The Texas Tech basketball has learned that it will face Southern California in the first round of 2018 Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City.
The 2018-19 Texas Tech basketball schedule continues to grow more intriguing and more challenging. Already with non-conference games against Arkansas, Memphis and Duke on the schedule, Tuesday the Red Raiders learned that they will face the University of Southern California in the Hall of Fame Classic on November 19th in Kansas City.
The other two teams competing in the event, which is being held at the Sprint Center (home of the Big 12 Championship Tournament) are Nebraska and Missouri state, one of which Tech will face on November 20th. The event is held in conjunction with the College Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.
This matchup will feature two teams with high aspirations in 2018-19. Texas Tech is looking to build on the program’s first trip to the Elite 8 while Southern Cal has the 18th-ranked signing class in the country.
That class is highlighted by 5-star guard Kevin Porter from Seattle, WA. Porter is the No. 28 overall player in the 2018 class and the No. 4 rated shooting guard in the nation.
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Last season, USC finished second in the Pac 12 with a 12-6 mark in league play. However, at 24-12 overall, the Trojans did not make the NCAA Tournament, losing to Western Kentucky in the second round of the NIT.
Much like Texas Tech, USC will feature a handful of new faces as two members from last year’s team De’Anthony Melton and Chimezie Metu were taken in the second round in June’s draft and sophomore forward Harrison Henderson decided to transfer following the season. But the Trojans will still have star guard Bennie Boatwright, a senior-to-be who averaged 13.6 points-per-game last year before a February knee injury ended his season prematurely.
Meanwhile, Texas Tech is looking at replacing six of the team’s top eight scorers from last season including graduates Keenan Evans, Niem Stevenson, Justin Gray, Zach Smith and Tommy Hamilton. And of course, the hole left by the departure of Zhaire Smith for the NBA will be a major issue Chris Beard and his coaching staff will have to address. Smith averaged 11.6 points-per-game last year, second on the team to Evans and his defensive prowess was second-to-none..
The full 2018-19 Texas Tech basketball schedule has not been released to the public but with USC, Arkansas, Duke and Memphis already having been announced as non-conference opponents, it already looks to be much more daunting than last year’s slate. Once the full schedule is released, Wreck ‘Em Red will have a full breakdown.