Tech To Compete In Las Vegas Classic|
Robert Turner and the Red Raiders will head to Las Vegas in December.
July 22, 2014
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech is one of eight teams selected to play in the 2014 Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, scheduled to be played in the December in the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The field includes Abilene Christian, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Loyola Texas Tech, Boise State, Houston, Loyola-Chicago, South Carolina State and Southern Utah.
The Red Raiders, under the guidance of second-year head coach Tubby Smith, will play two games at United Supermarkets Arena before heading to Las Vegas. Texas Tech will face South Carolina State in the first round on Dec. 17 and Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the second round on Dec. 19 in Lubbock.
In the third round on Dec. 22, Texas Tech will face Loyola-Chicago at 7 p.m. CT at the Orleans Arena. The Red Raiders will then face either Boise State or Houston in the Championship Round of the event on Dec. 23. The Championship Round will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1.
Texas Tech has never faced Loyola or Boise State, while the Red Raiders and Houston have met 54 times with the series tied 27-27. Texas Tech is 7-2 against Houston in neutral site appearances after defeating the Cougars 76-64 at the Progressive Legends Classic last season.
The Red Raiders will release the remainder of the non-conference schedule at a later date.
Texas Tech in coming off of its best season since 2010 and recorded its best finish in in the Big 12 since 2008. All of this success came under second-year head coach Tubby Smith. The Red Raiders return just two starters and eight letterwinners from last season's squad. The top returners are guards Robert Turner and Toddrick Gotcher. Turner was just one of two players to start all 32 games last season, averaging 9.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Also returning is Gotcher, who averaged 7.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists after becoming an everyday starter in December of last year. Smith, in his first full recruiting season, landed the best recruiting class at Texas Tech in more than a decade. The Red Raiders have added six new players to the mix. Junior college transfers Justin Jamison (6-9/240/Forward) and Devaugntah Williamson (6-3/205/Guard) are expected to contribute right away, but the Texas Tech is also looking to key contribution from four freshmen - Keenan Evans (6-3/175/Guard), Justin Gray (6-5/185/Guard), Norense Odiase (6-9/265/Forward) and Zach Smith (6-8/210/Forward).
Boise State returns eight letterwinners, including three starters from its 2013-14 team which finished 21-13 with a 9-9 record in Mountain West play (tied for fifth) before reaching the semifinals of the Mountain West Championship. The Broncos will be led by senior backcourt duo of Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks. Drmic and Marks have been Boise State's top two scorers each of the past three seasons. Drmic is seeking to become the second Bronco in program history to lead the team in scoring four years. Drmic and Marks (2,714 combined points) are already the second-highest scoring pair of classmates in school history. Steve Connor (1,927) and Trent Johnson (1,155) combined for 3,082 points playing together from 1974-78. Fellow senior Igor Hadziomerovic is the third returning starter, getting the nod in 17 games last season. Hadziomerovic has started 47 games in his career.
Loyola University and Third year Head Coach Porter Moser returns four starters from its 2013-14 team that finished with a 10-22 record. Sophomore guard, Milton Doyle (14.9 ppg) is coming off a terrific debut season that saw him become just the seventh player in Missouri Valley history to take home both the MVC Freshman and Newcomer of the year awards. Senior's Christian Thomas (13.3 ppg) and Joe Crisman along with Junior Guard Jeff White (9.8 ppg) look to make a big jump in the Missouri Valley in 2014.
Under the leadership of new head coach Kelvin Sampson, Houston returns five lettermen during the 2013-14 season. Junior guard Jherrod Stiggers ranks among Houston's top career 3-point shooters and averaged 11.2 points per game to lead all returnees from a year ago. Junior point guard L.J. Rose led the Cougars and the American Athletic Conference with 5.5 assists per contests, while sophomore forward Danrad Knowles snared 4.3 boards per game to pace Houston.
Past champions of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic include Kansas State (2008), Alabama (2009), New Mexico (2010), Baylor (2011), Colorado State (2012), and the 2013 tournament was won by UNLV, who defeated Mississippi State 82-66 in the championship game.
Each team will play four games in the Classic - the first two at on-campus sites and the final two rounds at the Orleans Arena December 22-23. Hosting more than 200 events each year, the Orleans Arena is located just west of the Las Vegas strip and was recently named the #1 mid-size arena in the USA by Venues Today magazine.
Tickets are available at the Orleans Arena box office (702.284.7777 or 888.234.2334) and via the internet at www.orleansarena.com.