The transfers have to be leaders
A case could be made that this season, the transfers that Chris Beard has brought into the program are more important than any other group of transfers he’s ever leaned on. Yes, even more important than the 2018-19 transfers, Matt Mooney and Tariq Owens.
Remember, that year Tech’s best player was Jarrett Culver and the team’s second-leading scorer that year was Davide Moretti. Those two had the ability to carry the team, which they often did, especially early in the season while Mooney and Owens were settling into their roles.
But from the moment this season began, Tech has needed Mac McClung and Marcus Santos-Silva to be leaders. There’s been no honeymoon period nor has there been time for each to get their feet wet as Red Raiders.
When either of those two players has struggled, so too has the entire team. For example, Santos-Silva put up a combined four points in Tech’s losses to Houston and KU.
Additionally, in those two games, McClung was just 8-27 (29.6%) from the field. In other words, when Tech’s two main transfers have been off their game, this team has not been able to overcome that lack of productivity.
In 2018-19, Tech had Norense Odiase to help Owens hold down the fort in the paint. And though he was important, Mooney wasn’t the only guard on that team who could score in bunches and who could lock players down on defense.
But this year, if Santos-Silva is not a factor, Tech has gone to a 5-guard lineup meaning he’s theoretically more important to this team than Owens was to his. Also, McClung not only has to score, he has to create offense for others, a set of burdens that only Culver was asked to shoulder in that magical season that ended in Minneapolis.
So it is fair to say that this year’s transfers are more than just critical to the Red Raiders’ success. They are the keys to the entire equation.