The college basketball season is still months away, but that never stops me from speculating and making predictions. Texas Tech has a lot of new faces joining the ranks in Lubbock this upcoming season, and there could be a lot of different starting combinations, but I’ll take my crack at predicting the opening day lineup.
PG: De’Vion Harmon
De’Vion Harmon is an incoming transfer from Oregon for Tech, but he’s no stranger to Big 12 basketball. Harmon, a 6’2 guard, played at Oklahoma before moving to Oregon after the retirement of coach Lon Kruegers. Harmon can play either guard position, but I really think he’ll slide over and be the coordinator for this offense. His assist numbers won’t jump out at you, but he has plenty of experience as a point guard in strong offenses, and can score fairly well when needed.
Harmon is going to bring much-needed experience and leadership to a relatively young Tech roster, and will be a vital part of this team’s success. With the departure of Mylik Wilson and the uncertainty of Clarence Nadolny and his future at Tech, I don’t see anyone else challenging him for the starting point guard minutes. Look for Harmon to make an impact early and often for the Red Raiders.
SG: Elijah Fisher
Let’s not kid ourselves here, Fisher won’t reassign and won’t come to Tech if he doesn’t start. It is unreasonable to think otherwise. A 5-star talent out of Canada, Fisher will be Tech’s difference maker. Ever since Jarrett Culver left, that type of male tech has been missing. The talent and athleticism is there, he could put it together after entering college a year early.
Fisher provides an offensive jolt to a program that has struggled since 2019. When all is said and done, the 2023 recruiting class will be a top recruit. It took a while for the defender to come around, but offensively he makes a big difference right off the bat.
I expect Fisher to come in and go man right away. He is very good. He’s a great athlete who has shown signs of being a skilled offensive player at times. Suiting up for Canada this summer, he was impressive in his games. I was so excited to see this kid in a tech uniform.
SF: Jaylon Tyson
Jaylon Tyson could be as good as Elijah Fisher this season. Originally committed to Tech, Tyson decided to follow Chris Beard to Texas last season, where he was surprisingly used by Beard. Mark Adams got Tyson to transfer to Tech and now he will be ready to slide into a bigger role.
Tyson not only has great size at 6’7, but he has a great handle and can really move the ball. He has a great outside shot and has been in this Mark Adams system for over half a season. Arriving in Lubbock midway through last season certainly helped. Tyson has learned the no-nonsense route from his time at Texas and now Tech, and he can be a real offensive threat. The outside shooting will be a big boost for Tech as there weren’t too many consistent outside options last season.
PF: Kevin O’Banor
This one doesn’t need much explanation. One of the few returning contributors from last season, O’Banor will play a big role both on and off the court this season. Last season we saw plenty of glimpses of what makes O’Banor great. An offensive rebounding machine and sometimes flamethrower, KO will be the X-factor for this team.
O’Banor not only brings familiarity to this team, but brings the leadership that many other players have brought to this program. Players like Nornes Odiase, Marcus Santos-Silva and now Kevin O’Banor. He knows the culture well and can help that culture grow in a new locker room full of new greats and hard workers.
A: Fardaus Aimaq
This is big (pun intended). There’s no replacing Bryson Williams, but damn Mark Adams may have found the next best thing. Aimack has many of the qualities that make Williams so great, including great footwork down low, an outside shot and a knack for making the right play. He is also an elite rim protector that makes it almost impossible to downplay anything in this defense.
One thing the iMac Williams doesn’t have is a decent size. Aimaq measures in at 6’11 compared to Williams’ 6’8 last season, and it makes more of a difference than people think. This team’s rebounding will be better than last season. Get the big guy to make a difference early and often, especially not at the conference.
Note: I have no source so this is all speculation.
With that said, I’m sure the lineup will look like this for most of the season. After these guys, there are guys or guys who haven’t played a lot of basketball in a major conference, so I don’t see a lot of guys taking the starting spot. What are your predictions? Leave a comment or even respond on Twitter, I’d love to hear everyone’s take!