Texas Tech basketball: 5 questions to be answered as practice begins

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Jan 29, 2020; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Chris Beard with the student body after the game agains the West Virginia Mountaineers at United Supermarkets Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech basketball team has begun fall camp and these questions loom over the program ahead of the season.

The first day of college basketball practice for the 2020-21 season arrived Wednesday.  And after the cancellation of March Madness this past spring, it is safe to say that we’ve never been happier to have NCAA hoops back in our lives.

But there are still a number of intriguing developments yet to unfold in the face of the ongoing pandemic.  For instance, we still do not have a schedule for Chris Beard and his team.

It is believed that one will drop any day now and when that happens, it will be the most anticipated and discussed schedule release in program history.  That’s because we don’t know if the non-conference games will be played in a bubble type situation nor do we know if the conference slate will still have two games per week as is customary.

Also, the timing of the games will likely look different.  We already know that Tech will play conference games against Kansas and Oklahoma prior to Christmas so it would seem likely that the rest of the schedule will be more spaced out to give teams more flexibility should games need to be rescheduled due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

We also know that the maximum number of regular-season games has been dropped to 27, again presumably giving the schedule more room for make-up windows should they be needed.  Also, we learned on Tuesday that the NCAA has voted to allow winter sports athletes an extra year of eligibility just as it did with those competing in fall sports.

Locally, we know that the Red Raiders will be utilizing the new state of the art Womble practice facility, which ushers in a new era in the program’s history.  With two full-sized practice floors, one for the men’s program and one for the women’s, as well as top-notch meeting and training rooms, “The Womble” will be a huge recruiting tool for Beard moving forward and it gives Texas Tech perhaps the best combination of game and practice facilities in the Big 12.

We also know that Beard will once again be piecing together a roster that has been rebuilt on the fly.  With three new transfers (Marcus Santos-Silva, Mac McClung, and Jamarius Burton) and a four-man freshman class, over half of the roster is new to the program.

However, we also know that Beard is more than comfortable with rebuilt rosters.  After all, he’s made a living in the transfer portal since his arrival on the South Plains and he seems to prefer to churn his roster every offseason in hopes of finding a championship mix of players.

But while we think we know quite a bit about where this program and this team stand as camp begins, there remain some questions that are yet to be answered.  So let’s take a look at what we still don’t know about this year’s Red Raiders.

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