Season Is Over For The Red Raiders
Since the Texas Tech Men’s Basketball Season is now over, it is necessary after a season roller coaster. While it was a ride, it had ups and downs that had Red Raider fans on the edges of their seats.
Pre-season For The Red Raiders
Texas Tech began pre-season 8-1, and all eight of the wins came in double digits, with multiple of those wins coming by twenty plus points. The one loss came to the hands of the University of Houston, who ended the regular season ranked No. 6 in the nation and has won two games thus far in March Madness and has made the sweet 16.
Texas Tech began their season at home against Northwestern State with a blowout win ending in a 101-58 score; The highest number of points scored on the season.
The loss to Houston came at a mutual site when the red raiders were ranked 14 and the cougars 17. The red raiders began the game with a lead. In the final ten minutes of the game, Tech blew the lead where the cougars came back to win.
1st Half of Regular Season
After a reasonably successful pre-season, the regular season began against No. 5 Kansas at home at United Supermarkets Arena. In a hard-fought battle, the red raiders came up only a point short in a 57-58 loss to the Jayhawks. Mac McClung and Terrance Shannon Jr. had 20 or more points in the contest, which wasn’t enough as the Raiders fell short.
In the next eight games, the red went 5-3, and with the three losses gaming at the hands of Oklahoma State, Baylor, and West Virginia. They all did not have NBA talent and ended up in the top 15 countries after the regular season. One of those wins came against Texas, which was ranked in the top five in the country. The win came from a dagger of a shot on a last-second buzzer-beater at the hands of Mac McClung. After the shot, the red raiders would lose their next two games against No. 2 Baylor and No. 11 West Virginia.
BIG 12/SEC Challenge
In a much-anticipated matchup, the Texas Tech Red Raiders took on LSU in Baton Rouge at Maravich Center in a Big 12 and SEC challenge. In a hard-fought game, the red raiders came from behind to win against the tiger 76-71. Down seven with a minute left, the Raiders charged back and led by Shannon Jr. with 23 points and McClung with 22 points.
2nd Half of Regular Season
In the second half of the regular season and ten wins, the Raiders lost four games to West Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Baylor. The original February 18th game against the TCU Horned Frogs had to reschedule due to COVID-19 protocols. The Baylor game was also rescheduled along with that delayed game, which made it the last game of the regular season. While most of the games in the second half were either blowout wins, or losses or notable game was the second game in the Oklahoma State series. The red raiders took the cowboys and No. 1 draft prospect Cade Cunningham to the edge in a thriller. The red raiders would go on to lose the game 69-74 in Stillwater.
The Raiders ended the regular season playing 26 games, winning 15 of those games, and going 9-8 in conference play. After a hard-fought regular season, the red raiders then entered March.
Big 12 Tournament
A short-lived Big 12 tournament runs the red raiders lost to Texas after sweeping them in the regular season. The Red Raiders lost on a controversial call seconds left. While playing, Edwards fouled a Longhorn sending them to the free-throw line, making the score 66-67. After just a scrape by a win, the Longhorns would automatically advance to the tournament finals because of Kansas’s forfeit. In the championship, the Longhorns went on to edge the Oklahoma State Cowboys to 91-86, making them the Big 12 tournament champion. This would leave the red raiders hungry entering March Madness.
In March Madness’s return, the Texas Tech red raiders received a No. 6 seed and were picked to play Utah State from the mountain west conference. In a slow start, the red raiders trailed at halftime 26-23. With their season on the line, the Red Raiders came out in the second half, outscoring Utah State 42-27, which would propel them to win the game 65-53. The Raiders had four players who scored in double digits and were led by McClung, who scored 16 points and followed by Kyler Edwards, who had 12 and then assisted by Terrance Shannon Jr. and Kevin McCullar, who had 10 each.
Off a first-round win, the Raiders then were to go against Arkansas in the second round of the tournament. While the red raiders were dancing in March Madness, the razorbacks had different plans. In a controversial game, the red raiders lost to Arkansas 66-68 to end their season. The Raiders led in every category of the game except field goal percentage where the shot .361 was rivaled by Arkansas’s .419. Free throw percentage where the red raiders shot .667 and were outshot by .706. While the red raiders won 4 of 6 categories, they fell short.
How March Madness Ended For TTU
The team was led by Terrance Shannon Jr., who had 20 points and a controversial call at the end of the game where many argue he was fouled. The call led them to have led to free throws to tie the game. Kevin McCullar added in 15 points while playing elite defense that kept the red raiders in the game. He was then followed by Kyler Edwards who had 11.
Edwards in the final seconds of the game beat his defender and missed an uncontested layup to go overtime. Another name that was kept quiet was Mac McClung who only had 9 while playing 35 minutes. The Raiders had every chance to win the game. It was a hard-fought game and season that Texas Tech fans will remember for the hustle, heart, and grit.
With the season over, the red raiders will look to reload and have another shot at the title. This season, Texas Tech will more than likely lose Terrance Shannon Jr. to the NBA draft. If he decides to return, he would be a great addition as they look to patch weaknesses exposed this season. One of the drawbacks was the absence of a big man on the court. While Santos-Silva being impressed with his hustle, being under-sized often led to the Raiders having a weak interior defense and rebounder. Since Santos-Silva is graduating, the Red Raiders will look to fill this position. With the Raider’s power, they look forward to being vacated with what will hopefully be a player that compliments the Red Raiders.
With most other team players looking to add to their resumes, the red raiders may lose players such as Vladislav Golden, who is Texas Tech’s only 7-footer but thus far has not developed like the red raiders had hoped. While obviously, most arrows point to getting a big man, the red raiders will look to improve on scoring and get back to being one of the best defenses.
Red Raiders Will Return Strong
The red raiders will return several players to the team who will all look to improve on last season, but one key player to keep an eye on is Micah Peavy. As a freshman, he reminded me of a younger Terrance Shannon Jr., and with the team, will become an x-factor on the court. Along with Peavy. Chibuzo Agbo, while his time on the court was minimal, he showed great size and potential that, with the right off-season training, could help the red raiders next season.
The red raiders will not rebuild after what some may call a disappointing season where they ultimately came up short. While not rebuilding, the team will reload, bringing back multiple players who all show great potential while recruiting and transferring in many players. At the same time, the Texas Tech Red Raiders are primed to be dangerous in 2022.
Want more? Check out the pre-season rankings for TTU basketball to see where we started.
Written by Trinity Porter, Campus Live Intern