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Four Starters Return For Texas Tech New Coach Tubby Smith
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By Wendell Barnhouse | wendell@big12sports.com
Big12Sports.com Correspondent


Story line
As Texas Tech's fourth coach in the last four seasons, Tubby Smith's main goal is to bring stability to a program that has had one winning season since 2008-09. Smith, a 22-year coaching veteran, has never had a losing season. The Red Raiders return four starters but must replace point guard Josh Gray, who decided to transfer after last season. Forwards Jaye Crockett and Jordan Tolbert are solid players up front while sophomore guard Dusty Hannahs led the team in 3-point shooting last season.

Coach: Tubby Smith, 1st season at Texas Tech, 511-226 overall in 22 seasons.
Last season: 11-20 overall, 3-15 in Big 12, 9th.
NCAA Tournament: Did not participate.

Top players
Senior forward Jaye Crockett; junior forward Jordan Tolbert; senior forward Dejan Kravic; sophomore guard Dusty Hannahs; senior forward Kader Tapsoba; senior guard Jamal Williams, Jr.; freshman guard Randy Onwuasor.

Coach Smith says
"Certainly they've had a tough time at Texas Tech. They've had some lean years over the last few years, so we felt like coming in there we could restore some pride and prestige to the program. I think we're on the right track with some good returning players that I think will help us. Because they were not far away last year. I think in watching some of the film and going back and evaluating their team from last year, they were very close from having a very good year last year."

Notable
Teams coached by Tubby Smith have reached the Sweet 16 nine times and the Elite Eight four times. His 1998 Kentucky team won the national championship. … Senior forward Jaye Crockett led the Red Raiders in scoring (11.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.5 rpg) despite making just four starts. He ranked in the top 16 in the Big 12 in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage. … Junior forward Jordan Tolbert averaged 14.6 points in the last five games of 2012-13, scoring in double figures each time. He shot 60.4 percent from the field in the last seven contests of the year.

Season opener
Nov. 8 vs. Houston Baptist

Top nonconference games
Nov. 14 at Alabama Big 12 SEC Challenge
Nov. 25 Pittsburgh Legends Classic in Brooklyn
Dec. 3 at Arizona
Dec. 18 vs. LSU
Dec. 21 at Arizona State

Conference opener
Jan. 4 vs. Iowa State
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