Yesterday we created a to-do list for the 2014 Texas Tech football season, which included some attainable goals both on and off the field.
Next up, we look at a few reasonable expectations for Red Raider basketball in year two of #TubbyTime.
1. Replace Jaye Crockett’s Production
There’s no replacing what he gave Tubby Smith in terms of veteran leadership, but someone has to step up and replace Crockett’s production for Tech to have a shot at improvement. During the 2013-14 season, Crockett led the team with 13.9 points/game and 6.4 rebounds/game. He also averaged nearly 30 mins. per contest, more than any other player. He wasn’t the biggest or most athletic guy on the court, but Crockett was a difference maker in multiple ways. Someone else has to step up next season.
2. Keep filling up the United Spirit Arena
Tech never managed to max out its 15,000-seat arena this year, but they came close a few times. Smith and Co. created a palpable buzz in Lubbock with several key victories early in Big 12 play, which quickly translated to ticket sales and increased student attendance. Red Raider fans are hungry for good basketball and proved this year they will show up if there’s a team worth watching.
3. Finish Better than .500
Even down the stretch, Smith and the team was in place to make a run at finishing above .500 in his first year with a team that hasn’t been competitive for a long time. Expectations for next season will undoubtedly be higher, especially given the significantly more manageable non-con schedule.
4. Go Deep in the Big 12 Tournament
Tech hasn’t done anything in the Big 12 tournament lately, usually because of tough draws in the first round. If they can be competitive in the Big 12, wind up with a favorable seeding and get hot at the right time, Tech could make a run to close out the season, placing them squarely in position for a shot at the post-season.
5. Make the NIT
To be completely honest, a birth in the NIT is minimum expectation for Tech basketball going into the 2014-2015 season. Just two wins shy of a .500 record this season, the hope is with another year of recruiting and coaching, Tubby Smith and his staff should have the resources available for a run in the post-season next year.