Texas Tech basketball: Chris Beard contacts another UNLV transfer candidate

It is being reported that Texas Tech basketball head coach Chris Beard has been in contact with UNLV graduate transfer Amauri Hardy, which won’t sit well with the people in Vegas.

Chris Beard doesn’t seem to care what the people at UNLV think about him.  All he wants to do is improve his roster through whatever means allowable by the NCAA.  Thus, he’s not shying away from contacting another UNLV transfer prospect, Amauri Hardy.

According to Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers.com, Tech is one of several programs including to USC, Wichita State, Ole Miss, Iona, DePaul, Kentucky, Oregon, Michigan State, Arizona, Memphis, Cincinnati, and Maryland to have contacted the 6-foot-2 guard.

For his career, the Detroit, Michigan native has averaged 10.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.  And this past season, he scored a career-best 14.5 points per game while grabbing 3.3 rebounds and handing out 3.3 assists per game.

This year, he had six 20-point games but he apparently was not happy in the system of new UNLV head coach T.J. Otzelberger’s system.  But the way Mike Grimala of the Las Vegas Sun describes that system sounds similar to the system Beard runs in Lubbock.

“The decision to transfer is not a complete surprise,” Grimala writes. “Hardy is more comfortable as an on-ball guard, while Otzelberger’s system is built on motion, handoffs and working the ball around the perimeter quickly.”

Perhaps the thought from Beard’s perspective is that Hardy could be more of a classic point guard, which is something the 2019-20 team was lacking this year and is not a type of player that appears to be in the incoming recruiting class.  What’s more, fans have to wonder what the interest in another guard might suggest about one of the offseason’s biggest questions.

As the current roster stands, Tech has a scholarship crunch to work out as teams are allowed only 13 scholarship players per year and with only two of the 13 scholarship players on this season’s team set to leave (grad transfers Chris Clarke and T.J. Holyfield) and three freshmen signed in the 2020 class, there’s likely going to be some departures.

Will one be freshman guard Jahmi’us Ramsey?  This season’s leading scorer (15 points per game), is likely to at least test the NBA waters this summer and the interest in bringing in another guard might be a safeguard in case Ramsey does enter the draft this offseason.

Of course, how and when that process will take place is unknown at this time due to the coronavirus outbreak.  In recent days, some of the top grad transfers on the market have already announced their new schools of choice which makes one think that Beard will not have the luxury of waiting to find out what happens with Ramsey before being willing to take commitments from grad transfers.

Should he bring aboard another UNLV player, it would be yet another round in the Beard vs. UNLV feud, which is rather one-sided with all of the animosity coming from the people in Vegas.  The ill will began back in 2016 when Beard left Vegas after less than a month on the job as UNLV head coach to come back to Texas Tech where he spent ten years as an assistant under Bob Knight.

Many believe that those hurt feelings carried over to this season as the Rebels supposedly did not cooperate with the eligibility waiver of former UNLV forward Joel Ntambwe.  After playing the 2018-19 season with the Rebels, Ntambwe was the only one of five Rebels to leave after last year to not be granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA and Tech fans believe without question that bad blood from the people at UNLV was a huge factor in the NCAA’s decision.

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Thus, it would make Red Raider fans rather happy to see Beard pilfer the UNLV ranks once again, even though it appears that the Rebels want to move on from Hardy anyway.  But should that happen, it will be the first domino to fall in what is going to be an interesting offseason in terms of how next year’s roster will be constructed.

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