In this year’s version of The Basketball Tournament, former Texas Tech basketball standout Zach Smith is playing well and providing plenty of highlights.
Fans desperate for live sports have been somewhat satiated by the playing of this year’s The Basketball Tournament. And Texas Tech basketball fans have enjoyed seeing former Red Raider Zach Smith provide the type of highlight plays that he was known for during his time in Lubbock.
This single-elimination tournament pits 24 teams made up almost exclusively of former college basketball stars who are playing overseas. The winning team gets $1 million.
Somehow, Smith wound up on a team comprised mainly of graduates from Marshall University called team Herd That (Marshall’s mascot is the Thundering Herd). And thus far, not only is he playing well, he has provided the highlight dunk of the tournament.
On Sunday, in his team’s first game, a victory over the Peoria All-Stars, Smith threw down one of the most insane dunks one could ever hope to see. Cutting to the rim after setting a screen, he grabbed from a player in the corner of the court a lob that was over his head and finished it with authority and a primal scream to boot.
Though dunks like that are rare in any competition, seeing Smith throw down acrobatic rim-rattlers is nothing new for Texas Tech basketball fans. After all, the Plano native remains one of the most electrifying dunkers in the history of the program.
For instance, in 2016, he opened Tech’s first-round NCAA Tournament game against Butler with a reverse alley-oop. He would finish the day with 8 points, 4 rebounds, and a pair of blocks but unfortunately it wasn’t enough as Tech was a one-and-done participant in its first Big Dance in nine years.
The next season, the 6-foot-8 forward garnered national attention for a dunk in a blowout win over Kennesaw State. Taking off from the Big 12 logo in the paint and throwing down an emphatic windmill slam, Smith was the lead on the nightly Sports Center with Scott Van Pelt.
In 117 games for the Red Raiders, Smith averaged 8.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. What’s more, he is second in Texas Tech basketball history with 158 blocks, and had he not missed half of his senior year with a foot injury, he would have easily shattered the record of 162, held by Tony Battie.
Smith is now playing well in The Basketball Tournament. In the victory over the Peoria All-Stars he had 10 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block. Four days later, he had 12 points, 5 boards, and an assist in a close win over The Money Team.
Now, he and his teammates on Herd That return to action in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Texas Tech fans can see Smith again on one of the ESPN networks (TBT website did not say which one) at 1 pm CST. And if you tune in, don’t look away when the former Red Raider is in the game because he’s bound to give us yet another amazing highlight.