KNOW THY ENEMY: Texas Tech Red Raiders

TexasTech

Are you still pissed off about Saturday night?

Well, have no fear, because the football team shall be avenged on the hardwood.

Click the jump for a preview of a basketball team with some of the laziest-looking media photos you ever will see, and one whose season prospects don't look so hot...

The Coach

PatKnight

Pat Knight
Third Season (sort of*)

18-26 (7-19)

Knight begins his second full season as the Texas Tech head coach and his ninth season on the Red Raider basketball court.

As a collegiate player and nearly nine seasons as an assistant coach, he was on the sidelines as a player or a coach for 308 of Bob Knight's 902 career wins.

*Knight became the head coach following the 20th game of the 2007-2008 season.

 

The Departures

 

Starters

  • Michael Prince (15.6 minutes per game, 3.8 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game)
  • Alan Voskuil (35.7 minutes per game, 14.1 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game)

Reserves

  • Rogdrick Craig (6.7 minutes per game, 2.6 points per game, 0.8 rebound per game)
  • Tyree Graham (14.3 minutes per game, 3.9 points per game, 1.7 rebounds per game)
  • Esmir Rizvic (10 minutes per game, 1.3 points per game, 1.6 rebound per game)
  • Damir Suljagic (8.8 minutes per game, 2.4 points per game, 1.5 rebound per game)

 

The Veterans

CorbinRay

#4 Corbin Ray
Sophomore Forward
6-7 | 225
Katy, Texas

Ray saw his first action as a Red Raider in the season opener against St. Francis, in which he played seven minutes, scored two points and grabbed three rebounds. He played in 17 games during the season, started against Sam Houston State, averaged 5.7 minutes per game and 1.6 points per game for the season, played 14 minutes in the home game against Texas A&M, had a season-high five rebounds over East Central University, and had his best showing in the win over New Mexico, in which he played 10 minutes and scored 10 points, was 4 of 6 from the field, and canned two 3-pointers.

DwalynRoberts

#5 D'walyn Roberts
Junior Forward
6-7 | 200
Dallas, Texas

Roberts started the first 19 games for the Red Raiders; played in each game during the season and had 21 starts; averaged 16.5 minutes per game, four points per game, and 3.6 rebounds per game; played 20+ minutes in 13 contests; played 35 minutes at Lamar, made 7 of 8 field goal attempts, and recorded his season-high of 14 points; scored in double figures in six games; was perfect from the free-throw line six times for a combined 13-for-13; registered a double-double in the win over Stephen F. Austin, with 11 points and 11 rebounds; was second on the squad with 21 blocks for the season; and shot .545 from the field for the season.

WallyDunn

#10 Wally Dunn
Junior Guard
6-4 | 194
Midland, Texas

Dunn saw his first action as a Red Raider in the season opener against St. Francis, in which he played eight minutes, had a rebound and scored 5 points. He played in 14 games during the season as a walk-on, played a season high of 12 minutes against East Central University, scored 16 points on 6 of 8 field-goal attempts and 4 of 5 3-pointers, shot .588 from the field and made .500 of his 3-point attempts, and had no turnovers for the season.

Dunn graduated from Midland College, where the Chaparrals were the 2007 NJCAA National Champions. He was a redshirt his freshman season. The team garnered conference championship honors in 2007-2008, and he played in 32 games as a sophomore and averaged 4.3 points per game.

RobertLewandowski

#15 Robert Lewandowski
Sophomore Forward
6-10 | 240
Overland Park, Kan.

The freshman from Blue Valley West High Sschool played and scored in the first game of the season against St. Francis. Lewandowski scored two points, made a block, and had three rebounds in his eight minutes on the court. He played in 32 games for the season and started 19 times; averaged over 15 minutes per game and played 20+ minutes in 13 contests; averaged 6.6 points per game and 3.7 rebounds per game for the year; shot .581 from the field for the season; scored in double figures 10 times, with 8 of those games during conference play; recorded his season-best of 20 points at Texas A&M, when he made 10 of 15 field-goal attempts and had four rebounds in the game; had a double-double (10 points and 10 rebounds) at Oklahoma State; grabbed 5+ rebounds in 10 games; and led the squad with 23 blocks.

JohnRoberson

#21 John Roberson
Junior Guard
5-11 | 165
Plano, Texas

Honorable Mention All-Big 12 (2009)
U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-District 7 (2009)

Roberson and Alan Voskuil were the only players on the 2008-2009 squad to start each game during the season. He was the leading scorer on the team, with 13.9 points per game, and second on the team with 35 steals for the year.

Roberson's 212 assists top the previous single-season mark of 182 assists, set by Jason Martin during the 1995-1996 season. He was the assist leader for the Big 12. His 13 assists at Texas A&M were one shy of Stan Bonewitz's single-game record of 14 assists, set against Fresno State in the 1996-1997 season.

Roberson's 6.4 assists per game for the season now are the best among all Red Raiders. His 71 3-pointers rank eighth among all Red Raiders in a single season. His 201 3-point attempts equal Bonewitz's mark in the 1997-1998 season and are fourth on the all-time single-season list.

Roberson's 35.2 minutes per game were second on the squad. He played 40 minutes in five games; was second on the squad in free-throw percentage (.829), making 97 of 117 attempts; was perfect from the line in 15 games, totaling 58 for 58; averaged 3.5 rebounds per game and had at least five rebounds in six games; established a career high of eight rebounds at Iowa State; had a double-double performance at Texas A&M, with 13 assists and 20 points; and scored 20+ points in five games.

Roberson's 33 points at UTEP were a career-best and made him the 36th Red Raider to score 30 or more points in a game, earning him All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and USBWA All-District 7 honors.

NickOkorie

#23 Nick Okorie
Senior Guard
6-1 | 195
Houston, Texas

Okorie started his career as a Red Raider in the season opener against St. Francis. He played 19 minutes and scored 16 points.

Okorie played in 29 games during the season and had 19 starting spots. He missed four games due to an ankle injury; averaged more than 25 minutes per game and played 30+ minutes in eight games; played 36 minutes at Texas and at Iowa State; was perfect from the free-throw line in nine games, totaling 40 of 40; was third on the team with 21 steals; averaged 3.1 rebounds per game; and grabbed 5+ boards in nine games. His scoring average of 11.3 points per game was fourth among squad members.

Okorie scored 15+ points in nine games, with six of those games against conference opponents; sank 10 of 10 free throws and had 17 points against Kansas; scored 24 points at Oklahoma and at Texas; averaged 16.3 points per game over the last 10 games; and started nine times.

TrevorCook

#24 Trevor Cook
Senior Forward
6-9 | 241
Coppell, Texas

Legends Classic All-Tournament (2008)

Cook was awarded his undergraduate degree in May 2009. He played in 14 games during the season and had eight starts, but missed 19 games due to a back injury.

Cook averaged 14 minutes per game and played 25+ minutes in three games, and was perfect from the free-throw line in four games, totaling 16 for 16. His eight rebounds against East Central University equal his top mark from the previous season. He had 13 blocks in his abbreviated season, averaged 7.6 points per game, scored in double figures six times and had 20 or more points in two games. His 24 points against Pittsburgh mark his best scoring performance as a Red Raider, and he was selected to the Legends Classic All-Tournament Team for his performances against Pittsburgh and Mississippi State.

DarkoCohadarevic

#31 Darko Cohadarevic
Senior Forward
6-9 | 242
Belgrade, Serbia

Cohadarevic played his first game as a Red Raider in the season opener against St. Francis. He played 12 minutes, grabbed two rebounds and scored four points.

Cohadarevic played in 26 games and started twice; averaged nearly 11 minutes per game and had five games in which he played 15+ minutes; was perfect from the free-throw line in four games; averaged 2.2 rebounds per game and had at least five rebounds in five games; scored double figures in three contests; had 12 points against East Central University and against Stephen F. Austin; and scored 10 points and had six rebounds in the win over Texas A&M in the opening round of conference championship play.

MikeSingletary

#32 Mike Singletary
Junior Forward
6-6 | 217
Humble, Texas

Second Team Academic All-Big 12 (2009)
Big 12 Championship All-Tournament (2009)

Singletary was one of four players to play in each game during the season. He had four starts and averaged 23.1 minutes per game; played 30+ minutes against six opponents; was perfect from the free-throw line in four games; attempted more free throws than all other teammates (187) and made more free throws than all other teammates (136); had three games in which he made 34 of 40 free-throw attempts; was the leading rebounder on the team, with 5.8 boards per game; had three games (Centenary, Kansas and at Iowa State) of 10+ rebounds and 12 games with at least seven rebounds; and had double-double performances against New Mexico, Kansas and at Iowa State. His 12.2 points per game were third on the squad and he scored at least 15 points in 13 games, averaged 18.2 points per game over the final nine games of the season, was named to the Academic All-Big 12 Second Team, and gained Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team honors after scoring 60 points in two games (Texas A&M and Missouri).

Singletary made 21 of 33 attempts during those two games. He set a Big 12 Championship scoring record with 43 points in the opening round game against Texas A&M (the previous record was 38 points by Marcus Fizer of Iowa State vs. Baylor in 2000). His 43-point game equals Dub Malaise's 1966 performance against TCU as the fourth-highest scoring output in Texas Tech history.

Singletary led the biggest rally in Big 12 championship history, erasing the Red Raiders' 21-point, second-half deficit and taking Texas Tech to an 88-83 win over Texas A&M (the previous record was 20 points by Texas two seasons ago). He scored 29 consecutive points for the Red Raiders, with no other Tech player scoring, to become the NCAA's No. 2 consecutive-points scorer, behind Temple's Bill Mlkvy's 54 consecutive points against Wilkes on March 3, 1951.

My thanks to the Texas Tech sports information department for the photos and most of the information for the bios.

 

The Newcomers

#1 Brad Reese
Junior Forward
6-6 | 189
Laurel Hill, Fla.

Reese played two seasons for Jay Powell at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Fla. He started all 30 games in his first season with the Commodores, played 30 minutes per game, and averaged 16.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game on the 18-12 squad.

Reese was named the Panhandle Conference Freshman of the Year. As a sophomore, Reese was named NJCAA Player of the Week (Jan. 7) as he powered GCCC to three wins, which included a pair of 30-point performances. He started 32 of 33 games as a sophomore, and averaged 16.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game on the 24-9 squad, which earned him All-Panhandle Conference First Team honors in his second season.

 

#2 Mike Davis
Freshman Guard
6-2 | 185
Houston, Texas

Davis played for Willie Patrick III as a senior at Phillis Wheatley High School, but previously played at St. Pius X, where the Panthers were in the TAPPS 6A Final Four in his junior year.

As a senior, Davis averaged 24 points per game over four games to lead the Wheatley Wildcats to the Whataburger Tournament title in Fort Worth from Dec. 29-31. He also earned MVP honors at the tournament.

The Wheatley Wildcats were 32-5 in Davis' final season and he was selected Co-MVP for District 22-4A. He averaged 23.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and five assists per game as a senior, and was selected to the TABC All-Region (3) Team, the TABC 2009 All-Star Team and the TABC Class 4-A All-State Team.

 

#13 David Tairu
Junior Guard
6-3 | 180
Temple Hills, Md.

Tairu played two seasons for Steve Green at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. The Texans (30-5) claimed the NJCAA National Championship in 2007-2008 in Hutchinson, Kan. He was named All-Conference in 2007-2008, averaged 14.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in his freshman season, scored in double figures 29 times, led the 2008-2009 squad with 17.5 points per game and a 27-4 season, was named to the National Junior College third-team All-American squad, was voted the Most Valuable Player in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference and also named to the Region 5 team, and was selected to the 2009 NJCAA Men's All-Star team.

 

#20 Theron Jenkins
Junior Forward
6-6 | 211
Flowood, Miss.

Jenkins played two seasons for Marty Cooper at Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Miss. In his two seasons, the Indians were 49-13. As a freshman, he played in all 34 games and averaged 7.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. ICC captured the division, state and regional championships in its 30-4 season.

Jenkins averaged 13.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, and played in all 28 games in his second season. The ICC Indians were 19-9 and won their third-straight north division title for the first time since 1974.

 

#30 Jaye Crockett
Freshman Forward
6-6 | 186
Clovis, N.M.

Crockett played for J. D. Isler at Clovis High School. The Wildcats were 29-2 in his junior season. The Purple and White completed the season as the Class 5A State Runner-up.

Crockett averaged 20.9 points and 10.4 rebounds per game as a junior, and was the only junior named to New Mexico's first-team all-state squad. Clovis won the 2008-2009 district championship on the road at Hobbs.

As a senior, Crockett scored 31 points in his final game to become the second-leading scorer in Clovis High School history. He averaged 29 points and 12 rebounds, and earned all-state first-team honors, as a senior.

 

The Analysis

Although Texas Tech returns several starters and even more returners, I'm not sure this is a team that many teams in the conference should fear. The chief reason for that is the departure of Alan Voskuil, the sharpshooter who fueled the upset win over Kansas with his many treys.

Now that Voskuil has graduated, it will fall to Mike Singletary to provide most of the Red Raiders' scoring. His ridiculous 43-point outburst against Texas A&M in the Big 12 Tournament singlehandedly won the game and nearly broke Michael Beasley's/Denis Clemente's Big 12 single-game record.

That game was a freakish deviation from the mean, though, as Singletary only averaged 12.2 points per game and hasn't yet shown that he is capable of being a 25- to 30-point scorer night in and night out. But he will have help in trying, in the form of honorable-mention All-Big 12 point guard John Roberson. Roberson has established himself as one of the best point guards in the league and should provide the Red Raiders with the leadership presence they need in the backcourt to challenge most Big 12 teams.

Guard Nick Okorie and forward Trevor Cook both were banged up at various times last season, but now both are healthy and look to secure starting spots in the Tech lineup. I predict that Robert Lewandowski, an Overland Park native, will step up in the post as the fifth starter, after Tech lost a slew of Eastern European big men to graduation last year.

Predicting the reserves is trickier, and that's one of the reasons I think Tech will struggle in 2009-2010. D'wayln Roberts started several games last season before being demoted, and he seems like a sure bet to net some serious playing time. David Tairu is a highly touted juco prospect who probably will have a big impact, too. But it drops off after that.

Corbin Ray started one or two games, but is not a particularly impressive player. Nor is Darko Cohadarevic, the only remaining Serbian on the roster after the Eastern bloc exodus of 2009, who is Tech's only other sizable, experienced option in the paint.

Tech is so thin that I have penciled in true freshman Mike Davis as the backup point guard, if that tells you anything. Brad Reese, like Tairu, is a juco player who probably will factor in somewhere, but he doesn't really project strongly to a certain position right now. Other players who probably won't be a factor, unless injuries pile up, are Wally Dunn, a walk-on guard of little consequence; Theron Jenkins, and incoming juco forward; and Jaye Crockett, a raw forward fresh out of high school.

 

Projected Starting Lineup

JohnRoberson NickOkorie MikeSingletary TrevorCook RobertLewandowski
John Roberson Nick Okorie Mike Singletary Trevor Cook Robert Lewandowski
1 2 3 4 5

 

Projected Top Reserves

TexasTech TexasTech DwalynRoberts CorbinRay DarkoCohadarevic
Mike Davis David Tairu D'walyn Roberts Corbin Ray Darko Cohadarevic
1 2 3 4 5

 

The Final Verdict

When your team looks as though it only can field a serious lineup of 7-8 players, in terms of functional, athletic depth, and you play in the Big 12 South, a good season probably is not in your near future. That seems to be the case for Texas Tech. Yes, they showed some drastic improvement at the end of last year — upsetting Kansas at home (a game I greatly enjoyed watching), mounting the frenzied comeback against Texas A&M and nearly knocking off Texas in Austin — but how much of that simply was due to the hot hands of Voskuil and Singletary?

If that's all that it was, Tech will struggle in a deep Big 12 and Pat Knight's seat will be plenty toasty by the end of the season. But if Tech added some underrated pieces and the rest of the team continues to improve, it potentially could move up the pecking order a few notches. I don't see it happening, though. To me, the Red Raiders look like a less talented version of Baylor: a team that is dangerous if it is knocking down the threes, but otherwise is somewhat toothless.

Predicted finish: 10th

Best-case scenario: 8th

 

Previously on KNOW THY ENEMY...

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  9. Iowa State
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