Texas Tech basketball benefits from Scott Drew staying at Baylor

With Scott Drew reportedly turning down the Kentucky job, Texas Tech doesn't have to worry about losing Grant McCasland
Baylor's head coach Scott Drew stands on the sidelines against Texas Tech in a Big 12 men's
Baylor's head coach Scott Drew stands on the sidelines against Texas Tech in a Big 12 men's / Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY

For years, Texas Tech fans have wanted to see someone pry Baylor head coach Scott Drew out of Waco. That all changed this year, though, as fears arose that Baylor would target Red Raider head coach Grant McCasland to replace Drew if Drew were to leave for the vacant Kentucky job, which was reportedly offered to him.

Now, those fears can be put to rest because Drew is staying at Baylor. That's great news for Texas Tech basketball fans.

We won't ever know if Baylor would have been able to lure McCasland away from Lubbock. However, the pull would have been tremendous given that McCasland is a Baylor alum and that he coached there under Drew from 2011-16.

What we do know, though, is that Tech could ill-afford to lose another head coach to his alma mater. After all, this is a program in desperate need of stability.

Since 2012, the Red Raiders have had six different head coaches. That's an average of just two years on the job per coach.

What's more, had the worst-case scenario played out and McCasland would have taken the Baylor job, Tech would have had to hire its third head coach since 2021. That's not how you win in college basketball.

Rather, stability is the name of the game. Just look at the top programs in the Big 12 for proof. Drew has been at Baylor since 2003 and he's built that program into a National Title winner in 2021.

At Kansas, Bill Self has also been in charge since 2003. There, he's won two National Championships in his tenure.

Kelvin Sampson has been head coach at Houston since 2014. In that time, he's turned the Cougars into a perennial title contender.

Tech hasn't had that type of stability. Chris Beard could have had that but he decided to take the job at his alma mater, Texas, in April of 2021 after five years in Lubbock.

Mark Adams, given his advanced age, was never likely to be a long-term solution for Tech. Beard's successor, though, only lasted two seasons before resigning amid allegations of improper player treatment.

McCasland could become a fixture on the sidelines at Texas Tech, though. Just 47 years old, he's still in the early stages of his college basketball head coaching career.

Still, he's already proven to be a winner. Including this year at Tech when he took the Red Raiders to the NCAA Tournament in his first season on the job (something that only four men have accomplished), he's got a career winning percentage of .740 (including his JUCO record at Midland College).

Also, he's brought structure and calm to the Texas Tech program. Sure, in the age of the N.I.L payments, there's only so much continuity and structure that programs can expect and this year, Tech has seen its share of defections to the transfer portal, as most programs have.

However, McCasland has brought peace and stability to the program behind the scenes. He's been the buttoned-up adult in the room that Texas Tech hoops desperately needed after the chaos of the end of the Beard era and the irresponsibility that Adams showed toward the program when he had what should have been his dream job at his alma mater.

McCasland looks to be the right guy for Texas Tech both now and into the future. That's why it would have been so devastating to lose him to Baylor.

Again, we don't know if he would have made that jump but we do know that it would have been a possibility that Tech would have had to face head-on had Drew jumped at the Kentucky offer. Now, Tech needs to use this somewhat close call as a motivator to up its financial commitment to both McCasland and the N.I.L. collective that is the lifeblood of the program these days.

Fortunately, Drew is staying put and so is McCasland. Though Texas Tech fans would have loved to see Baylor lose the architect of its program's success, the thought of potentially losing another head coach to his alma mater was worse that then thought of continuing to have to face Drew in the Big 12 for years to come.