Mar 7, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders gaurd Ty Nurse(4) brings the ball up court against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the first half of the first round of the Big 12 Tournament at the Sprint Center. Oklahoma State defeated Texas Tech 76-60. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

Big 12 Men's Basketball Preview: Texas Tech Red Raiders

Last season was a dismal one for the Texas Tech Red Raiders. They started the season with a record of 7-5 after their non-conference schedule, which was not too bad. It was after they started their Big 12 Conference games when things got bad for the Red Raiders. They only won a single Big 12 Conference game against the Oklahoma Sooners. They finished the season with an overall record of 8-23 and a Big 12 Conference record of 1-17.

The biggest change to happen to Texas Tech this season occurred last week. Head coach Billy Gillisipe resigned from his position as head coach of the Red Raiders. In his resignation letter, Gillisipe stated his health as the reason for leaving the school. However, some believe that it has to do with the allegations that he was accused of for player mistreatment. The allegations included: forcing injured players to practice, keeping players, Ty Nurse and Dejan Kravic, in doubt about their scholarship status, and reneging on promises to potential new coaching staff hires.

Last season was Gillisipe’s only season with the Texas Tech Red Raiders. He was previously with Kentucky before Texas Tech. Kentucky fired Billy Gillisipe and hired John Calipari three days later.

According to Texas Tech, associate head coach, Chris Walker, will handle the day-to-day operations until an interim head coach is officially announced.

One of the positives for the Red Raiders is that they do have some key players returning this year. One of those players include their leading scorer from last season, Jordan Tolbert. Tolbert is a 6-foot-7, 220 pound sophomore from Fort Wayne, Texas. Last year as a true freshman, he led the team in total points with 357 points and points per game (PPG) with 11.5 PPG. He was also tied for the most rebounds per game (RPG) with 5.7 RPG.

Another player returning for Texas Tech this year is Jaye Crockett. Crockett is a 6-foot-7, 200 pound redshirt junior from Clovis, Michigan. Last year, he was the other player tied with Jordan Tolbert for rebound per game. He had 172 total rebounds on the season. He also averaged 8.8 points per game in 30 games for the Red Raiders.

Texas Tech will also have some new faces as well. One of these new faces will be point guard, Josh Gray. Gray was recruited last year by Texas Tech and committed on April 30th. The biggest thing that he will bring to the Red Raiders is his speed. He is very quick and gets to the hoop any way he can with a variety of finishes.

Texas Tech will have seven new recruits joining the team this season with four of them being from junior colleges. Besides Josh Gray, the rest of the Texas Tech recruits include: Aaron Ross, Dusty Hannahs, Daylen Robinson, Jamal Williams, Rodrigo Silva, and Trency Jackson.

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Tags: Big 12 Billy Gillisipe Jordan Tolbert Texas Tech Red Raiders

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