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With Culver, Mooney, Owens Gone and Corprew Suspended, Is Texas Tech Still a Top-25 Team?

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Will the Texas Tech Red Raiders struggle next season after losing four starters? Photo by Texas Tech University Student Housing [CC License].
  • The Texas Tech Red Raiders lost in the National Championship game last season
  • The Red Raiders lost four starters off of their roster and have now suspended returning forward Deshawn Corprew
  • They have a Top 20 recruiting class coming in along with three quality transfers

The Texas Tech Red Raiders made it to the National Championship game last season, losing to the Virginia Cavaliers. While it showed that the Red Raiders have arrived as a big-time program, some are wondering if they’ll be a contender in 2019 given how much they’ve lost. Are they still worthy of being a top 25 team despite owning NCAA Championship odds of +3300?

2020 NCAA Men’s Tournament Odds

Team 2020 NCAA Tournament Odds at Bovada
Duke +750
Kentucky +750
Michigan State +700
Virginia +800
Memphis +1200
North Carolina +1300
Gonzaga +1500
Kansas +1600
Villanova +1700
Louisville +1800
Michigan +1800
Oregon +2500
Auburn +3000
Texas Tech +3300
Tennessee +3500
Florida +3500
Maryland +3500
Mississippi State +4000
Marquette +4000
Texas +4500

*Odds taken 06/27/2019

Red Raiders Lost a Lot

There’s no question that the Red Raiders have lost a lot off the roster in the offseason. Jarrett Culver was the biggest loss as the 2019 Big 12 Player of the Year was taken sixth overall in the NBA Draft. The team also lost Matt Mooney and Tariq Owens. That removes three of their top four leading scorers who contributed 38.5 points per game.

On top of that, the team found out that Deshawn Corprew – one of the returning players from last season – has been suspended due to a Title IX complaint. The junior forward has been involved in some type of sexual misconduct or gender discrimination. We don’t know how long he’ll be out but he’s suspended while the school investigates.

Corprew averaged 5.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 13.5 minutes of action last season and was expected to take on a bigger role.

Recruiting Going Strong

Chris Beard is one of the best coaches in the country right now, so before we rush to judgement, we have to trust his recruiting. Remember, the Red Raiders went to the Elite Eight two years ago and lost a ton of talent, including first-round pick Zhaire Smith. They reloaded quickly and ended up winning the title the next season.

In 2018, Beard had the No. 33 recruiting class, according to 247Sports. However, the 2019 class is one of the best-ever for the school, ranking No. 16 overall and No. 2 in the Big 12. That doesn’t even factor three transfers who are on the top – each of whom could start next season.

Moretti, Edwards Set for Step Up, Ramsey Could Breakout

Two returning players that should lead the way next season will be Davide Moretti and Kyler Edwards. Moretti was the team’s sharpshooter last season, hitting 45.9% of his threes while averaging 11.5 points per game. He’ll be able to give more. Edwards is another quality guard on the team who is expected to step up.

As for who the team’s next star will be, it should be Jahmius Ramsey. The much-hyped forward will have to develop quickly as a freshman but Beard knows how to push the right buttons.

Bet on Texas Tech Being a Contender

This team isn’t going anywhere. Yes, they lost four starters – including Culver, who was a star – but this team already showed us how quickly they can reload. On top of that, they have a couple of quality players returning in Moretti and Edwards, have a good recruiting class and will welcome key transfers in Chris Clarke and T.J. Holyfield, who will probably start.

Beyond any of that, Texas Tech is sure to be one of the best defensive teams in the country. That’s their calling card as its always been under Beard. That means they’ll have time to develop the scoring with Ramsey and others. This is a quality team that’s being undervalued across all futures markets right now.

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