Texas Tech Preview-Capsule
Last season: 27-10, reached NCAA Elite Eight for first time in school history
Nickname: Red Raiders
Coach: Chris Beard
Conference: Big 12
Who’s gone: Keenan Evans, Zhaire Smith, Niem Stevenson, Zach Smith, Tommy Hamilton IV and Justin Gray.
Who’s back: Jarrett Culver is a 6-5 sophomore guard from Lubbock who is the only one of Tech’s top six scorers back from last season. Beard said Culver, who averaged 11.2 points and 4.8 rebounds a game last season, has a chance to be one of the top players in college basketball. Brandone Francis is a senior guard who started his career at Florida. Senior center Norense Odiase started 29 of 37 games last season.
Who’s new: Graduate transfers Matt Mooney and Tariq Owens, who are both eligible to play immediately. Mooney is the first-team shooting guard from the Summit League, where he averaged 18.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season at South Dakota. Owens is a 6-10 post player who had a Big East-leading 2.8 blocks per game last season.
The Skinny: After making it to the Elite Eight for the first time last season and being the Big 12 runner-up, the Red Raiders lost a lot of scoring from a year ago. The Red Raiders will depend on hometown player Culver and the two graduate transfers.
Expectations: Las Vegas oddsmakers list Texas Tech as 70-1 to win the NCAA Tournament. The only Big 12 teams with better odds are league favorites Kansas at 17-2 and West Virginia at 30-1.