LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -Last year Zhaire Smith and the Red Raiders made it to the Elite 8 for the first time in program history. Smith jumped to the NBA after one season at Texas Tech. He things this year’s Red Raider team that opens the NCAA Tournament 12:30 p.m. Friday in Tulsa against Northern Kentucky can go ever further despite an early exit in the Big 12 Championship to West Virginia.
“I’m glad they got that loss out of the way. Now it’s time to make a run in the tournament. I believe they’re going to go to the Final 4 and win it all. We are about to make history. That’s what we do. We did it last year and I believe we can do it this year.”
Smith was a first round draft pick acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers through a draft-night trade. He had foot surgery in August and then suffered a severe allergic reaction to a food product. He’s been playing for the Delaware Blue Coats in the NBA G league.
“Health is pretty good. Feeling good to be back on the court. I know it’s been a rough year. It’s my first time having injuries so I’m glad to be back on the court and keeping a positive mindset.”