NCAA Basketball

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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 PM GMT9:00 PM 北京时间6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST, Nov 5, 2019
United Supermarkets Arena, Lubbock, Texas  Attendance: 15,098

After NCAA title-game loss, No. 13 Texas Tech reloads vs. EIU

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard will learn this season if his program can reload instead of rebuilding.

Only seven months after his team lost in overtime to Virginia in the national title game, Beard is trying to answer another challenge in Lubbock, Texas.

The 13th-ranked Red Raiders welcome 10 newcomers and only one returning starter -- junior guard Davide Morretti -- from last season's team that finished 31-7 with the program's first Big 12 regular-season championship in Beard's third season.

The Red Raiders open their season Tuesday night at home against Eastern Illinois of the Ohio Valley Conference. Beard has mentioned to reporters that he doesn't expect the Red Raiders to skip a beat from last season with his new team, which includes seven freshmen and graduate transfers Chris Clarke (shooting guard from Virginia Tech) and TJ Holyfield (forward from Stephen F. Austin).

"Year four, nothing changes," said Beard, whose team last year shared the Big 12 title with Kansas State. "We just need to validate what we've been doing with a new team and new players. Certainly that's the challenge. It's always been our idea to be consistent."

Holyfield is a 6-foot-8 talent who had 1,081 points, 595 rebounds and 133 blocked shots in three seasons at Stephen F. Austin. Clarke, a 6-6 wing player, is the only player in Virginia Tech history with a triple-double (achieved as a sophomore with the Hokies against Citadel with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists).

Beard, 76-31 at Texas Tech and 172-61 in his eighth season overall as a head coach, has mentioned that Holyfield and Clarke can be adequate replacements for Tariq Owens and Matt Mooney from last season.

"What does have to happen is they have to meet expectations," Beard said. "There is no backup plan. Those guys have to be good players for us this season."

Eastern Illinois (14-18 last season) is one of the most experienced teams in college basketball, being the only Division I team without freshmen and sophomores. The newcomers include four junior college transfers and a graduate transfer.

"Those (junior college) guys are all going to make the same mistakes," said coach Jay Spoonhour, son of the late Charlie Spoonhour, former coach at Saint Louis and UNLV. "You're going to make a move that worked in junior college but doesn't now. They'll get that figured out. ... Athletically, they're good enough to win right now."

Five of the Panthers started at least 19 games last season with guard Josiah Wallace the top returner. He was named a first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection last season after leading the Panthers in scoring at 15.5 points per game.

Wallace made 61 of Eastern Illinois' school-record 272 made 3-pointers last season. The Panthers made 10 or more 3-pointers in a game 11 times last season with a high of 13 in a road win at Bradley. The Panthers had a streak of five straight games making double digit 3-pointers from Feb. 2-16.

Jay Spoonhour enters his eighth season as Eastern Illinois' head coach with a record of 93-124.

--Field Level Media

Updated November 4, 2019

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