Breaking down what to expect from Chris Beard on the court with The Daily Toreador’s men’s basketball reporter

Nathan Han

A week after Texas athletics hired Chris Beard as the men’s basketball head coach, the pieces are beginning to fall into place.

Former Kansas assistant coach Jerrance Howard was the latest to join Beard’s Longhorn staff on Tuesday, while one of Beard’s former assistants at Texas Tech, Mark Adams, was announced as the new head coach for the Red Raiders.

So, The Daily Texan spoke to The Daily Toreador’s men’s basketball beat writer Ryan Mainville about Beard, Adams and what the new Texas head coach will bring to the table on both sides of the court and on the recruiting trail.

On the “no-middle” defense employed by Texas Tech:

Ryan Mainville: (Mark) Adams actually convinced Beard to run (the defense). It’s Adams’ system — he’s pretty much the architect of it. (In Beard’s first season in 2016), they were pretty bad, and Adams was persistent on beginning to run that system. So they implemented it in 2017, and that was the year that (Texas Tech) went to the Elite Eight.

It really just boils down to preventing people from getting the ball in the paint. So if you watch Texas Tech basketball, you’ll see a guy catch the ball (close to a sideline at the 3-point line). Then you’ll see the Texas Tech defender just completely facing the sideline.

It looks really redundant at first if you don’t know the system, because what’s going to happen is the guy with the ball is going to have a clear path to drive baseline. But that’s exactly what you want to have happen, because then you’ll have a guy who’s anchored somewhere in the post rotate over and seal off that angle.

It’s definitely Adams’ idea. He’s a guy that crafted it and perfected it over the years. But I’m sure, even if it’s just osmosis, that Beard has learned pieces of the “no-middle” defense that I’m interested to see if he decides to run with that at Texas or if he decides to try something else.

On the transfer portal and what to expect from Beard’s recruiting:

RM: First and foremost, he loves the transfer portal, and he’s always going to go and try and find experience and veterans who can fill holes, and he’ll also try to pick up the best player available and just see what happens. Something he remained consistent with in his high school recruiting here at Tech was he always said, “Hey, I’m looking for guys that can dribble, pass, shoot,” and it sounds really simple, but those are the kind of guys that work in the motion offense.

On Beard’s motion offense:

RM: The Beard offense, at least the way I’ve seen it been run, is a lot of isolation … Obviously people call it a motion offense, but this year in particular, the ball stuck in a way that I hadn’t really seen it stick for (Beard’s tenure).

On the atmosphere in Beard’s first game back in Lubbock:

RM: It’s going to be crazy. It’s going to be packed. It’s going to be loud, and it’s going to be dirty.

On what defines Chris Beard:

RM: He figures out ways to win games. He’s done that at every level that he’s coached at, from (junior colleges) to amateur basketball leagues and then of course Texas Tech. He’s a guy that knows how to inspire and rally a team. He’s a guy that knows how to coach defense. He just figures out ways to win games. I think that’s probably his biggest selling point.