By Chuck Carlton , Agents Writer Contact Chuck Carlton on Twitter:
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Texas Tech could be absolved for absent to authority assimilate the 2017-18 basketball division a while longer.
Elite Eight appearances don’t appear every division and it took closing civic best Villanova to derail the Red Raiders. Added than 7,000 division tickets accept been awash so far, drillmaster Chris Beard said.
At the aforementioned time, Beard acclaimed Wednesday at Big 12 media days, none of those accomplishments bulk now.
“We don’t appetite aftermost year’s success to ascertain us,” Beard said. “We appetite to accept our own character this year.”
By necessity, Tech will.
A scattering of seniors ancient including All-American point bouncer Keenan Evans as able-bodied as rapidly developing Zhaire Smith afterwards his apprentice season.
Tech brought bristles players to media canicule including alum transfers Matt Mooney and Tariq Owens, a allotment from aftermost season. Neither has anytime played in March Madness and anniversary accustomed that Tech’s arresting run helped put the Red Raiders on their alarm screen.
“It played a role,” Owens said. “Yeah, it absolutely played a role.”
A 6-10 forward, Owens averaged 8.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and a Big East best 2.8 blocks aftermost division at St. John’s. He should accord a adamant arresting aggregation the rim protector it lacked aftermost division and could be allotment of a big calendar with 6-9 chief Norense Odiase.
A 6-3 guard, Mooney was one of the nation’s best coveted alum transfers afterwards averaging 18.7 credibility as a inferior at South Dakota, including bristles amateur of 30 or added points. While his d is abundant altered than Evans, Beard was praising his casual abilities as abundant as his cutting Wednesday.
Out of aerial school, Mooney accustomed one scholarship action – Air Force. When he absitively to alteration the aboriginal time en avenue to South Dakota, about 10 low and mid-majors fabricated pitches.
This accomplished spring, upwards of 60 aerial majors were bombarding his corpuscle phone. Coaches told him to accept fun with it, to adore the action for which he had formed so hard. For Mooney, it was a struggle.
“The action was appealing anarchic to be honest with you,” Mooney said, “being recruited in a way I’ve never been recruited afore and it happened in a abbreviate bulk of time.”
A gym rat by nature, Mooney admired the assignment belief he saw in Beard, his agents and the players. The aperture in the backcourt meant a adventitious for arena time. And he wants to comedy in the NCAA Tournament afterwards Summit League disappointment.
“These two guys, I accept a lot of account for them and appetite to win so abominably for them because these are two guys who accept never played in the NCAA Tournament,” Beard said. “I anticipate the actuality they saw Texas Tech accomplish the Elite Eight with their own eyes alone helped us in the recruiting process.”
Mooney and Owens will accept affluence of help. Sopre Jarrett Culver looks like a appropriate talent. Odiase is a concrete presence. Beard thinks apprentice Kyler Edwards could accomplish the all-Big 12 apprentice team.
If this sounds like a check situation, well, Beard is aloof accomplished with it afterwards apprenticeship inferior academy and Division II and alike semi-pro teams.
“This is one thing, not airs but aplomb in myself,” Beard said. “I attending about these [Big 12] 10 coaches I don’t apperceive what I’m bigger than anyone but I would acquaint you I’m as acceptable as it gets apprenticeship guys in one-year settings.”
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