After a summer workouts on the court and in the weight room, the foreign tour in the Bahamas, a team retreat to Stanton, Texas and preseason practices, the 2019-20 Texas Tech men’s basketball team is ready to begin directing its own narrative.

A program coming off a trip to the NCAA National Championship Final and winning the Big 12 regular-season championship, the Red Raiders return three players and welcome in 10 newcomers. The program has won more NCAA Tournament games than any other in the nation over the past two seasons after making the 2018 NCAA Elite Eight and then advancing to the final Monday night of the 2019 season, but a new year is here and a unique story is about to be written.

In their own words, the Red Raiders define who they are as a team and what they’re committed to in order to maintain and surpass the success that has been established.

Davide Moretti:

“We are a team of hard working guys. I feel like everyone is buying in on the process and have started to trust each other. That’s the most important thing. We are a team that is in the gym every day and has been together all summer. The identity of our team is that we are all in this together. We still have to keep working on coming together more and developing that trust on the court to get to our next step. It’s important that we believe in each other all the time and continue pushing each other. We are an intense team and need to direct our energy in the right way to become who we want to be this season.”

TJ Holyfield:

“This team is about culture, discipline and togetherness. People can expect us to compete at everything we do and will be able to see the passion in our game when we play. To reach our full potential as a team, there needs to be trust throughout the program. The players have to trust each other, the coaches have to trust the coaches, and there has to be trust between the coaches and players. We have to continue to hold ourselves to a higher standard and can’t put a limit on how good our team could be.”

Chris Clarke:

“We are very competitive group, with a bunch of dogs on this team. Not only the players, but also the staff. We all hate to lose. We just need to keep improving on our togetherness and our culture.”

Avery Benson:

“Our team is built on a lot of newcomers who came in this summer ready to learn and work. The trip to the Bahamas was great for us. The point of the trip was to figure out what we needed to get better at and I think we came back ready to work on it. We tested ourselves against a high caliber opponent in our three games there and returned to our gym to get better. We fixed a lot of stuff we needed to and figured out that we could work a lot harder than we were. It taught us that being young is to our advantage. These guys have bought in and are always in the gym developing. We are a team that goes at full speed all the time. Our two seniors are giving us great leadership and pushing us to get better. One thing that helped us last year was that not only were we putting consecutive practices together, but we were also putting consecutive weeks together at a high level. We’re still trying to get to that point and once we get to that point we are going to be a really good team again.”

Terrence Shannon, Jr.:

“We’re a tough team that is coming together more every day. We work hard and are becoming more consistent. We’re a team that has worked hard all summer and enjoy playing together. There’s not a team that is going to out-tough us. We’re starting to communicate better on the court and are bonding off it. It’s a team that is going to hold each other accountable.”

Kevin McCullar:

“I describe our team as being one with each other. We’ve come together through our hard work on the court and weight room and the team bonding that we’ve had. Seeing everything firsthand last year and the success the past two years, it’s important to all of us that we keep this going. We’re working hard every day to be the best team that we can become.”

Kyler Edwards:

“This team is full of hard workers and guys that are driven to succeed. We can be the toughest team in the nation if we stick together and play for each other. It’s a team that pushes everyone and holds each other accountable. We’re young but are working to become consistent through our work ethic. We’re proud to be a part of this program.”

Joel Ntambwe:

“I think after all the hard work in the summer and the retreat I believe this team has come together. We trust each other more now. We are working hard to have a good chance this season. From a basketball standpoint, we have to limit our turnovers. We need to average under 10 turnovers a game. It’s important for us to take care of the basketball and limit our turnovers. That’s a major thing for us this year.”

Jahmi’us Ramsey:

“This team is one that will never back down and will fight to the end. We’ll do whatever it takes to win. This program is all about hard work and giving everything you have for the team. Everything you accomplish will be earned on this team. It’s important to stick to the process, but also enjoy it. We still need to develop as a team and play as one. This is a team that is here for each. We aren’t going after individual success. We understand individual success comes through team success and we’re committed to winning over everything.”

Tyreek Smith:

“We work every day to be the toughest team. We work on that. Our coaches work us and we love it. The mentality is that we attack first. We aren’t going to be the second hitters. We’re coming together by playing for each other and never taking a day off.”

Andrei Savrasov:

“After the Bahamas and team retreat we are a team that understands each other and are really together. We trust each other more and more every day and we understand where each other are coming from. When I think of our team I think trust and consistency. Our team last year was more experienced. We don’t have that too much but we’ve worked all summer to gain more experience and understanding of what we are trying to accomplish. We’re playing faster now and are more connected.”

Russel Tchewa:

“In this program we learn and improve every day. We trust each other and give each other energy. We work hard and are tough. We stay together and try to get better every day as a team. We are close as teammates, with our coaches and staff. This is what I know about our team. We are here for each other.”

Clarence Nadolny:

“We are a young and aggressive team. We’re very athletic. This team is a family and is here for each other. There isn’t anyone here who isn’t here for the entire team. We’re all about winning. We still need to get better by gaining experience. I’m a freshman and we have a lot of other freshman who still have work to do. We are all ready to be coachable and help our team however we can.”

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