking his 4.2 points and 2.7 rebounds average with him.
The team's only double-digit scorer, Devaugntah Williams, returns for his senior season, looking to be the leader of this Red Raiders team. Williams led the team with 10.5 points per game last year. Toddrick Gotcher and Norense Odiase also return. Gotcher and Odiase were two major role players that combined to average 14.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Odiase led the team in rebounds, with 4.7 per game. Five other Raiders who received playing time last season return, however the unit is very young. Williams and Gotcher are the team's two lone seniors. Two juniors are joining the program this season, but neither have Division I playing experience. The remaining 10 players on the roster are all freshmen or sophomores.
Speaking of freshmen, Tubby Smith has brought in a couple of talented ones. Jordan Jackson is a three-star guard out of St. Pius X High School in Houston. He was listed as the 22nd best player at any position in the State of Texas. He finished his senior campaign averaging 16.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Jackson is the son of former Red Raider and WNBA great Sheryl Swoopes. Joining Jackson is C.J. Williamson, a fellow three-star guard out of Orlando, Florida. He averaged 15.1 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.1 steals per game at Evans High School. A third key addition for Tubby Smith is JuCo transfer Devon Thomas. While at Cloud County Community College in Kansas, Thomas averaged 16.9 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game. Thomas was named to the All-Jayhawk Conference team following the 2014-2015 season. Thomas will likely be familiar to TCU forward Vladimir Brodziansky, as the two both competed in the Jayhawk Conference last season. Although Brodziansky's Pratt Community College swept the season series with Thomas' Cloud County Community College, Thomas outscored Brodziansky in both meetings.
This year looks to be another rebuilding year for Tubby Smith. While he is putting the pieces in place for Texas Tech to be successful in years to come, it has yet to be seen where the Raiders' offense will come from. Texas Tech must improve on the offensive end if the Red Raiders are to turn things around this season.
Last Time Around
01/07/15: TCU 62 at Texas Tech 42
End of the Road (woes): TCU 62, Texas Tech 42
TCU claimed their first Big 12 road win in emphatic fashion, building a double digit halftime lead and never looking back.
02/25/15: TCU 71 vs. Texas Tech 54
TCU secures its first season sweep of a Big 12 foe, beating Texas Tech 71-54.
TCU 78, Texas Tech 60
In all likelihood, this will be TCU's first Big 12 win of the season. The Frogs face a brutal first two weeks of conference play that includes four games against ranked teams, with three of those coming on the road. The scheduling of this contest against Texas Tech is especially tough. It will be TCU's third game in the span of six days. The Frogs will host the Red Raiders just two days after traveling to Kansas, a game that comes only three days after traveling to Baylor. Nevertheless, TCU will be the favorites in this one. The Frogs' defense should create all kinds of problems for the Tech offense. Much like last year, TCU should be able to shut down the Raiders and pick up a nice win.
TCU 68, Texas Tech 59
The Frogs will have the talent to sweep the Red Raiders for the second consecutive year. TCU's best road game of the season came in Lubbock a year ago, as the Frogs held Tech to just 42 points on 22.9% shooting from the field. While this year's contest might be a little bit closer, the Frogs shouldn't have many issues with this one.
Opponent Team Previews:
Game 1: Southeastern Louisiana
Game 2: Houston Baptist
Game 3: South Dakota State
Game 4: Rhode Island
Game 5: Maryland /Illinois State
Game 6: SMU
Game 7: Colgate
Game 8: Washington
Game 9: Prairie View A&M
Game 10: Abilene Christian
Game 11: Bradley
Game 12: Delaware State
Games 13 & 24: Oklahoma State
Games 14 & 25: West Virginia
Games 15 & 20: Texas
Games 16 & 29: Baylor
Games 17 & 23: Kansas
Games 18 & 28: Texas Tech
Games 19 & 27: Iowa State (11/2)
Game 21: Tennessee (11/3)
Games 22 & 31: Oklahoma (11/4)
Games 26 & 30: Kansas State (11/5)