Who the Heck is Playing Basketball for Texas Tech in 2019-20?
After the closing moments of the national championship loss to Virginia the Texas Tech basketball fanbase was moving on to 2019-20 and trying to construct a roster that could get them back to the promised land.
More than a month later and the 2020 roster picture is much clearer and at the same time it's twice as confusing.
Let's first recap every one who has left the program this off season.
The Seniors: Matt Mooney, Tariq Owens, Norense Odiase and Brandone Francis.
The NBA Lottery Pick: Jarrett Culver.
The Transfers: Malik Ondigo announced a potential transfer and now Josh Mballa has entered the transfer portal. Khavon Moore also returned to Georgia.
That is seven scholarship athletes leaving the program out of the 13 scholarship athletes you had on campus last season.
Now, lets take a look at who is joining the team in 2019-20:
Returning Role Players: Davide Moretti will be the lone returning starter while the 7th man duo of Deshawn Corprew and Kyler Edwards also return off the bench. Those three are the only regular contributors to return to the Red Raiders next year.
The New Blood: Terrance Shannon, Jahmius Ramsey, Russell Tchewa and Clarence Nadolny are all graduating high school seniors that will join the Texas Tech program with varying degrees of hype. All will compete for roles immediately.
That makes 11 scholarship athletes right now that are committed to playing at Texas Tech next season. The NCAA maximum is 13 scholarships, which leaves Texas Tech with two open spots to fill.
Chris Beard is on the forefront of what some call position-less basketball, but just looking at the make up the roster you would assume at least one of the open spots would go to a big man.
If you wanted to leap to some conclusions about the Mballa transfer news and it's timing, you could theorize that a similar player was committing to Texas Tech that would severely limit his future role. Someone who was on a visit recently. That's just a working theory though.
I'll also say this, just because there are two scholarships available don't be surprised if you hear of more than two guys joining the team. There is more than one way to skin a cat.