“They have a great offensive team,” Tech head coach Grant McCasland said. “They’re a team with an identity, a plan, and won’t beat themselves. We’ll have our hands full and will need everyone to show up to the USA.”
The Red Raiders (1-0) are coming off a 73-46 season-opening win over Texas A&M-Commerce to begin their season, while the Spartans (2-0) claimed a 117-72 victory over Bethesda College on Thursday in their second game. Tech rolled to the season-opening victory in Grant McCasland’s first game leading the program, jumping out to an 8-0 lead, and never looked back in a game where they led by as many as 31 points and secured the program’s 24th straight win in season openers.
Pop Isaacs led the Red Raiders with 19 points, while Darrion Williams had 14 points and seven rebounds, Joe Toussaint scored 10, and Warren Washington grabbed 12 rebounds and had eight points. The Red Raiders were 24-for-29 at the free-throw line to help overcome a game where they went just 5-for-23 (21.7 percent) from beyond the arc after the team had made 14 3-pointers in an exhibition win over No. 15 Texas A&M. Defensively, Tech stifled Commerce to only 29.9 percent shooting from the field and 14.3 percent on 3-pointers.
Tech will conclude the homestand by hosting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the USA.
NEW ERA BEGINS
McCasland was announced as the 19th head coach in program history on March 31, 2023, after six seasons at North Texas where he was 135-65 and led the program to the 2023 NIT Championship title. Along with winning the NIT, McCasland’s teams at UNT have led the nation in scoring defense the past two seasons after holding opponents to just 55.8 points per game last season and 55.7 per game the previous year. McCasland played and graduated from Baylor before beginning his coaching career and earning his master’s at Texas Tech. He was the director of operations for Tech coach James Dickey from 1999-2001. A winner everywhere he’s coached, McCasland earned a NJCAA National Championship in 2007 at Midland College in his first head coaching position and has also led Midwestern State, Arkansas State, and UNT to unprecedented heights.
Now in his 10th season as a NCAA head coach, McCasland has a 212-89 (.704) overall record during that time.
McCasland’s staff includes assistant coaches Dave Smart, Matt Braeuer, Achoki Moikobu, and Luke Barnwell along with Kellen Buffington (general manager), Andrew Wright (strength & conditioning), Clay Wilson (player development), Jardon Powell (director of administration and operations), Cooper Anderson (operations), Chris Nottingham (video coordinator), and Christian Hosley (assistant strength & conditioning). Braeuer, Moikobu, Wright, Wilson, and Hosley worked with McCasland at UNT.
TECH PROGRAM HISTORY
The Red Raiders are a proud program that has experienced great success in the past decade with five trips to the NCAA Tournament and advancement to the 2018 Elite 8, 2019 National Championship Final, and 2022 Sweet 16. Tech went 18-0 at home during the 2021-22 season for the best record nationally two years ago. Last season, the program ranked No. 21 in average attendance with 13,222 per game. The program is in its 99th season.
SAN JOSE REPORT
The Spartans (2-0) come into Lubbock after two home wins to start their season, including a season-opening 72-64 win over UC Irvine on Tuesday before running away with a 117-72 victory against Bethesda College on Thursday. Through two games, SJSU is shooting 53.6 percent from the field and is averaging 94.5 points per game. Tibet Gorener leads the team with 21.5 points per game after going for 17 points in the opener against UC Irvine and then 26 against Bethesda where he was 11-for-15 from the field and 4-of-5 on 3-pointers. A junior from Turkey, Gorener began his career at Arizona before transferring. Trey Anderson is adding 16.0 ppg. and 5.5 rebounds, while Adrame Diongue leads the team with 7.5 rebounds. Alvaro Cardenas, a junior from Spain, leads SJSU with 15 assists and is also scoring 12.5 points through two games. Cardenas had 14 points and eight assists on Thursday against Bethesda.
The Spartans are coming off a season where they went 21-14 overall and 10-8 in Mountain West action.
The program is led by head coach Tim Miles who is entering his third season. He formerly coached Nebraska for seven seasons and at Colorado State and North Dakota State. Miles also has experience coaching at the Division II level like McCasland (Midwestern State) with successful stops at Southwest Minnesota and Maryville.
San Jose State will follow its game in Lubbock by playing in the 23rd U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam next week in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The Spartans open the tournament against Abilene Christian on November 17.
Tech and San Jose State will be meeting for only the second time ever and the first in nearly 20 seasons. The Red Raiders are 1-0 all-time in the series after earning an 88-54 victory at home on November 10, 2005. Jarrius Jackson scored 19 points to lead the Red Raiders in the win. The game was a first-round matchup of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament that also saw Tech play Syracuse and Wake Forest a week later at Madison Square Garden in New York.
- Grant McCasland led Texas Tech to a 73-46 win over Texas A&M-Commerce on Wednesday in his debut… The Red Raiders will now look to start their first winning streak of the season when they host San Jose State at 1 p.m. on Sunday at United Supermarkets Arena
- McCasland’s first roster at Texas Tech has 14 players on it with five returners and nine newcomers… Eleven players saw game action in the opener with all 11 scoring
- The Red Raiders return Lamar Washington, Pop Isaacs, D’Maurian Williams, Kerwin Walton, and Robert Jennings who are each entering their second season in the program… Tech returns only 25.4 percent of its scoring from last season with eight departures from last year’s roster
- The list of newcomers includes five players from the transfer portal in Devan Cambridge (Arizona State), Chance McMillian (Grand Canyon), Joe Toussaint (West Virginia), Darrion Williams (Nevada), and Warren Washington (Arizona State)… All five players signed out of the transfer portal played on teams that advanced to the 2023 NCAA Tournament… The transfer portal additions had a combined 492 games of experience and 3,454 points scored coming into the season
- Tech’s starting lineup in the opener was: Cambridge, Isaacs, Toussaint, Warren Washington, Darrion Williams
- Isaacs led Tech in scoring with 19 points… He has now led Tech in scoring in seven games in his career
- Darrion Williams scored 14 points and Toussaint 10 in a game with three double-figure scorers… Toussaint scored the first four points of the season
- Six players made their Tech debut, including the four from the starting lineup and freshman Eemeli Yalaho who had a dunk late in the game for his first collegiate points
- Darrion Williams was McCasland’s first signee on April 21, 2023
- Cambridge and Toussaint both officially signed on July 6, 2023, to complete the roster… Six players were signed by McCasland and staff in the off-season
- The newcomer list includes Jack Francis and KyeRon Lindsay who were at Tech last season but not on the active roster
- Tech is a team comprised of 5th-year seniors (3), seniors (3), sophomores (6), and freshmen (2)
- Tech has players from Texas (4), California (3), Arizona (1), Minnesota (1), Nevada (1), New York (1), Oregon (1), Tennessee (1), Finland (1)
- Isaacs led Tech with 19 points in the season opener against Commerce after making two 3-pointers and going 7-for-9 from the free-throw line… A sophomore guard, Isaacs is Tech’s leading returning scorer after going for 11.5 points per game as a true freshman in 25 games played last season… He led Tech in scoring nine times last season and now has been the team-leader in points in 10 games going into Sunday’s contest against San Jose State… Isaacs also went off for 30 points after going 6-for-10 on 3-pointers in the exhibition win over Texas A&M where he also led the team with three steals… Last season, he made 62 3-pointers (37.8%), including making five 3-pointers in games against Nicholls, TCU, and Texas… Isaacs had 16 games with double-figuring scoring performances as a freshman and scored 12.1 percent of Texas Tech’s points last season… Isaacs scored a career-high 24 points in the non-conference game against Nicholls and also had 23 points at Texas after he went off by making 5-of-9 3-pointers against the Longhorns… A Las Vegas native, Isaacs made 24 starts last year and earned Big 12 All-Freshman Team honors during his first season at Tech where he averaged 11.5 points, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.0 rebounds per game… He finished third in scoring among freshmen in the Big 12 and was fourth throughout the conference by averaging 2.5 made 3-pointers per game
- Cambridge is a fifth-year senior who has 901 points, 483 rebounds, 77 steals, and 65 blocked shots through 128 games in his career… He made his Tech debut against Commerce as a starter, finishing the game with four rebounds, two assists, one block, and two points… A 6-foot-6 forward from Nashville, Tennessee, Cambridge began his career with three seasons at Auburn before playing last season at Arizona State… He averaged a career-best 9.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season for the Sun Devils and helped ASU to the second round of the NCAA Tournament… Cambridge has made 115 3-pointers (29.3%) and enters his fourth season shooting 331-for-766 from the field… He scored a career-high 26 points against South Carolina as a freshman on January 22, 2020, and had a career-best 11 rebounds against San Diego on December 18, 2022… Cambridge started against Texas A&M in Tech’s exhibition win, scoring 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field and 2-of-3 on 3-pointers… He also had a team-best two blocked and had six rebounds… For his career, Cambridge has five double-doubles and has 40 double-figure scoring performances
- Toussaint scored the first four points of the game against Commerce and finished with 10 points to go along with three rebounds and an assists in his Tech debut on Wednesday… He is beginning his fifth and final season of college basketball after playing his first three seasons at Iowa and then last year at West Virginia… A Bronx, New York native, Toussaint played against Texas Tech four times as an opponent in his career including three times last season while at WVU and once while at Iowa in 2019… He scored his career-high 22 points against the Red Raiders in Lubbock after making 12 free throws… He had a career-high 11 assists against Alabama State back on Nov. 18, 2021, while playing at Iowa… Toussaint has 802 points, 369 assists, 140 steals, and 259 rebounds through 133 games in his career… His 133 games are the most on this year’s Tech roster coming into the season… Toussaint is coming off a season at WVU were he averaged 9.4 points and had 89 assists… He started against Texas A&M in the exhibition game, finishing with a team-high seven assists and also having six points and three rebounds in 36 minutes of play
- McMillian led the Tech reserves with six points and six rebounds in the win over Commerce in 25 minutes of play… In his first year at Tech, he is a senior with two years of eligibility remaining after he played the last three years at Grand Canyon in Phoenix, Arizona where he advanced to the 2021 and 2023 NCAA Tournaments… Against Texas A&M in Tech’s exhibition, McMillian scored 17 points with four 3-pointers as a reserve in 23 minutes… His resume now includes 676 points, 149 assists, 54 steals, 109 made 3-pointers, a shooting percentage of 45.0, and 30 games in double-figure scoring performances through 92 games in his career… A Vallejo, California native, McMillian is 109-for-270 (40.4%) on 3-pointers in his career including a game against SFA in February where he made six 3-pointers for GCU… He scored a career-high 24 points in that game on Feb. 24, 2023… McMillian is coming off a season at Grand Canyon where he averaged 10.9 points per game and had 78 assists… He shot 60-for-135 (44.4%) on 3-pointers
- Warren Washington led the Red Raiders with 12 rebounds and added eight points in the win over Commerce… He had five offensive rebounds and was 4-for-6 from the field in his first game with Tech… Washington is a fifth-year senior who has also played at Oregon State, Nevada, and Arizona State before making Texas Tech his final destination in his collegiate career… The tallest Red Raider on the roster at 7-foot, Washington is a Escondido, California native with 849 points, 581 rebounds, 112 blocks, and 97 assists through 110 games in his career… He leads Tech with nine double-doubles, 14 double-figure rebounding games, and 44 games in double-figure scoring in his career… He is coming off a season at Arizona State where he averaged 9.2 points and 6.9 rebounds and earned Pac-12 All-Defensive Team honors… Washington started for the Red Raiders in the exhibition win over Texas A&M, finishing with a team-high seven rebounds but not scoring… In a scrimmage against UTEP, Washington led Tech with 16 points after going 7-for-9 from the field… His career resume includes a career-high 21 points in games against Wyoming and Southern Cal and a 14-rebound performance against Texas Southern last season while at ASU
- Darrion Williams began his Tech career by going for 14 points and seven rebounds in the win over Commerce… He was 5-for-7 from the field and also 2-of-2 at the free-throw line… A sophomore in his first year at Texas Tech, Williams earned Mountain West Freshman of the Year last season while playing at the University of Nevada after earning Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year following his senior year of high school at Bishop Gorman… He transferred to Tech during the summer after averaging 7.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game as a freshman… He also had 90 assists, 47 steals, and 11 blocks in his first collegiate season… Darrion scored a career-high 16 points in a game against Fresno State and had 13 rebounds against New Mexico last season… His freshman-year report saw him record 11 games with double-figure rebounds, 11 games with double-figure scoring, and one double-double… Darrion Williams started against Texas A&M in Tech’s exhibition game and finished with six points and two rebounds in 17 minutes… In the scrimmage against UTEP, Darrion had 14 points… Last season, Williams was 91-for-220 (41.4%) from the field and 35-of-98 (35.7%) on 3-pointers… The Athletic had Williams as the 14th best available transfer while ESPN put him at No. 43 on its 2023-24 transfer list.
- Lamar Washington led Tech with four assists and also added five points and four rebounds in the win over Commerce to begin the season… Washington is in his second season at Tech after averaging 3.4 points and 1.8 rebounds per game as a freshman… He finished with 13 points and two steals in the exhibition win over Texas A&M where he played 24 minutes as a reserve… Washington had a career-high 13 points and five steals last season in a win over Kansas State at home… He played in 32 games and made three starts during the 2022-23 season… A 6-foot-4, 200-pound guard, Washington is a Portland, Oregon native who was named the 2021 Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year before finishing prep school in Arizona… As a freshman, Washington was 34-for-80 from the field (42.5%) with seven 3-pointers
- Robert Jennings finished with three rebounds and two points in the opener to begin his sophomore season after playing in 30 games with four starts as a true freshman last season at Tech… A Desoto, Texas native who is listed at 6-foot-7, 230-pounds, Jennings had a career-high eight points in games against Houston Christian, Oklahoma, and Louisville last season… He also had strong performances with six rebounds against South Carolina State and West Virginia last year… Jennings played seven minutes as a reserve in the exhibition against Texas A&M and finished with one steal… He averaged 2.7 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season
- Walton made one 3-pointer for his only basket of the game against Commerce to begin his second season in the program… A senior with two years of eligibility remaining, he is in his second season at Texas Tech after playing two years at North Carolina… A Hopkins, Minnesota native, Walton has made 105 3-pointers and scored 444 points through 88 games played in his career… He averaged 3.6 points with 23 3-pointers made in 27 games played last year for the Red Raiders with seven starts… As a freshman at North Carolina, Walton made 58 3-pointers, averaged 8.2 points, started 20 games, and set the UNC freshman percentage record at 42.0 percent… He enters this season 104-for-259 (40.2%) from beyond the arc… Walton had three points against Texas A&M in the exhibition with one 3-pointer in eight minutes of play
- D’Maurian Williams has 816 points and a team-best 146 3-pointers made through 85 games played in his career… He scored two points in four minutes of play against Commerce in the opener… A senior with two years of eligibility remaining, D’Maurian is in his second season at Tech after playing his first two years at Gardner Webb where he averaged 14.5 points per game as a sophomore after 10.8 as a freshman… He played 27 games with one start last season for the Red Raiders, averaging 3.1 points per game and with 14 3-pointers… For his career, Williams is 146-for-379 (38.5%) from beyond the arc… He had a career-high 27 points against Columbia International while playing at Gardner Webb and also had a 10-rebound performance against UNLV… Last season, Williams scored a season-high 17 points against Jackson State after going 5-for-7 on 3-pointers… He’s scored in double-figures 40 times in his career and has one double-double
- Tech’s roster has two true freshman on it with Eemeli Yalaho and Drew Steffe… Yalaho scored two points in six minutes of play in the opener against Commerce to make his collegiate debut… An international player from Jyväskylä, Finland, he completed high school with his senior season at Western Reserve Academy (Hudson, Ohio) where he averaged 15.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game… Yalaho begins his freshman season listed as a 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward… Steffe is a four-star recruit who was signed last November out of Frisco Memorial High School… A 6-foot-5, 200-pound forward, he was a Class 5A All-state selection… Steffe did not play in the opener
- Two of the newcomers were with the Red Raiders last season but will be in uniform for the first time this season… KyeRon Lindsay transferred to Tech at midterm last December after starting his career at the University of Georgia where he started eight games and played in 10 as a true freshman… A Denton, Texas native, Lindsay averaged 6.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game as a Bulldog including recording a double-double with a career-high 14 points and 10 rebounds against Miami (Ohio) on November 14, 2022… Jack Francis is a sophomore from Austin who was on the practice squad last season and earned his spot on this season’s roster… Francis is the team’s only walk-on and is an accomplished player who scored over 1,000 points at Anderson High School… Lindsay and Francis both practiced with the Red Raiders throughout the 2023 Spring semester… Neither played in the season opener
- Texas Tech comes into the 2023-24 season unranked AP Preseason Poll… The Red Raiders were at No. 25 to begin last season following advancing to the 2022 NCAA Sweet 16
- Tech was in the first three polls last season and rose as high as No. 21 before falling out and not returning
- Texas Tech is picked 8th in the Big 12 Preseason Poll
- Kansas was picked first in the Big 12 Preseason Poll followed by Houston, Texas, Baylor, and TCU to round out the Top-5
- Texas Tech did not have a player selected in the preseason awards
- Tech’s highest AP ranking in program history came at No. 6 in February of 2018 (16th Week Poll)… The 2018-19 team was No. 8 in the final week of the regular season and No. 7 throughout the postseason that led to the 2019 National Championship Final
Doors open for fans one hour prior to tipoff. Tickets are still available online 24/7 at texastech.com. For fans without a season parking pass, there will be free parking/shuttle service from the S-1 lot starting 90 minutes prior to tip off.
November 16, 2023: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
United Supermarkets Arena – Lubbock, Texas
The Red Raiders will take on A&M-Corpus Christi for the seventh time and with a 5-1 advantage in the all-time series. Tech is on a four-game winning streak in the series, most recently securing a 77-57 win on Dec. 12, 2020, in a neutral-court game in Frisco. The Islanders have played in Lubbock three times and are 2-1 in those games, including an 86-80 win over the Red Raiders on Dec. 18, 2000. The last matchup in Lubbock resulted in a 70-55 win by the Red Raiders on Jan. 2, 2011.
The Islanders are coming off an accomplished season where they advanced to the 2023 NCAA Tournament, won the Southland Conference regular season title with a 14-4 record, and won the Southland Conference tournament championship. Corpus Christi opened the NCAA Tournament with a 75-71 win over Southeast Missouri State in Dayton, Ohio before falling to Alabama. The team ended its season with a 24-11 overall record.
Jim Shaw is in his first season as the program’s head coach after two seasons as an assistant coach within the program. Shaw takes over for Steve Lutz who left Corpus following last season to take over at Western Kentucky. Shaw worked as the Texas Tech Director of Operations under interim head coach Chris Walker in the 2012-13 season. He also coached at Texas State and Tarleton State before A&M-Corpus Christi.
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McCasland story – Rising through the ranks
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Define Yourself – player video series