By Daniel Lopez 

Texas Tech was on their way to win a national championship but a last-second shot from the corner from De’Andre Hunter sent them into overtime. Tech fought hard up until the very end with Davide Moretti sinking every shot he could take but Virginia was proven just to have a bit more firepower than Tech could handle resulting in Tech losing in overtime (85-77).

Not all hope is lost. They still have a chance at a title run despite the Red Raiders losing a big contributor to their title run in Jarrett Culver. He was awarded Big 12 player of the year, first-team All-Big 12 and consensus second-team All-American. He averaged 18.5 points per game while getting 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists. His shooting wasn’t great, hitting 30 percent from the arc, but the ball would fall at the right time sending the group to the National Championship.

They will miss Culver and the lineup which consisted of Matt Mooney, Tariq Owens and center Nornense Odiase. But Morretti returns with his lights out 3-point shooting.
They have talent in the frontcourt but will bring some inexperience along with it. The starting five could be junior point guard Moretti, freshman shooting guard Jahmuis Ramsey, freshman small forward Terrence Shannon Jr, sophomore power forward Kyler Edwards, and freshman center Russell Tchewa.

The team can return to the National Championship, but they will have some growing pains trying to reach that goal with most of the starters being underclassmen. But they do have a roster with enough talent.

Moretti leads this group with the most 3-pointers made, totaling out to 73 and shooting 49.8 percent from the 3-point range and posting an almost perfect 54-of-58 at the free-throw line. Freshman guard Terrence Shannon Jr a talented, four-star recruit brings much to the table as he led his high school to a state championship having a career-high 44 points and making the game-winning shot. These two players are the impact players on this team.

Head coach Chris Beard is entering his third season with a 76-31 record with a final four and a National Championship appearance. Beard elevated the success of this team last year to reach a level Texas Tech has never seen before, especially a National Championship. He has posted 45 victories totaling the same amount of Bobby Knight for most program victories. Coach Beard will continue to elevate this program to new heights and maybe next time take home the title.

The Red Raiders got an early season start in the Bahamas tour finishing with a 1-2 record. In the first game Clarke recorded a double-double and scored 16 points. Ramsey showed out in the second game recording 44 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. In the third game, Shannon Jr made his presence felt scoring 20 points. Edwards, the Final Four savior, scored 16 points.

UTEP takes on Texas Tech in an exhibition match at the Don Haskins on October 12th at 7pm.

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