Chris Beard is looking to build a consistent winner in Lubbock, a team that competes on a yearly basis in the Big 12, and a squad that has a goal of making the Big Dance with a chance to advance.
One way to do that is to land impact transfers, and the new Texas Tech head coach pulled off another solid addition on Monday morning.
DePaul transfer Tommy Hamilton IV has committed to the Red Raiders after leaving the Blue Demons following another rough season in the Big East. The 6’11” forward from Chicago will sit out the 2016-17 season before having one year of eligibility remaining.
DePaul transfer Tommy Hamilton IV will head to Texas Tech, sources told ESPN. Will sit one and play one.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) August 15, 2016
Hamilton had a career year during his sophomore campaign as he averaged 10.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, and shot 51 percent from the field. But last year in his junior stint, the big man struggled, averaging just 8.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, while shooting an inefficient 47 percent from the field.
The Illinois native’s minutes fluctuated, especially during Big East play, and he found himself to be a distraction to the program at times. Hamilton was suspended for one game in 2014 because of a violation in team rules and often had battles with weight issues, struggling to run up and down the floor.
His inconsistencies were well known, but DePaul believe in his potential to eventually develop into a lethal stretch four that could spread the floor and allow Billy Garrett Jr. to attack off the bounce.
At Texas Tech, Beard will hope that Hamilton’s year off will help him improve his conditioning, and develop some short area quickness and much needed speed. He’s not a great athlete or rim protector, and he’s not laterally quick, but there is certainly positives with this addition.
Hamilton doesn’t need to be the savior at Texas Tech. Instead, he needs to play quality spot minutes and hit shots from the perimeter. If he can find his post game and block some extra shots that would just be a bonus for the Red Raiders.
With Tubby Smith out and Beard in, Texas Tech is looking to supplement what already is a talented roster.
The Red Raiders lose Devaugntah Williams and Toddrick Gotcher, but have Zach Smith, Keenan Evans, Aaron Ross, Norense Odiase, Devon Thomas, Justin Gray and Matthew Temple in the fold for 2016-17. Beard also added immediate eligible transfers in Anthony Livingston, Niem Stevenson (JUCO) and Giovanni McLean.
Texas Tech should compete for a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016-17, but the addition of Hamilton will help them try to eventually battle for a THIRD straight bid.
The Red Raiders have six seniors on their roster, however, they keep the majority of their core group for a 2017-18 run. They also add Florida transfer Brandone Francis and of course, the presence of Hamilton is an extra body that can increase their depth/rotation.
Beard may have no experience when it comes to coaching major programs. However, it seems that he has already put his footprint on Texas Tech’s grounds in his first off-season on the job.