In the wake of Chris Beard’s departure from the Texas Tech basketball program for the hated Longhorns, he’s become the biggest punching bag in West Texas. And to hear Red Raider fans talk about him now, one might wonder how Beard ever had any success at all as a head coach.
Sure, it’s a case of sour grapes on the part of Texas Tech fans. And all of a sudden, Beard has instantly gone from a conquering hero to becoming a man who had to rely on the genius of his assistants like Mark Adams and Brian Burg or who had already peaked (after all, he’s gone just a combined 18-17 in Big 12 play over the last two seasons). And some around here have even called him a fraud (an assertion I still stand by based on the way he handled his exit after years of rhetoric proclaiming his affinity for Lubbock, Texas Tech, and the people of West Texas).
But the reality remains, Beard is a good coach. Is he the best coach in America like his new boss, Texas AD Chris Del Conte, proclaimed at Beard’s introductory press conference? No. But he has worked his way into the conversation of the top 10-15 coaches in the game right now.
However, that doesn’t mean he is perfect and there were some areas of the game in which Texas Tech fans were beginning to grow frustrated with him. So because it is now nearly illegal for anyone in scarlet and black to say anything even remotely kind about the man who is now public enemy No. 1 on top of the Caprock, let’s continue to take shots at Beard because…well…it’s fun and it makes us feel better.
Here are some areas where we hope the new head coach winds up being better than Chris Beard. And we will start with the greatest complaint that most Texas Tech fans had about his teams over the last five years.
Derive an effective offense
Beard was known for running the motion offense that he learned from former Indiana and Texas Tech head coach Bob Knight. But that offense, which heavily relies on mid-range jumpers and constant ball and player movement, is becoming a bit antiquated in today’s game where the 3-point shot and dribble penetration are the primary tenants of the nation’s most high-powered offenses.
So naturally, Red Raider fans want to see more scoring and efficiency on offense from whoever takes over the clipboard for Beard. And looking at the stats, it isn’t hard to understand why.
Make no mistake, offense is the name of the game in basketball at nearly every level of play these days. For instance, tonight, the top two teams in the nation in the KenPom.com adjusted offensive efficiency ratings, Gonzaga and Baylor, will meet in the National Championship Game.
As for Texas Tech, they ranked 32nd nationally in that stat, which is a measure of the number of points a team scored per 100 possessions. Of course, scoring over 100 points per possession is the goal as it means that a team is scoring at least an average of a point per possession and Tech was at 112.5.
But Tech needs to modernize its offense. Specifically, the 3-point shot needs to be much more of a weapon.
This past season, Tech was only 91st nationally in 3-point shooting percentage at 35.4%. What’s more, they were just No. 260 in 3-pointers made at 6.4 per game.
Time and time again, Tech found it tough to score against good defenses like Baylor, Kansas, or Arkansas just to name a few. And throughout the Beard era, prolonged scoring droughts were almost a game-by-game occurrence for the Red Raiders. Here’s hoping the new coach brings with him a more modern and effective offensive strategy than the one Beard has tied himself to.