ALWAYS TALKING BASKETBALL...EARLY LOOK AT TEXAS TECH
July 29, 2011INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
The Knight legacy at Texas Tech was short lived as Pat Knight was fired after four years as the Red Raiders head coach. Now Billy Gillispie returns to Texas where he hopes to revive the Texas Tech basketball program just like Eric Taylor did with East Dillon Lions football team. (Texas Forever.)
Projected Depth Chart
Gone: SF-Mike Singletary, PG-John Roberson, SF-Brad Reese, PF-D'walyn Roberts, SG-David Tairu, SG-Wally Dunn, C-Paul Cooper (transfer), SG-Jamel Outler (transfer)
The influx of talent is needed as TTU loses five of their top six scorers to graduation and also saw two players transfer out of the program. Center Robert Lewandowski is the only returning starter and just one of two seniors on the team. He is recovering from a broken collarbone suffered during the Big 12 Tournament but should be 100% for the start of camp. Theron Jenkins is the other senior but was forced to take a medical redshirt last season due to a leg fracture.
Sophomore Jaye Crockett figures to see a bigger role in the frontcourt after being one of the top reserves a year ago, and from there the picture is unclear especially with the transfer of Paul Cooper. Kader Tapsoba and Daouda Soumaoro bring length and athleticism in the middle behind Lewandowski. Junior college transfer Jaron Nash will bring versatility to the forward spot while freshmen Jordan Tolbert and Hershey Robinson will also compete for minutes in the frontcourt.
Mike Davis and Javarez Willis are the only returning players in the backcourt. Willis will be the favorite to start at the point although he will be pushed by newcomers Kevin Wagner and Ty Nurse.
Davis has been battling nagging foot injuries since last season which could be reason for concern. Luckily, Utah transfer Marshall Henderson becomes eligible this season after sitting out the 2010-2011 campaign per NCAA rules. Henderson should provide some offense as he was second on the Utes in scoring as a freshman. Terran Petteway is an explosive athlete who could be a major contributor on the wing in his first season while Toddrick Gotcher provides insurance in case Davis cannot stay healthy.
If my math is correct, Texas Tech's roster is currently over the NCAA limit of thirteen scholarship players which means something has to give. Either way, Gillispie has some work to do in his first season in Lubbock. With nine newcomers, there will certainly be plenty of growing pains this season but the future of the program should be in good hands with Gillispie having plenty of recruiting ties within the state.
Player to Watch: Jaron Nash
Key Non-Conference Games: