The Texas Tech Lady Raiders basketball team ended the 2017–2018 season on March 2 in the first round of the Big 12 tournament with a 49–74 loss to Iowa State. It was the team’s 12th loss in a row and left them with a 7–23 overall record including 1–17 in conference play.
It is now 2019, and Texas Tech already has 9 wins under new coach Marlene Stollings. While the true test will be played out in the Big 12 conference games, let’s take a look at what could be new and improved about this year’s team.
Coach Marlene Stollings
Stollings is in her first season as Texas Tech head coach since leaving Minnesota after 4 seasons with an overall 82–47 record (.636) and 24–9 record last season that led to an appearance in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Her teams are known for having fast-paced, high scoring offenses. The 2017–2018 Minnesota team ranked 19th in points per play and 10th in total points.
Stollings stated when she was hired, “Texas Tech has a storied tradition of success and I am eager to return this program to national prominence. We will play a fun, up-tempo style of basketball that student-athletes will enjoy and the fans will find exciting to watch. This is a thrilling day for me and my family, and I cannot wait to coach and recruit ‘Fearless Champions’.”
Stollings has a solid group of core players listed below that could thrive in a run and gun shootout.
Chrislyn Carr Guard
Carr is a true freshman and is stepping up big early in the season. Her efforts earned her Big 12 (December 18, 31) and National Freshman of the Week (December 18) honors. The National award is the first ever National Freshman of the Week honor for a Lady Raider.
In her first 11 games Carr has averaged over 20 points per game with a high of 35 on December 15 against Nevada. Carr’s performance against Nevada led to Texas Tech’s first non-conference road victory in six years.
Against Abilene Christian in just 26 minutes on December 29, she had 29 points, shooting 12–17 FG, 5-8 3FG, and 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and only 2 turnovers. Carr ranks 22nd in field goals made per game (7.5) and 45th in 3P made per game (2.9).
Brittany Brewer Forward
The 6'5" Junior is both an offensive and defensive leader for Texas Tech. Brewer more than doubled her scoring average from last season, going from 9.5 points per game to 19.4. Her shooting accuracy of 61 FG% and 32.3% 3PT FG% is a big reason. Last season she shot 49% on 2 pointers and did not even attempt a 3 pointer.
Eryka Sidney Guard
Any high scoring offense needs a good point guard who can distribute the ball. Sidney averages 4.3 assists to only 1.8 turnovers per game while averaging 6.9 points per game.
Renetha “Shug” Dickson Guard
The 5'9" guard transferred from Tulsa where she averaged 14.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and will play this season. Coach Marlene Stollings stated Dickson has a “scorers mentality which fits in well with our high-octane offensive system.”
Although Texas Tech has some very bright spots, the teams they faced in non conference play have a 35.7 winning % which ranks in the bottom 3%. The Big 12 conference as a whole has a 89–23 (.795) record so far and includes perennial powerhouses Baylor and Texas. Marlene Stollings is known as a turnaround coach and it will be fun to see what her and the Lady Raiders can accomplish this season.
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