Texas Tech basketball: Ranking the all-time Red Raider point guards

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 23: Keenan Evans
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 23: Keenan Evans /
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(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

No. 3: Rayford Young 1996-2000

The father of one of today’s new breed of NBA point guards was at one time himself, one of the best point guards to ever play for the Red Raiders.  From 1996-2000, Rayford Young was a fan-favorite in Lubbock nearly two decades before his son Trae became a villain to Tech fans by shunning his father’s alma mater to play for Oklahoma before going on to star for the Atlanta Hawks.

The elder Young was not quite the national sensation that his son became in just one year at college.  But Rayford was no slouch in his own right.

Averaging 10.8 points per game, Young ranks 16th in program history with 1,525 career points.  What’s more, he ranks fifth in program history when it comes to points in Big 12 games with 887.

The fact that he played in the Big 12, which has been a much stronger basketball conference from its inception, rather than in the SWC which Sean Gay played in, is what elevates him to No. 3, despite the fact that Gay has better overall numbers.

Of course, his most memorable game came against the Big 12’s most high-profile team.  In February of 1999, Young poured in 41 points, including 32 in the final nine minutes as Tech upset the Jayhawks 90-84 in the now-demolished Lubbock Municipal Coliseum.

What’s more, he had 36 against No.10 Iowa State in Lubbock the following year.  Unfortunately, Tech was not able to pull off the upset that day as the Cyclones prevailed.

Arriving just after Tech’s memorable Sweet 16 run in 1996, Young had the unfortunate timing of being around for the downfall of the James Dickey era while leaving just prior to Bob Knight’s arrival.

In that time, Tech struggled going just 57-56 overall and failing to reach the NCAA Tournament.  Young did about as much as could have been expected of any guard averaging 16.9 points per game in his final two seasons.

Unfortunately, there was not enough talent around him to capitalize and he wound up having to carry a team that was left reeling after NCAA sanctions ruled the Red Raiders ineligible for conference wins or an NCAA Tournament bid in 1996-97.  During the final years of the James Dickey era, Rayford Young was often the only bright spot for a Red Raider program that was usually outmanned when facing their new rivals in the Big 12.  Still, he was able to finish his career as one the best to ever play for Texas Tech.