The current No. 8 team in this week’s AP Poll, Texas Tech is arguably the most surprising team in the country. In only his second season at the helm, head coach Chris Beard has the Red Raiders playing terrific basketball. Texas Tech has the third best defense in the nation as measured by Ken Pomeroy’s Defensive Efficiency metric and Beard’s old school 4-Out/1-In motion offense that he learned under Bob Knight has been a pain to defend for Tech’s opponents (can’t wait to dive into their offense this spring). Beard received an extremely high compliment during ESPN’s broadcast of their upset win over Kansas when ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla said the following about the Red Raiders’ gameday practice, “it was the single best shootaround I’ve ever seen.” NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster’s article on Beard offers a good glimpse into the path Beard took to get to his “dream job” in Lubbock.
After last week’s win in Lawrence, Beard got onto the Texas Tech bus and sat next to his assistant, Max Lefevre, who has been a member of Beard’s staff since 2013, when Beard was at Angelo State. “No disrespect to Kansas,” Beard said, “this is what it felt like when we beat Tarleton State…My girlfriend now is a high school volleyball coach,” Beard told me, “and I tell her that her season is just the same as mine. It’s all relative. When she has a big game it’s just like if we’re paying Texas or Baylor. When you’re a competitor and you’re in competition, the level doesn’t matter. The moment does.”