The Texas Tech athletics division is no stranger to coaching fiascos. Tubby Smith leaving for Memphis following bringing the program back again to a competitive level stung. Matt Wells’ mid-time firing garnered a ton of awareness. Tommy Tubberville strolling out on a recruit evening meal seemed challenging to conquer as the most notable of them all. Insert Chris Beard.
On April Fool’s Working day 2021, Beard satisfied Texas Director of Athletics Chris Del Conte at a McDonald’s in Plainview, TX to signal a deal that designed him the up coming head coach of Texas Basketball. It was a move that despatched shockwaves by way of the higher education basketball globe, and just one that Texas Tech enthusiasts will never ever fail to remember.
Beard arrived in Lubbock pledging his allegiance to Texas Tech — which he referred to as “his mama” — saying it was time to come dwelling. Beard experienced used a long time on the Texas Tech sideline with Bobby Knight, soaking up basketball greatness. His introductory press meeting was beaming with loyalty, competitiveness and gratitude — 3 issues West Texans really do not just take evenly.
Beard continued the upward trajectory of the software. His first year at the helm was forgettable, but 12 months two was a obvious pivot. Texas Tech would find by itself in the Elite 8 for the initial time in software record. Nobody could’ve guessed what would appear the subsequent year. Texas Tech identified itself participating in on a Monday night time in April. Texas Tech was just one of two teams left standing, and their enthusiasts will be happy to notify you that they had been a thoroughly balanced Tariq Owens and a no-connect with on what was whistled a journey absent from keeping the trophy.
The upcoming two seasons for Beard have been competitive, but never elite as the previous two seasons were. Texas Tech went 18-17 in Huge 12 enjoy people two yrs, and the very last video game Beard would coach at Texas Tech was a Spherical of 32 loss to Arkansas. They had been seasons marked by irritation of receiving so shut to the top rated, and never quite obtaining back there.
Numerous queries were being questioned on April 1, the most notable getting, “Where does Texas Tech basketball go from here?” The roster experienced withered down to 4 gamers in a matter of days and there was no head coach to direct the program. The candidacy for the job was constantly among former Texas Tech basketball and recent Milwaukee Bucks assistant mentor Darvin Ham, or longtime leading-assistant on Texas Tech’s sideline Mark Adams. West Texas voiced their feeling in favor of the West Texan, and Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt adopted go well with. Mark Adams would eventually fulfill his aspiration of becoming the head mentor at Texas Tech, but it wasn’t with no difficulties.
“The trouble was it was just Coach Sutton and I in an vacant business,” Adams explained on filling the head coaching vacancy. “We had the eyesight, ‘Let’s set with each other a championship group.’ We knew it’d be championship program we did not know it would materialize this rapid.”
Adams’ 1st year at the helm was very little short of remarkable. The incredible performances of head coaches close to college or university basketball these kinds of as Tommy Lloyd or Ed Cooley will probable price Adams the trophy, but there are number of far better candidates than himself. Immediately after rebuilding practically the total roster, dealing with season-very long accidents and actively playing in the hardest meeting in the nation, Texas Tech finished the typical period with a 23-8 (12-6 in Massive 12 Perform) file.
The Pink Raiders’ executed Adams’ patented “No-Middle” defense to perfection. As of March 17, Texas Tech is very first in KenPom.com’s Altered Defensive Efficiency. Their size and athleticism make it possible for them to matchup with anybody and everyone in the nation.
“I have constantly been a defensive mentor,” Adams claimed forward of Texas Tech’s very first spherical matchup versus Montana Condition. Utilizing a plan as intricate as no-center at Texas Tech was a complicated commitment for Adams to make, but a person that was truly worth it.
“It was a real motivation, we wanna do a no-center protection,” Adams reported.
Offensively, Texas Tech has been a do the job-in-progress for all 34 online games this time. Bryson Williams is great for a bucket everywhere close to the rim, but the offense can get stuck when he’s being defended properly. Terrence Shannon Jr. ended this season taking pictures extra successfully and confidently than he has in his full career. Kevin McCullar does so a great deal that it is unachievable to effectively summarize below. Then there is the onslaught of other transfers on the roster that Adams has tried to piece together nicely.
“That to start with week with seven new transfers, I jokingly reported I preferred to transfer,” Adams stated on adjusting to a new roster. “Getting all these guys to share the ball . . . and regulate to a entirely new job, so considerably of the credit history goes back again to these men for being unselfish.”
The extraordinary on-court docket efficiency put Texas Tech on the three-line in this year’s NCAA Event, tying the best seeding the application has ever obtained. Seeded in a West Location loaded with recognized courses these as Duke and Gonzaga, Adams and his team will be hoping to establish that they belong in that echelon as effectively.
“It hits house when I see my name and March Insanity,” Adams stated to open his initially NCAA Tournament push convention. “It’s just something that you dream of as a small kid.”
Adams is now entering the remaining extend of what all 358 Division I coaches purpose to do — gain that Monday night time sport. A previous NAIA Nationwide Winner mentor, Adams is no stranger to postseason basketball. But he’ll now be doing to do it on the biggest stage, and satisfy one thing no Texas Tech has ever carried out.
“There’s nothing at all much better than becoming a winner and getting the greatest in the nation,” Adams stated.