LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech is at No. 13 in the USA TODAY Top 25 Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll which was announced on Thursday ahead of the 2020-21 season that is scheduled to begin in two weeks. The USA TODAY Sports men’s basketball coaches poll is conducted weekly throughout the regular season using a panel of head coaches at Division I schools.
The Red Raiders were ranked No. 12 in last season’s first USA TODAY Coaches Poll. In this year’s ranking, Baylor is the top-ranked team followed by Gonzaga, Villanova, Virginia and Kansas. Tech is one of five Big 12 teams in the poll, including West Virginia at No. 15 and Texas which is No. 22. The Red Raiders are at the No. 14 in the Associated Press Preseason Poll which was announced on Monday and were selected to finish fifth in the Big 12 Preseason Poll.
Texas Tech is scheduled to open the season with a two-game home stand by hosting Northwestern State on Wednesday, Nov. 25 and then Sam Houston State on Friday, Nov. 27 at the United Supermarkets Arena. The Red Raiders will then play Houston on Sunday, Nov. 29 at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth before returning home to host St. John’s on Dec. 3 for the Big 12/BIG East Alliance. Houston is ranked No. 18 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll and No. 17 in the AP rankings.
Tech will open conference play by hosting Kansas on Thursday, Dec. 17 at the United Supermarkets Arena before play at Oklahoma on Dec. 22 in Norman. The Red Raiders will begin the 2021 calendar year by hosting Oklahoma State on Saturday, Jan. 2 and Kansas State on Tuesday, Jan. 5 at the USA.
The Red Raiders are made up of seven returners and seven newcomers this season, including lone senior Marcus Santos-Silva who transferred from VCU. The junior class is represented by returners Kyler Edwards and Avery Benson while Mac McClung and Jamarius Burton have both been granted transfer waivers by the NCAA and are immediately eligible. Tech’s sophomore class includes returners Terrence Shannon, Jr., Kevin McCullar, Clarence Nadolny and Joel Ntambwe who was with the team last season but did not get to play after transferring from UNLV. The freshman class is made up of five players, Tyreek Smith who was on the team last season but redshirted and newcomers Nimari Burnett, Micah Peavy, Chibuzo Agbo and Vladislav Goldin.
The USA TODAY panel is chosen in consultation with the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The members represent each of the 32 Division I conferences that receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Each coach submits a Top 25 with a first-place vote worth 25 points, second place 24, and so on down to one point for 25th.