Got a question for the Double T 97-3 staff, get it to us HERE.
This week the Double T 97-3 Staff answer, "In a match-up between the 2017-18 MBB team and the 2018-19 team, who do you think will win and why?"
Jamie Lent - The Morning Drive and Press Box
I think it would be close but I would take the 2017-18 basketball team over this year's squad. I just think the crunch time scoring ability of Keenan Evans as the biggest difference. Plus I just think there were some really key veterans on last year's team as well. It would be a great game and fun to watch, but I'm going with last year's Red Raiders.
Zach Logsdon - The Morning Drive and Press Box
Lot of extra questions for this one: Is Keenan Evans healthy? How does a world work where Culver and others have to face off with each other? Is Niem Stevenson still as effective with 1 second left on the shot clock? Let's break it down.
Backcourt: Keenan Evans & Justin Gray vs. Davidatt Moonetti - 2019 is way better shooting but the 2018 team has Keenan Evans. Advantage last year.
Frontcourt: Zach Smith, Norense Odiase & Zhaire Smith vs. Jarrett Culver, Tariq Owens and Norense Odiase - Odiase cancels himself out. Tariq is the best shot blocker in Tech history so he gets the advantage over Zach Smith. Culver is a first team all-american and possible top-5 pick in the draft. Love Zhaire, but no contest. Major advantage this year.
Bench mob: Culver, Francis, Moretti, Niem Stevenson, Tommy Hamilton vs. Deshawn Corprew, Francis and Kyler Edwards - Last year's team threw out line shifts and there was never much dropoff. This year is not nearly as deep, but much better offensively. Advantage last year, but not as much as it would seem.
Advanced Metrics: KenPom Offensive Ratings: 2018=113.3 points per 100 possessions 2019=112.8
KenPom Defensive Ratings: 2018=90.8 points allowed per 100 possessions 2019=85.4
Advantage this year. That defensive rating is one of the best ever and the offenses are basically a wash.
Late Game Confidence: Keenan Evans vs. this year's offense - I mean, Keenan was a straight up killer last year. This year's team has blown a lot of teams out, but I'm not sure who the closer is. Advantage last year.
If you think coaching is a wash (I think you could argue Beard has been better this year especially with the late season offensive surge) and level of competition is similar (I think the Big 12 was much better last year overall) then these factors lead me to think last year was slightly better. But this year's team has a much much higher offensive ceiling. Ultimately, I think it would be a great game but I'm picking Keenan Evans down the stretch as long as he's healthy. 73-70 2018.
Chois Woodman - The Bottom Line
There isn't much question in my mind that the 2018-19 basketball team is better for Texas Tech and maybe the best ever in this program. The 18-19 team would win most of the times that these two teams met, because it has a higher peak than the 17-18 team. While both teams played elite defense, this year's team has much better scoring ability. Lately, it's a bit of a disappointment if the Red Raiders aren't blowing someone out. Texas Tech has Final Four potential this season - that doesn't mean Tech will get there or even get to the Elite Eight like last year's team because March Madness is such a crap-shoot. However, if this team can play at it's highest level at the right time, something really special could happen.
Jeff McGuire - The Bottom Line and Sunday Sports Blitz
Being the last one to post has some advantages, and drawbacks. Zach Logsdon hit it out of the park. My thought was to do the same thing, but his is WAY better. I will add to his though that one factor we forget is how much last year's team was decimated by injuries. Zach Smith most of the year, Justin Gray at the start of the KU game, we all know about Keenan, Norance missed some time, and so on. Health this year has been at it's peak. If e assume health at 100% for both teams, I give the edge to last year's team. In a 7 game series it goes 4-3 last year. It would be a blast to watch. If we use their health from the seasons, This year in a sweep.
Zach Sparkman - Tech Talk
I think the 17-18 team wins. I think Keenan, especially if it’s a healthy Keenan, is the difference. While I think this years team is better defensively and can shoot it better from 3, I think last years team had more depth, Tommy Hamilton and Zach Smith, also assuming he’s healthy in this scenario, could help stretch the floor pull Tariq out and open up the lane for Keenan. I also think the combination of Zhaire and Jarrett Culver could really limit this years version of Culver. While I think these teams are very similar, and hopefully this years team can do something like win the Big 12 that last years team couldn’t, I think the experience of last years team gives them the edge.
Jon Sokoloff - Fox34 Sports
This year's team would beat last years. Both teams played exceptional defense, but Beard's crew this year has much more fire power offensively. They aren't much better at getting to the basket (last year Evans dominated that category while Culver has proved he can do it), but they have much more players who can knock down threes.
Garrett Luft - Coors Light Post Game Show
The hard part here is analyzing guys against themselves. Culver and Moretti are far better than a year ago, and Francis plays a larger role now than he did then. Norense seems to have a clearer role this year, and Mooney and Owens are additions that have helped in a lot of ways. Is Owens a better contributor than Tommy Hamilton was? Is Deshawn Corprew more impacting than Justin Gray? How about Matt Mooney compared to Niem Stevenson? I'd lean toward saying this year's guys in each case in those three comparisons have helped round out the 2018-19 squad a little better than 17-18. Point for 18-19.
But... This year's team does not have the sheer athleticism that you had in Zach and Zhaire Smith. That's a point for last year's team, I think.
But the kicker for me is simple. Keenan Evans is and will remain for me a long time THE MAN. Is Jarrett Culver close to carrying that mantle? Sure. But if I have to put my money on the guy I want with the ball late, who makes you feel more secure? Can anyone really say Culver? This is the swaying point. Keenan Evans carries 17-18 over the 18-19 team in a close one.
Rene Sharp - Producer Extraordinaire
This one is easy. This year’s team would win 8 out 10 times. This year’s team is a much more complete and well rounded basketball team with more options on offense and the defense is just as good. While Keenan Evans is the best player on the court, Jarrett Culver isn’t far behind and has way more help. The rebounding advantage would have to go to last year’s team as that is this year’s biggest weakness. This is why I predicted a Big 12 championship before the season started, this year’s team just has far more talent, is deeper, and is much more well rounded.