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Five Questions For... Texas Tech Red Raiders

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Welcome to Five Questions for... Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Here you'll see five of the most pressing questions for the Red Raiders and our response to them. Feel free to contribute your answers in the comments section.

1. Out with the old, in with the new, Pat Knight is out and Billy Gillispie is in. Thoughts?

2. Texas Tech lost their top four scorers off last year's team. Considering they went 5-11 in conference, is that such a bad thing?

3. Robert Lewandowski is Tech's leading returning scorer (8.5 ppg last season) and rebounder (4.8). Without any Rivals Top-150 recruits coming in, convince me that Tech will win some conference games.

4. Tech hasn't been known to have a lot of interior presence. This season, though, Lewandowski is one of three big men listed at 6-10. Will they be able to pound the ball inside and score over some teams?

5. Is it possible for the Red Raiders to sign big time recruits, considering their in-state competition in Texas, Texas A&M and recently Baylor?

See our answers after The Jump.

1. Out with the old, in with the new, Pat Knight is out and Billy Gillispie is in. Thoughts?

Matt Patton: Terrific move. I know Gillispie laid an egg in Lexington a few years ago, but he's got a proven record of success at getting programs competing at a high level, especially in Texas. Give him two years, and I expect Tech to be in the top half of the conference (though, in the likely event that there is no conference in two years, the same statement applies to the Pac 16). I think it was a great hire, assuming Gillispie sticks around.

Joe Loyd: Well like Matt I think it's a great move for Tech as they get a coach who has proven he can win big in the State of Texas. It brings them instant credibility on the recruiting trail and also injects some life into their program. This season may be a tough one but future seasons should be better.

Evan Pfaff: Let's sugar coat this, there is a reason Gillispie ended up at Tech. After successful stints at UTEP and A&M, Gillispie spent two years in Lexington where things didn't work out the way everyone had hoped. In terms of coaching ranks, Kentucky is about as high as you can get, while Tech is much lower on the radar. It seems like Gillispie is trying to rebuild his name and image, which bodes well for Tech, but I don't see him there longer than 5 season, either because he is too good, or too bad.

2. Texas Tech lost their top four scorers off last year's team. Considering they went 5-11 in conference, is that such a bad thing?

MP: Yeah…it's going to be another rough season in Lubbock. The Red Raiders have a solid incoming class, but no real standouts (they've signed eight players!). I think this year will definitely be a rebuilding type of season while Gillispie shows the old guard his system, and recruits players to fit that system (he's already got a couple of guys lined up for next year).

JL: Yes it's a bad thing because I think this year's team could be even worse than last year's team talent wise although should be a much better coached team.

EP: It is a bad thing this season, but if the team can spend a year getting to know each other they have a class that will stick together for years and by the time they have the experience they could compete. Not this year though.

3. Robert Lewandowski is Tech's leading returning scorer (8.5 ppg last season) and rebounder (4.8). Without any Rivals Top-150 recruits coming in, convince me that Tech will win some conference games.

MP: Most importantly, the entire conference is down. No one is really "unbeatable" this year. That's not to say I think Texas Tech will sniff a .500 record in conference play, but I do think they'll win at least three conference games.

JL: Yeah but three conference games isn't very much considering the new 18 game schedule that will be in place this year. As for convincing you they will win some games, I don't know if I can do that very well. They should win at least a couple of games just because in basketball some days the ball is going in the basket for you and the other team is having a bad night. That's as good of an argument as I can make and it's pretty weak.

EP: I can't. Of course they'll win some, beat up on lesser talent, but I don't see them beating anyone in the top half of the conference. They just don't have any scoring options.

4. Tech hasn't been known to have a lot of interior presence. This season, though, Lewandowski is one of three big men listed at 6-10. Will they be able to pound the ball inside and score over some teams?

MP: It certainly would be one possibility, though you still need solid guards to get the ball inside. I'm not sure I see Lewandowski as a dominant big man (ala Perry Jones III or Thomas Robinson), but he certainly will be critical to Tech's relative success this year as a veteran.

JL: It's a very nice thought but I would still have to answer no on your question. Size is one thing but it seems like in college ball the majority of really tall players just aren't that skilled at post moves and scoring the ball. Lots of examples of big men in the Big 12 whose offensive games are brutal to watch sometimes: Jordan Henriquez-Roberts, Jeff Withey & Steve Moore are ones who jump into my mind right away and I am sure there are more.

EP: I see it as their only option. I don't see them as having any guard play (to Matt's point) so going inside might be the best way for them to score. Dominant centers in the league will be able to push the Tech big men away from the hoop, but you can't teach size and I predict an offense looking to pound inside first.

5. Is it possible for the Red Raiders to sign big time recruits, considering their in-state competition in Texas, Texas A&M and recently Baylor?

MP: I think so. And I'll actually use Baylor as evidence for it. Baylor doesn't have a basketball tradition; it's not in paradise (no offense to those who live in Waco); yet the Bears have been attracting top recruits under Scott Drew. That said, I don't see Gillispie going after those top guys. My guess is he'll nab a couple top hundred guys most years though.

JL: I definitely think so since I believe if you have the right coach and maybe more importantly the right assistant coaches you can get talent. I like the Baylor example Matt gives above and also look at K-State. The basketball program was gawd awful before they hired Huggins and eventually gave it to Frank Martin. The key was they had the right asst. coach and boom you get Michael Beasley, the #1 recruit in the country. Now I don't believe they will be beating out Texas, Kansas, Duke, Kentucky & UCLA for recruits but I thing they will snag their fair share of good talent especially within the state of Texas.

EP: Recruit guys? Sure. Recruit top talent? I don't see it. Considering the high school hot bed that Texas is, they'll be able to get some Horn/Aggie leftovers, but as it stands now I can't imagine a top tier recruit ending up in Lubbock.