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Beginning Monday, June 21st, 2004 CHN began unveiling 144 Team previews in 144 Days. CHN ranked the nations top 144 teams, and is unveiling one per day leading up until the opening day of the 2004-05 Season.

 

Bookmark the 144 Teams in 144 Days home page, and check back each day to see which team is previewed next.


 

#56 Texas Tech Red Raiders
Big 12
2003-04: 23-11, 9-7, 5th
2003-04 postseason: NCAA


By
Joel Welser



The Red Raiders knocked off Charlotte in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and put up a tough fight against top seeded Saint Joseph’s before losing 70-65.  The heart and soul is gone in Andre Emmett, but Bob Knight won’t let his absence stop his squad from competing for another trip to the big dance.  Jarrius Jackson and Ronald Ross provide a solid backcourt duo and Devonne Giles anchors a frontcourt that has a few question marks. 

Who’s Out: Andre Emmett led the team in points and rebounds with 20.6 and 6.6, respectively.  The shooting guard scored over 25 points in nine games last season.  Emmett is a great talent that will obviously make things seem a lot different in Lubbock.  Robert Tomaszek will be tough to replace.  The 6-9 forward averaged 7.4 points, 4.3 boards and 2.4 assists during his senior year.  He was a great low post scorer, which the offense will probably be lacking this season.  Michael Marshall played more like a forward than a 6-4 guard.  He can block shots and play great defense.  It was Marshall’s defense that got him averaging 17.7 minutes in 32 games last season.  His 5.1 points per game can be replaced, but Marshall did a great job in his role as a defensive specialist and rebounder.  Joseph Works and Josh Washington have both transferred.  Works averaged 10.3 minutes per game last year and was a solid defensive player off the bench.  More was expected out of Washington but he never really got the opportunity to see many minutes.

Who’s In: This class won’t come in and make an immediate impact, but they will need to be able to fill in off the bench.  Left-handed combo guard Martin Zeno has potential and a steady perimeter shot.  Philip Harbaugh, a 6-8 small forward, is a smart player.  He can do a little bit of everything.  Harbaugh’s height helps his rebounding and can create a mismatch if up against a smaller three guard.  He’s quick enough to get by a slower defender as well.  Damir Suljagic needs to help out the frontcourt as much as possible.  He’s big at 6-9 and 235 pounds and is a splendid post player.  That post presence is exactly what Tech needs, so Suljagic may see quite a few minutes right off the bat, if he is ready.  John Ofoegbu redshirted last year after playing as freshman in 2002-2003.  The sophomore didn’t see many minutes as a freshman, but will add more depth to the frontcourt.

Who to Watch: Jarrius Jackson is just a sophomore, but his presence will make the loss of Andre Emmett easier.  Last year Jackson scored 11.3 points per outing.  His outside shooting isn’t great, but he penetrates very well and can rack up the points.  Jackson is quick enough to take just about anybody off the dribble.  He can be a combo guard, but will usually play the two guard.  He can dish the ball incredibly well, yet won’t take many chances as a passer.  The 6-1, 185-pounder limits turnovers amazingly well for such a young player.  As a freshman last year, Jackson dished out 90 assists and only turned the ball over 39 times.  On defense his quick hands and feet stuff many opposing guards.  Jackson averaged 1.7 steals, but his height can be problematic against taller Big 12 shooting guards.

Projected Conference Rank: With Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma State around, 6th place in the Big 12 is quite impressive.  It may be a drop from last year, but getting above .500 in the conference once again is very feasible.  The Red Raiders may have to win some big games down the stretch to get off the bubble.  It might be close, but Tech could slip just enough to slide down to the NIT.

Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT
 

 

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Email Joel Welser: jwelser_chn@ameritech.net

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