Basketball

What To Watch For: Texas Tech Basketball Bahamas Tour

We take a look at the team roster and what to look for during the Bahama Tour

It’s never too early take a look at Texas Tech Basketball, especially when the program has reached heights that we’ve never seen before. Even though it’s two and a half months away before the first game, we get a sneak peak at the team this week when they play a three game tour in the Bahamas.

Unfortunately, it’s going to cost a little bit if you want to watch the games. It’s on FloSports and it’s $29.99 for a month if you don’t have a subscription, and it can only be used on one device at time. Fortunately for you, I have no life so I will be watching the games, and will get a recap on here after the tour in complete.

Now for those who are watching the game, there’s going to be plenty to look out for. For starters…well…the starters. Secondly, we can get a little glimpse on everyone’s game, mostly the freshmen who we have little to no film on. Finally, how Beard might use his rotation this upcoming season.

But just remember when watching these game, don’t take into account the score, whether we blow them out or it’s a close game. Let’s begin out Bahamas preview with the newly released roster.

Roster

Most of y’all probably didn’t notice this because there’s wasn’t a big tweet made out it, but the roster was officially released. Here is the link, and here is a table of the roster below.

No. Name Pos. HT/WT Class. School City
0 Kyler Edwards G 6’4″/200 So. Findlay Prep, NV Arlington, TX
1 Terrence Shannon Jr. G 6’6′”/210 Fr. Lincoln Park Chicago, IL
2 Clarence Nadolny G 6’3″/195 Fr. Our Savior Montreuil, France
3 Jahmi’us Ramsey G 6’4″/195 Fr. Duncanville Arlington, TX
5 Joel Ntambwe F 6’8″/220 So. UNLV Kinshasa, Congo
10 Tyreek Smith F 6’7″/215 Fr. Trinity Christian Baton Rouge, LA
12 Andrei Savrasov F 6’7″/225 R-Fr. BC Zenit ST Petersburg, Russia
15 Kevin McCullar G 6’6″/195 R-Fr. Wagner San Antonio, TX
22 T.J. Holyfield F 6’8″/225 Sr. SFA Albuquerque, NM
24 Avery Benson G 6’4″/200 R-So. SW Christian Springdale, AR
25 Davide Moretti G 6’3″/180 Jr. Treviso Basket Bologna, Italy
44 Chris Clarke F 6’5″/215 Sr. Virginia Tech Virginia Beach, VA
54 Russel Tchewa C 7’0″/260 Fr. Putnam Science Douala, Cameroon

Here are some things I noticed when the roster came out:

  • DeShawn Corprew is officially not listed on the roster. There was questions if he would be, and it appears he’s not on the team.
  • I did this on Friday when the rosters came out, but had to update them because some of the numbers were changed. Just an inch or five pounds give or take. Think they did that last year too, which is funny.
  • Everyone is listed between 6’3″ and 6’8″, except for Tchewa (7’0″). Also everyone is between 195 and 225 pounds except for Tchewa (260) and Moretti (180). Positionless basketball to the max.
  • Out of the 13 players listed, there is one center, five forwards and seven guards. No real surprises on positions, although I thought McCuller and Shannon might’ve been listed as forwards.
  • Also, there are two seniors, one junior, three sophomores, and seven (!) freshmen listed. This is a young team.
  • We finally got the official spelling on Ramsey’s first name; Jahmi’us. Speaking of Ramsey, he’s one of the lighter players on the roster. For some reason I though he’d be a little bit heavier.
  • Not a lot of expectations from me about Savrasov, but I was shocked to see he was 225 pounds, the second heaviest player on the team. Color me interested.
  • We got official numbers for the newcomers. Not going to list them here, but you can just look above.
  • Only three players listed from Texas, although five played in Texas within two years before coming to Tech. Also, five players are listed as overseas players. Beard will travel anywhere to get the players he wants.

Also, to go along with the roster, Texas Tech has been releasing videos and quotes about each player. It’s really cool to see what each player expects from himself and what he thinks he brings to the table. Here’s a link to those.

Who Will Be The Starters?

This is the biggest question. We kind of figured what the starting line-up would be last year, and an even better idea in 2018 (before the freshmen took over). This year though, we really don’t know.

There’s probably only one guy you can point to as a definite starter; Davide Moretti. No way a starter on a national championship caliber team is coming off the bench. I would even go as far to bet that TJ Holyfield is a starter, thanks to his size and experience.

The other three positions are a mystery. Next, I have Ramsey getting a starting spot. I just have a hard time believing the program’s first five star is coming off the bench when he’s been healthy. Plus, I think his defense is outstanding and will put him in the line-up even if he offense isn’t quite there yet.

My fourth spot I’ll give to Chris Clarke. Clarke averaged 9.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists, with a 54.8/33.3/66.7 shooting percentage. And he did that is arguably the best conference in the ACC. He’s also crazy athletic. What impresses me most is if efficiency, which is always welcomed.

The last spot was tough. There was a ton of guys who I could put here. But I decided to go with the man who’s played in championship games in Kyler Edwards. I though about making him a valuable sixth man, but Beard started Moretti last year, and it seems he values experience in his system a lot.

So I have Moretti, Edwards, Ramsey, Clarke and Holyfield as the initial starters. I’m sure most everyone will have an opportunity off the bench, but I think that Shannon, McCullar and Smith could be key guys to watch out for. It should also be noted Toddrick Gotcher thought Tchewa is going to make a big impact (at 31:10 mark).

What Should We Be Keeping An Eye Out For?

I think there’s plenty to look out for. First off, I want to see how confident the new guys are. When Texas Tech played UTEP, I loved how confident Edwards was, although his shot wasn’t the greatest. Even though I thought he perhaps got too confident at times in the postseason (I was wrong), it almost won Tech a title.

So who’s going to have the confidence to take shots and make plays? How does each player react when they get the ball, or when they’re defending the ball? It might be a sign on what kind of persona these players have come March.

Another thing I want to see is how the new guys gel on the court when they don’t have the ball. Are they aware of what’s going on? Do they play good team basketball when they don’t have the ball? How do they react when another player performs well?

Finally, what is there style of play? Are they a sharpshooter? Do they like to drive the ball a lot? Are they more of a facilitator? Defensively, do they give the extra effort? Do they have good help defense? Do they hold their ground on the perimeter and in the paint? We’ll get a little bit of an idea after this week.

Who comes off the bench first?

In 2018, the first two guys off the bench were Zhaire Smith and Jarrett Culver simultaneously. Both were lottery picks and were either the best or second best player on their team at one point in time. Last year, it was Kyler Edwards and Brandone Francis, who arguably played the best in the National Championship.

The first guys off the bench are always guys to keep an eye on. Those players are typically the guys who have a lot of promise and/or are going to be the key bench pieces for the team that season. The next wave has a chance of cracking the rotation, but likely will play a smaller role (Tommy Hamilton, DeShawn Corprew, Davide Moretti, Francis).

After that have been guys who are developing and haven’t seen a ton of minutes in the past. Obviously none of this is a guarantee, but that’s how it was worked out the last couple seasons.

Schedule

Here is the schedule for the upcoming tournament. The last game is on Sunday, so I’ll try to get something up the following Monday:

Date Opponent Time
8/14 Bahamas Select National Team 4 pm CST
8/15 Mega Bemax (Serbian Team) 6 pm CST
8/18 Mega Bemax 12 pm CST

Fun In The Sun Rain

Here’s what happened prior to the games in the Bahamas. This team looks like they enjoy each other’s company a lot. Even if someone almost didn’t make it…

Or if it’s rain or shine

This team tackles better than the football team (I kid I think)

Even in the ocean, basketball players will dunk.

Hopefully we’ll be seeing these kind of pictures until April.

And finally…the greatest picture ever taken.

I need to blow that up and hang it on my wall forever. Or make it into a t-shirt. Definitely the second one.

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