Redshirt senior guard Brandone Francis, freshman guard Kyler Edwards and redshirt sophomore guard Deshawn Corprew were key bench players in the 2018-19 season. The three split the sixth-man role and did not disappoint
The three players combined averaged 15.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists, according to sports-reference.com. Individually, Francis averaged 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists while Edwards averaged 5.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists. Corprew, who played the least minutes of the three, averaged 5.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and .4 assists.
Edwards hit the ground running early, scoring his career-high 19 points against Northern Colorado on Saturday, Nov. 24, the fifth game of the season. The freshman from Fort Worth did not miss a shot during the game, going 7-for-7, including the four three-pointers.
In a press conference after the team’s 93-62 win, Edwards said that was his time to do well.
"It was just my night tonight," Edwards said, according to Tech Athletics. "It could have been anyone's night, but tonight was just my night. It just happened to be me tonight. Coach gives me confidence. He tells me my time is going to be coming one day, any game.”
After scoring 13 points against Nebraska, Corprew matched the season-high in the contest against Texas Rio Grande Valley on Friday, Dec. 28, according to Tech Athletics. The win was the lone game the guard started, due to Norense Odiase being injured.
In the post-game press conference, Corprew expressed how he felt on the court. He said he was doing his part and felt more eager, according to Tech Athletics.
“I feel very comfortable on the court now," Corprew said, according to Tech Athletics. "Every day I tell myself to just go out there and work hard and play hard and do my role. I think I'm still doing the same thing that I'm supposed to do when I go out there every night and just play aggressive and basically just play my role."
Francis, the only senior on the bench, had two games where he led the team in points. The first was against West Virginia on Monday, Feb. 4, when the Florida transfer led with 16 points and two rebounds, according to sports-reference.com. The guard led the team with 17 points in the National Championship game, the last of his collegiate career.
In the press conference after the West Virginia game, Francis said his focus was tighter. After he talked to his mother, he went out on the court with more intensity and aggressiveness than usual, according to Tech Athletics.
"I was a little more focused today," Francis said, according to Tech Athletics. "I went out there and played with a chip on my shoulder with something to prove. I talked to my mom today, I had it in my mind and I just went out there, with a chip on my shoulder thinking about my family."
The 2018-19 bench was something the team relied on when one of the starters was hurt or when it got into foul trouble, giving coach Chris Beard and the Red Raiders more flexibility on the court during the NCAA Tournament.