TTU Men’s Athletics: A Year in Review Part One
A little over a year after, the world of athletics came crashing down due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Another year of sports is winding down. The 2020-2021 athletic year presented many new challenges that many had never faced before. And Texas Tech University Athletic, like many other programs, adapted. With that it was worth a years review over TTU Men’s Athletics.
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The TTU Men’s Athletics year began in August, with Texas Tech Football being held at half capacity at Jones AT&T Stadium. As the season progressed, there were many ups and downs as there in many seasons. With The Jones usually being packed during the regular season, the stadium was found empty. But that didn’t keep the team from balling out.
The team ended their year with an overall record of 4-6, just missing a bowl game. However, the Red Raiders would also end up eight in the Big 12 Conference standings with a 3-6 record. While the team’s record may not seem great, Texas Tech did have many breakout stars that the team will look towards next year.
The two big breakout players for the Red Raiders were SaRodorick Thompson, who plays running back, and Erik Ezukanma, who played receiver. Thompson and Ezukanma both had impressive seasons and will be looked towards next season to perform at a high level.
On the other side of TTU Men’s Athletics to be reviewed things, Texas Tech Men’s Cross Country competed in four meets. Those four are the ACU Invitational, Cowboy Jamboree, Arturo Barrios Invitational, and the Big 12 Championships. While competing at the highest level, the Red Raiders had many lows but would fight the entire season.
The Red Raiders began their season but didn’t start at all. Due to ineligibility with runners on the roster, the team had to drop out of the ACU Invitational.
The team then weeks later competed at the Cowboy Jamboree hosted by Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The team would end up placing eighth out of a field of 13 teams with 245 points. The Red Raiders were led by freshman Paul Sherrill. Who placed 48th out of 120 runners with a time of 25:57.9. While not performing well, the team would then look to bounce back.
In their next meet, the team would travel to Arturo Barrios Invitational hosted by Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. In the 8k distance meet, the team would place sixth out of seven. This time, the Red Raiders were led by sophomore Cornelius Kiprotich. Who placed 21st out of 78th with a time of 6:02.5.
In their last meet of the season, the Texas Tech Raiders traveled up to Lawrence, Kansas. To compete in the Big 12 Championships. The team would run hard in the meet and place sixth out of the nine teams that competed. The team was led again by sophomore Cornelius Kiprotich who placed 33rd out of 75 with a time of 25:11.9. While they did not advance, and their season came to an end. There is room for much improvement heading into next year.
Moving forward, the next TTU Men’s Athletics program to be reviewed is Texas Tech Men’s Basketball team. Who had another fairly successful year. This year especially when considering the Big 12 Conference, carried big names programs such as the new national champion Baylor and top 10 ranked Texas, West Virginia, Kansas, and Oklahoma State. After a successful preseason and a single loss to a talented Houston team, the team would head into the Big 12 Conference with a 7-1 record.
Heading into the conference, the team had high expectations from themselves and one of the best fanbases in the country. While taking a few big wins here and there, the Red Raiders would fight through conference play to go 9-8 and finish 6th in the standings, which shows just how strong the conference is.
Basketball Part Two
After finishing the regular season, the team fell short of winning the conference; the team would then turn the attention towards the Big 12 Conference Tournament. In the tournament’s first game, the Red Raiders would be beat out by a talented Texas team looking for revenge after the Red Raiders edged them out twice in the regular season.
After officially finishing Big 12 play, the Red Raiders again would shift their attention. This time towards March Madness, the biggest and most important tournament in the country. In the first round of the tournament, the team would face the Utah State Aggies, who were had a lot of talent. After fighting hard against a much bigger opponent, the team would prevail and get past the tournament’s first-round by winning 65-53.
In a hard-fought game that could go either way, the Red Raiders would end up falling short 68-66 to Arkansas. With their season now over, the team would try to stay together but would have stars such as Mac McClung and Terrance Shannon Jr departing. And many other transferring such as Kyler Edwards or Micah Peavy, the team would slowly fall apart. A top of all the transferring and leaving, Head Coach Chris Beard also parted ways with the university as he left to join his alma mater Texas. After adding many new vital additions and a chip on their shoulder, the Red Raiders would focus on the 2021-2022 season.
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Written by Campus Live Intern Trinity Porter