Chris Beard has become synonymous with the transfer market so let’s rank the transfers that he’s brought into the Texas Tech basketball program thus far.
In the modern age of the sport, the transfer portal has revolutionized college hoops. And no program has had more success with the talent mined from that pit than the Texas Tech basketball program.
Chris Beard has been at the forefront of the transfer revolution since the moment he arrived in Lubbock. In fact, he’s now brought ten transfers (both graduate and undergraduate) into the program in his tenure, including three who are set to arrive this summer.
Wednesday, the news that Georgetown’s leading scorer, Mac McClung, has decided to continue his career at Tech was met with wild enthusiasm by the fan base. And for good reason.
This season, the 6-foot-2 guard scored 15.7 points per game, which would have led Tech in scoring. He will help offset the loss of Davide Moretti (13 p.p.g.) and the assumed loss of Jahmi’us Ramsey (15 p.p.g.).
Another guard that Beard has brought into the program is Jamarius Burton. A sophomore point guard from Wichita State, he averaged 10.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. However, unlike McClung, Burton will not seek a waiver for eligibility this year. Rather, he will be redshirting and will look to make his mark on the South Plains in 2021-22.
The third high-profile transfer to sign with Tech this offseason is Marcus Santos-Silva. The 6-foot-7, 250-pound forward led Virginia Commonwealth in scoring last year at over 14 points per game and he will provide Tech some much-needed help in the post this season. He will also be the only senior on the roster now that Moretti has departed.
This unconventional way of recruiting is a signal that Beard is in win-now mode. He’s doubling down on his ability to piece together a new roster on an almost annual basis in order to field a team chalked full of players ready to play significant roles in the Big 12 right away.
While he is not neglecting the high school recruiting ranks, he is only fishing in the deepest waters and for the biggest fish. Players like Russel Tchewa, Andrei Savrasov, Josh Mballa, and Malik Ondigo who look to be long-term projects after not proving ready to contribute as freshmen or sophomores are being replaced by transfers who have already displayed an ability to handle significant roles at the collegiate level.
This is where Beard’s background comes in handy. From 2011-2016, he spent no more than two years at any one coaching stop. Yearly Frankensteining new rosters on the fly has helped Beard learn how to juggle massive turnover and still compete for titles as he did in 2018-19 when he saw six players from the 2018 Elite 8 team depart only to reach the National Title Game anyway.
Much of that success has been in the transfer market as he’s been able to identify new leaders who can step in and keep the program’s overall momentum headed in the right direction. So let’s rank the seven transfers Beard has brought to the Hub City thus far.