Kansas hopes to win its 12th-straight Big 12 regular season title this year.
It’s a stat that, at times, gets overlooked as just the “norm” of what happens in the Big 12.
“You put that up there with one of the great feats in sports, not just college basketball,” Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith said. “It’s not at the John Wooden level where he won 10 national championships. It’s right there when the (Atlanta) Braves won 10 divisions. That’s what it’s comparable to. Bill Self has just been remarkable with what those teams have been able to accomplish.”
The term “blessing in disguise,” may be a cliche, but it’s the most accurate description of Toddrick Gotcher’s career at Texas Tech.
His life has been full of blessings, but not because they’ve strictly been given.
Gotcher has worked for them all — from earning a college basketball scholarship, to expanding the scope of his game under Tubby Smith to expecting to graduate in May with his third Texas Tech degree.
But the biggest blessing of all for Gotcher wasn’t realized until now.
Two games after putting up 101 points over South Carolina State, Texas Tech couldn’t score half of that, falling to Loyola Chicago after scoring only 44 points.
From late December through the rest of last season, the Red Raiders scored more than 70 points only three times — 78 in an upset over Iowa State, 75 in an overtime loss to Oklahoma and 74 in a three-point loss on the road at Baylor.
For Tubby Smith’s fourth rebuilding process in his illustrious career, he decided to found his efforts on a group of five freshmen.
This is a different process than he used to rite the ship at Minnesota, where he inherited three 1,000-point scorers en route to taking a team that won nine games the season before to a 20-14 record in 2007-08.
Last year, those five Red Raider freshmen were part of Texas Tech’s best class in a decade.
Narcisse Kalamba will do whatever it takes to continue to play the game of basketball.
The 6-foot-7, 208-pound guard traveled from his hometown of Montreal, Canada, more than 1,800 miles South to extend his hoops career at Clarendon Junior College.
So far, his freshman campaign has begun on a high note as he tallied 16 points, eight rebounds, two steals and a block in a 97-83 win over Texas Wesleyan JV on Saturday.
Texas Tech was the bigger, faster and stronger team Monday night at the United Supermarkets Arena.
Besides the scoring margin of 51 in the Red Raiders’ 100-49 exhibition victory over Concordia, the discrepancy was most evident four minutes into the second half as sophomore center Isaiah Manderson, at 6-foot-10 posted up in the middle of the lane.
With Concordia defenders in front and behind him, junior forward Aaron Ross was able to lob a pass over both of them to set Manderson up for an easy lay in.
Bonewitz returns to Texas Tech
Stan Bonewitz played at Texas Tech in the late 1990s.
The current Concordia head coach garnered All-Southwest Conference Freshmen Team honors in 1995-96 and earned honorable-mention All-Big 12 honors two years later.
As a point guard, Bonewitz led the Red Raiders to a 30-2 record, the Southwest Conference title and a NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance in 1995-96.
He graduated as the all-time assist leader for Texas Tech with 435 assists and held the record until it was broken by John Roberson during the 2009-10 season.