With the decade coming to a close this month, let’s take a look back at the Texas Tech basketball all-decade team by starting with the point guards.
The end of a decade is a natural time for fans to spend some time reminiscing and for Texas Tech basketball fans, the last 10 years have been a rather wild ride. That’s because this truly was a decade of two varying eras.
When the calendar flipped to 2010, the second-semester of Pat Knight’s best season brought Tech to a 19-16 overall record and a trip to the NIT quarterfinals. But a 4-12 conference record put Tech just 9th in the12-team Big 12…remember when the Big 12 had 12 teams?
A year later, the Knight era of Tech basketball ended after a 13-19 season and 10th-place conference showing. But we had no idea the disaster we were in for.
In 2011, disgraced former Kentucky head coach Billie Gillespie took over the Red Raiders as new athletic director Kirby Hocutt hopped that he would resurrect this program the way he had Texas A&M and not flame out as he did in Lexington because of personal issues. Unfortunately, our worst fears were realized when Gillespie stepped down as head coach in the fall of 2012, just a matter of weeks before his second season was set to begin.
In his lone year on the bench, he guided his team to an awful 8-23 record. Aside from the mysterious nature of his departure, which included admission into the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for health concerns, his most lasting legacy in Lubbock was allegations of mistreatment levied against him by his own players.
In his place stepped interim head coach Chris Walker who managed to get his team to an 11-20 season, which was better than most expected given the lack of talent on his roster and the chaos that brought him to the head coach’s office. In fact, many believed that he deserved to get the job on a full-time basis but in the spring of 2013, Hocutt made the best move of his Red Raider career to that point.
Bringing in former National Title-winning coach Tubby Smith, Hocutt helped end the program’s free-fall. Though in his three years, Smith had only one winning record (2015-16), he led Tech to its first NCAA Tournament in nine years and brought in the recruiting class that would turn the program around; the 2014 class of Keenan Evans, Norense Odiase, Justin Gray, and Zach Smith.
Of course, we know the rest of the story for this program. The final three full years of the decade were the most glorious in program history with Chris Beard leading his team to the Elite 8 in 2018 and the National Title Game in 2019.
When you break down Tech basketball’s record for the first five and the last five years of the decade, it’s a rather stark contrast. Beginning with a 76-75 win over McNeese State on New Year’s Day 2010 and going until a December 29th, 2014 win over North Texas in Lubbock 60-45, the Red Raiders went 62-90 (40.7%) in the first half of this decade.
But starting with a 70-61 loss to Texas in Lubbock on January 3rd, 2015 and going through Wednesday’s OT loss at DePaul, Tech has gone 103-60 (63.1%) in the last five years. That’s how to finish strong.
So let’s start our look back at this decade by looking at the point guards on our all-decade team. Being as a typical roster has 15 players, we can dedicate three spots to each position so here are our picks for the point guards on the all-2010s Texas Tech basketball team.