Texas Tech basketball 2021-22 season preview

Red Raider Nation

Mark Adams (Nexstar/Jason Davis)

LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech men’s basketball tips off Mark Adams’ first season as head coach Tuesday night against North Florida.

The team features a roster made up of mostly transfers that Adams put together in the offseason after Chris Beard departed for the University of Texas.

Under Beard, the Red Raiders went to each of the last three NCAA Tournaments. This year, the team will try to make it back with a new man in charge and plenty of fresh faces on the court.

Here’s what you need to know about the team before the season opener.

The Coach

At age 65, Mark Adams is beginning his first season as Texas Tech’s head coach. Adams became Beard’s defensive maestro in 2015 when Beard took the head coaching position at Arkansas-Little Rock and followed him to Texas Tech, where he orchestrated some of the best statistical defenses in the nation. Adams was a head coach at several different Texas schools from 1981-2013 but has never been in charge of a program as large as Texas Tech.

The Schedule

Texas Tech opens its schedule with North Florida Tuesday and will play its first six games of the season against teams from small conferences. The first week of December features two contests in the northeast against larger programs: a December 1 clash at Providence and a December 7 game against No. 18 Tennessee in Madison Square Garden. Its biggest nonconference game will be December 18, when the Red Raiders take on No. 1 Gonzaga in Phoenix.

Big 12 play opens January 1 when Oklahoma State visits United Supermarkets Arena. Seven days later, No. 3 Kansas will play in Lubbock. Chris Beard’s No. 5 Texas Longhorns team will visit Texas Tech on February 1, in front of what promises to be a passionate crowd. The rematch in Austin will be February 19. Texas Tech will finish its regular season March 5 at Oklahoma State.

Who Left?

G Mac McClung (NBA)
G Jamarius Burton (Pittsburgh)
G Micah Peavy (TCU)
F Tyreek Smith (Oklahoma State)
G Kyler Edwards (Houston)
G Avery Benson (Texas)
F Vladislav Goldin (Florida Atlantic)

Texas Tech lost several key members of last season’s team. McClung, the leading scorer, is now with the South Bay Lakers of the NBA G-League. Edwards was a core member of the team during each of the last three seasons but left for Texas Tech’s future Big 12 rival: Houston. Smith and Peavy both showed promise as freshmen last season before they opted to transfer as well.

Who’s Back?

G Terrence Shannon Jr.
G Clarence Nadolny
F Marcus Santos-Silva
G Kevin McCullar
G Chibuzo Agbo

Only five members of last season’s team are back, but Adams did retain three members of the starting lineup and a promising talent in Agbo. Shannon was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team, but Texas Tech announced he is being held out amid a review after he entered the 2021 NBA Draft but later withdrew his name.

McCullar boasts an impressive all-around game and has steadily improved since he arrived on campus. Santos-Silva and Nadolny provide experience and defense, while the sweet-shooting Agbo could be in line for an uptick in minutes.

Who’s In?

F Kevin Obanor (Oral Roberts)
G Davion Warren (Hampton)
F Daniel Batcho (Arizona)
G Sardaar Calhoun (Florida State)
G Ethan Duncan (Trinity Christian HS)
F Bryson Williams (UTEP)
G Mylik Wilson (Louisiana)
F KJ Allen (East Los Angeles College)
G Adonis Arms (Winthrop)

With lots of roster spots to fill, Adams brought in an eclectic mixture of players from large and small schools across the country.

Obanor is the headliner after he helped lead No. 15-seeded Oral Roberts to an improbable Sweet 16 run in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. He averaged 18.7 points and 9.6 rebounds per game last season while shooting an impressive 46.3 percent from 3-point range.

Williams, Wilson and Warren were all productive players for smaller schools before transferring to Texas Tech. Warren was the No. 13 leading scorer nationally last year, averaging 21.3 points per game at Hampton.

Arms and Calhoun were each role players on NCAA Tournament teams last season. Allen jumped to Division 1 from the Junior College level, where he was featured on Netflix’s Last Chance U.

It remains to be seen which of these new additions will translate well to Texas Tech and how much each one will play, but Red Raider fans will get their first taste of the new squad Tuesday night at United Supermarkets Arena.

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