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  • 04 Apr
    LUBBOCK, Texas -- Chris Beard doesnt want a grace period for winning at Texas Tech.Theres no two- or three-year plan for the 43-year-old first-year coach to make the Red Raiders more competitive in the Big 12.Hes brought in six new players, including three graduate transfers.We expect to win immediately, Beard said. We do have a lot of pieces. The challenge is to try to put this together quickly. Thats the challenge in trying to be successful year one.Last year, Beard led Arkansas-Little Rock to its best season in school history, guiding the Trojans to an 85-83 double overtime thriller over No. 12-ranked and fifth-seeded Purdue in the NCAA Tournament.In April, he was hired to coach in Lubbock, where hed been an assistant for 10 years under Bob Knight and Pat Knight. He had accepted the job at UNLV in late March and jilted the school after learning that Texas Tech was looking for a replacement for Tubby Smith, who left to coach Memphis.Beard said Smith elevated the program in his three years with the Red Raiders, calling the Hall of Fame coachs time in Lubbock legendary.The Red Raiders havent had a winning Big 12 record since 2006-07, when Beard was an assistant under Bob Knight. Texas Tech finished seventh in the Big 12 last season (19-13, 9-9). They lost in the first round of the NCAA to Butler.Beards aim is to lift the program in the Big 12 standings and beyond.Wed like to join the top half of the league, he said. Then we would like to join the top tier of the league. We want to be in the conversation for championships. To do that is a process, but you have to start by being willing to talk about and I wont shy away from that.Here are some things to know about the Red Raiders, who open their season at home Nov. 11 against Houston Baptist:MESHING PLAYERS AND MATURITYGetting the six new players -- three graduate transfers and three junior college players -- on the same page has gone well, Beard said. Even though were an inexperienced team playing together, were an experienced team with different parts, he said. And so hopefully our identity is going to be our experience, our maturity and these six seniors.TALLER TEAMThe Red Raiders have five players 6-8 and taller. Two of them, 6-9 center Norense Odiase and 6-8 forward Zach Smith, are returning starters. At 6-8, forward Aaron Ross came off the bench, and Matthew Temple, a 6-10 senior forward, didnt play a lot. The newcomer is 6-8 Anthony Livingston, who is graduate student who played last year at Arkansas State.REBOUNDING REBOUNDThe Red Raiders finished ninth in the conference last season at just 34 rebounds per game and hope to improve on that. The taller players will help but there has to be a willingness to get to the boards. I think our rebounds will be better than last year, said Smith who averaged 7.3 rebounds per game last season to finish sixth in the Big 12. It wont be as problematic.MOTION OFFENSEBeard spent almost a decade learning the motion offense from Bob Knight. Hell use that and plenty of pick and roll that he learned coaching in the ABA and the Swiss national team during a summer off while he was coach at Angelo State in 2014. Its just a unique style of play, so we feel like we have the best of both worlds, Beard said.Odiase loves the combo offense: We know that it causes a lot of problems for the defenses. New Orleans Saints Jerseys .C. -- Calgarys Kevin Koe did it the hard way again. Rickey Jackson Jersey . -- About a third of the way through the regular season, the Washington Wizards are at . http://www.shoptheofficialsaints.com/Elite-Willie-Roaf-Saints-Jersey/ . "I was fortunate to play many years at this level with a great organization and unbelievable teammates," said Hejduk in a statement. Sam Mills Jersey .com) - The Montreal Canadiens will try to halt their longest losing streak of the season when they host the struggling New York Islanders in tonights clash at the Bell Centre. Custom New Orleans Saints Jerseys . Hamelin, who triumphed in the 500 on Saturday, edged out Victor An of Russia by 0.021 seconds to maintain his lead in the World Cup standings. Russias Vladimir Grigorev was third. In the relay, Canada took control six laps from the finish line to beat Russia and the Netherlands. Ryan Lochte has jumped in the pool to announce that he and fiancee Kayla Rae Reid are expecting a baby.The Olympic swimmer and the former Playboy model shared pictures on Instagram of Lochte under water and kissing Reids tiny baby bump. Lochte says his Christmas gift came early this year. Reid says , Just when you think you think you have it all figured out, life always surprises you with blessings when least expect it. She added (hassh)weareprego to the post.ddddddddddddIt has been a notable year for Lochte. He was caught in a fib about a drunken encounter during the Rio Olympics in August. He was later harassed by protesters on stage while competing on ABCs Dancing with the Stars. Lochte and Reid announced their engagement in October. ' ' '