Toddrick Gotcher came up with the motto shortly after his freshman season at Texas Tech was cut short by a navicular fracture in his left foot.
“This is ‘comeback season,’ ” said Gotcher, the 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard out of Garland. “That’s what I call it.”
Gotcher was off to a solid start during his first season in Lubbock last year, averaging 7.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in the nine games he played before the injury.
Being sidelined was frustrating, but Gotcher said he was determined to stay positive, even changing his Twitter handle to reflect the new personal motto. He underwent successful surgery at the end of February and has been rehabbing and working himself back into shape ever since.
When Tech plays in an exhibition game against Texas-Permian Basin at 7 p.m. today — admission is free to the public — the Lakeview Centennial product will be in uniform rather than
cheering his teammates on in sweats. Needless to say, he’s anxious to get that first taste of action under his belt.
“Last year was tough,” he said. “This year I’m back and I feel great, so it’s going to be good.”
Tech coach Chris Walker has said Gotcher’s role will depend on the game. Gotcher, who was granted a hardship waiver and still has four years of eligibility remaining, can guard up to four positions on the court, and he’s versatile on the offensive end.
“He’s a jack-of-all-trades type guy,” Walker said.
Gotcher has always prided himself, he said, on being a player who doesn’t need to put up a ton of shots to help his team. He’ll score when he needs to, but he’s just as happy keeping a possession alive with a dive across the floor to grab a loose ball.
“I don’t look at it as trying to be a superstar,” Gotcher said. “Whatever the team needs, I’m there. I’ll be the hustle guy, the rebounding guy, the scoring guy, it doesn’t matter. I just love playing basketball.”
Teammates appreciate Gotcher’s do-whatever-it-takes approach.
“Toddrick plays hard,” guard Jamal Williams said. “He can play any position, and that’s his advantage. He’s just energetic.”
While Gotcher will be playing for the first time in almost 11 months during tonight’s exhibition game, seven other players will play in a Texas Tech uniform for the first time. Walker said “getting ourselves organized” will be the most important aspect he wants to get out of the contest.
“Some of these guys have never even substituted into a game before,” he said. “I want to see how hard those guys play with fans watching them. There’s a lot of different things that we’ll be paying attention to.”
Walker said fans will get a chance to see Tech’s new up-tempo pace from the start, including the full-court press the team has worked on implementing since the start of practice earlier this month.
“We want to work on our defense,” Williams said. “We want to show everybody that defense controls everything.”
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