Success for Red Raiders?

With the basketball season ending yesterday for the Texas Tech Red Raiders, it is time to evaluate the season. Was it a success? Read on to find out.

After a long season in the tough Big Twelve conference, Texas Tech lasted just two games in the NCAA tournament. That's the bad news, but the good news is that the Red Raiders played a tough St. Joe's team to a five point game. St. Joe's may have been considered the weakest number one seed in the tournament before the tournament started, but they made a case for the seed when they defeated Texas Tech. As for the Red Raiders, they definitely showed that they were better than an the eight seed they received. With that being said, Texas Tech got the seed they deserved considering their slide late in conference play.

Even without making it to the second weekend of the tournament, Texas Tech had a successful season. The first round win was their first tournament victory since 1996, a season that saw the Red Raiders tournament victories vacated by the NCAA. The win also gave Bob Knight a tournament win for the first time since 1999, eliminating a statistic that never should have been used to describe a legendary coach. Things only got better from there. The close game with St. Joe's should have opened a lot of eyes to the program that Texas Tech is building. Had it not been for a phenomenal shooting performance by the Hawks' guards, Texas Tech would be in the Sweet Sixteen. After an overachieving first season under Coach Knight, Texas Tech saw things fall off a bit. This last season marks Knight's third year in Lubbock, and this program has finally reached a stable point. Look for next season to build of this season's successes.

Throughout the season some have wondered whether Knight is worth the trouble. These questions became most apparent when the "Saladgate" incident happened. While Bob Knight may have his problems, the Coach is a definite asset to Texas Tech. Texas Tech didn't hire Knight expecting a coach who would do anything to come off good in the press, instead Texas Tech hired Knight to win games and run a clean program. Knight's occasional problems pale in comparison to the problems that dot the landscape of college athletics. I would take Bob Knight and the occasional outburst over the problems that have faced Baylor basketball, Colorado football, Iowa State basketball, Alabama football, or TCU women's basketball. At least with Bob Knight I know that Texas Tech University won't be connected with a program that will give up its morals to compete. As an added bonus Red Raider fans get to watch Bob Knight, a coach who changed the game he coaches, work his magic for the Red Raiders.


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