Lack of size will be an issue
There’s just no way to look at what this Red Raider team has done so far and believe that size isn’t going to be a problem at points this year. After all, when the only post player your coaching staff trusts is 6-foot-7, you aren’t going to measure up to every team (pun intended).
It’s been telling that in recent games, Beard has gone to a five-guard lineup when Santos-Silva has been in foul trouble. Against KU, when the VCU transfer played only 18:49, Tech went to a five-guard lineup for 12:28 seconds of game time. That’s well over a fourth of the contest that saw Tech play without a post player on the court.
Then, against OU, when Santos-Silva fouled out, Tech finished the game with five guards on the floor despite the fact that the Red Raiders were being dominated on the glass by the Sooners.
It tells us what Beard thinks about Tyreek Smith and Vlad Goldin’s ability to help this team right now. It also tells us that size is going to be an issue for this year’s team.
One problem is that Santos-Silva is rather foul-prone. This year, he’s averaging 2.9 fouls per game and in each of his last four games, he’s had at least four fouls.
Coming up, it will be fascinating to see how Tech tries to combat teams like Texas and West Virginia, both of which have elite size on their roster. But while we don’t know how the Red Raiders will try to neutralize that disadvantage, we do know that this year’s team is not going to have much size (at least that it trusts) to throw at opponents.