Bryn Gerlich defends the ball

Bryn Gerlich dribbles the ball down the court while defending against Georgia at The United Supermarket Arena on Dec. 2, 2021.

Fall finals ended on Dec. 8, meaning students left the Texas Tech campus for just over a month.

This was a change from the fall 2020 semester, when student did not return to in-person classes after Thanksgiving break but instead students were forced to watch multiple sporting events from home. As the spring semester begins, here’s an overview of what took place during the holiday break.

Dec. 13

Despite starting December with a loss to then-unranked Providence, who has since risen to No. 23, an upset win in overtime against No. 13 Tennessee (now No. 22) put Tech in AP Top 25 Poll for the first time this season, ranking them No. 25 for Week 6 on Dec. 13. 

Tech spent the entirety of last season as a top 25 team under head basketball coach Chris Beard, the first time in program history a team has spent a whole season as a member of the poll.

Dec. 14

Tech announced the signing of three transfer prospects to the football program the first transfer portal additions of new head football coach Joey McGuire’s young career as Tech’s next head football coach.

The three transfers announced in December were wide receiver Brady Boyd (Minnesota), linebacker Dimitri Moore (Missouri State) and defensive back Tyler Owens (Texas).

Boyd played high school football at Southlake Carrol and Owens graduated from Plano East, both high schools located in Texas

Moore played at Cedar Hill High School, the same school McGuire coached at and built his legacy that would eventually get him in the Texas High School Coaches Hall of Honor.

McGuire landed commitments from multiple more transfers, an offensive lineman in Cade Briggs (New Mexico), and two two receivers from Big 12 rivals, Joshua Moore (Texas) and Jordan Brown (Kansas).

 

Dec. 15

Just a day after making the transfer-signings official, McGuire announced the signing of 16 high school prospects to their Letters of Intent, including 15 three-stars and one four-star according to 247 Sports. 

According to Tech Athletics, McGuire was a 2020 inductee into the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor. 12 of his 16 high school additions were from the Lone Star State.

Also, McGuire made sure to well-equip new defensive coordinator Tim Deruyter with Tech’s signings, ten of the 16 high school additions playing defensive positions. 

Dec. 28

The Texas Tech football team defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs and former Red Raiders coach Mike Leach by a score 34-7 in the 2021 Liberty Bowl on Dec. 28. 

Interim head coach Sonny Cumbie led the Red Raiders to their first bowl game appearance since 2017 and their first win since 2013, both times coached by former Red Raider and current Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Cumbie has since left for a head coaching position at Louisiana Tech, as well as defensive coordinator Keith Patterson, who became Abilene Chrisitan University’s next head coach. 

Sophomore quarterback Donovan Smith threw for 252 yards and a touchdown in the win, he also rushed for 30 yards and a touchdown. For more on Tech’s Liberty Bowl Victory, visit Arianna Flores’ recap on The Daily Toreador’s website.

Jan. 5

After Tech’s men’s basketball team had their Big 12 opener postponed from New Year’s day to Jan. 13 due to health and safety protocols, they instead kicked off inter-conference play by taking on No.11 Iowa State in Ames, Iowa on Jan. 5.

Before the game, Tech announced that five players were unable to make the trip due to health and safety protocols, leaving head basketball coach Mark Adams with only 7 available players. Guards Terrence Shannon Jr (back spasms), Kevin McCullar Jr (ankle), and Mylik Wilson (knee) all missed the game as they recovered from injuries.

Just a few hours after the men’s team tipped off against Iowa State, Tech’s women’s basketball team defeated No. 9 Texas by a score of 74-61 in their first game of the season against a ranked opponent.

According to Tech Athletics, the Lady Raiders’ victory was their first against a top-ten foe since 2011. Senior guard Vivian Grey, a 2020-21 First-Team All Big 12 selection, scored a game-high 23 points and junior guard Bre’Amber Scott added 21 points of her own. 

Jan. 8

Mark Adams secured his first Big 12 win as Tech’s head coach with an upset win over No. 6 Kansas by a score of 75-67 on Jan. 8, defeating the conference’s highest scoring team that averages 83.1 points per game, according to Big 12 Sports. 

Bryson Williams scored 22 points in the win over the Jayhawks, tying his season-high from the Red Raiders opening game against North Florida. In addition to leading Tech in scoring, Williams recorded a game-high eight rebounds, according to Tech Athletics. 

The only player who scored more than Williams was KU’s Ochai Ogbaji with 24 points. Ogabi currently sits atop the Big 12 in scoring, averaging 20.5 points per game, and his 287 total points are 23 more than the runner up (Taz Sherman - WVU). 

Jan. 10

After going 1-1 in a challenging beginning to Big 12 play against two ranked opponents, the Red Raiders finally improved from No. 25 to No. 19  in the AP Top 25 Poll, leaving the spot they had held for the last four weeks. 

On the same day, Tech officially announced the addition of Jaylon Tyson to the men’s basketball 2022 signing class. Tyson signed with Texas Tech in November 2020 before deciding to attend Texas and play for Tech’s former head coach Chris Beard and the Longhorns.

After scoring 14 points in only 55 total minutes of playing time, 11 of which coming in Texas’ season opener against Houston Baptist University, Tyson decided to leave the Longhorns mid-season and entered the transfer portal on Dec. 27.

Tyson’s decision to open up his recruitment led to his recommitment to the Red Raiders program, and he’ll spend the upcoming spring semester practicing with the team and preparing for next season. 

 

 

 

Dec. 15

Just a day after making the transfer-signings official, McGuire announced the signing of 16 high school prospects, including 15 three-stars and one four-star according to 247 Sports. 

According to Tech Athletics, McGuire was a 2020 inductee into the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor. Twelve of his 16 high school additions were from the Lone Star State.

Also, McGuire made sure to well-equip new defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter with Tech’s signings. Ten of the 16 high school additions will be playing defensive positions. 

Dec. 28

The Texas Tech football team defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs and former Red Raiders coach Mike Leach by a score 34-7 in the 2021 Liberty Bowl. 

Interim head coach Sonny Cumbie led the Red Raiders to their first bowl game appearance since 2017 and their first bowl win since 2013, both times coached by former Red Raider and current Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Cumbie has since left for a head coaching position at Louisiana Tech. Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson also left to become Abilene Chrisitan University’s next head coach. 

Sophomore quarterback Donovan Smith threw for 252 yards and a touchdown in the win. He also rushed for 30 yards and another touchdown. For more on Tech’s Liberty Bowl Victory, read Arianna Flores’ recap on The Daily Toreador website.

Jan. 5

After Tech’s men’s basketball team had their Big 12 opener postponed from New Year’s day to Jan. 13 due to health and safety protocols, they instead kicked off inter-conference play, taking on No. 11 Iowa State in Ames, Iowa on Jan. 5.

Before the game, Tech announced that five players were unable to make the trip due to health and safety protocols, leaving head basketball coach Mark Adams with only seven available players. Guards Terrence Shannon Jr. (back spasms), Kevin McCullar Jr. (ankle), and Mylik Wilson (knee) missed the game as they recovered from injuries.

Just a few hours after the men’s team tipped off against Iowa State, Tech’s women’s basketball team defeated No. 9 Texas by a score of 74-61 in its first game of the season against a ranked opponent.

According to Tech Athletics, the Lady Raiders’ victory was their first against a top-10 foe since 2011. Senior guard Vivian Grey, a 2020-21 First-Team All Big 12 selection, scored a game-high 23 points and junior guard Bre’Amber Scott added 21 points. 

Jan. 8

Mark Adams secured his first Big 12 win as Tech’s head coach with an upset win over No. 6 Kansas by a score of 75-67 on Jan. 8, defeating the conference’s highest scoring team that averages 83.1 points per game, according to Big 12 Sports. 

Bryson Williams scored 22 points in the win over the Jayhawks, tying his season-high from the Red Raiders opening game against North Florida. In addition to leading Tech in scoring, Williams recorded a game-high eight rebounds, according to Tech Athletics. 

The only player who scored more than Williams was KU’s Ochai Ogbaji with 24 points. Ogabi currently sits atop the Big 12 in scoring, averaging 20.5 points per game, and his 287 total points are 23 more than the runner up (Taz Sherman, WVU). 

Jan. 10

After going 1-1 in a challenging beginning to Big 12 play against two ranked opponents, the Red Raiders finally improved from No. 25 to No. 19  in the AP Top 25 Poll, leaving the spot they had held for the last four weeks. 

On the same day, Tech officially announced the addition of Jaylon Tyson to the men’s basketball 2022 signing class. Tyson signed with Texas Tech in November 2020 before deciding to attend Texas and play for Tech’s former head coach Chris Beard and the Longhorns.

After scoring 14 points in only 55 total minutes of playing time, 11 of which coming in Texas’ season opener against Houston Baptist University, Tyson decided to leave the Longhorns mid-season and entered the transfer portal on Dec. 27.

Tyson’s decision to open up his recruitment led to his recommitment to the Red Raiders program. He’ll spend the upcoming Spring semester practicing with the team and preparing for next season. 

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