THE ARCHIVES – Andre Emmett

Coached by Bob Knight, Andre Emmett developed into a star at Texas Tech. Source: Reuters

When Andre Emmett first committed to Texas Tech, basketball in Lubbock didn’t look like a platform to success.

The 6’5″ guard from the Big 12 capital (Dallas) could contribute immediately, but it probably wasn’t a lot of fun. Going 9-19 rarely is. However, Emmett earned 20 minutes a game and averaged 7.7 points.

Meanwhile, Bob Knight had recently been fired from his longtime coaching job at Indiana. Texas Tech was about to get a lot more relevant. Going into the 2001-02 season, a happy Knight had found a new home, and Red Raiders fans welcomed a basketball genius.

But Knight’s coaching could not bring back Texas Tech by itself. Significant to the programs’ gains was the development of Emmett, who increased his value and production as a sophomore to become arguably the team’s best player. Emmett shot 52% from the floor, an excellent percentage for a guard. Teaming up with Emmett was a freshman guard named Ronald Ross who would play a big role for Texas Tech in the future.

After winning just three conference games all year the season before, Tech started the year 13-1 and finished with 10 wins in league play. They earned a No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament before losing to Southern Illinois in the first round.

Emmett grew into a Big 12 star his junior and senior seasons, averaging over 20 points a game both times and serving as Knight’s first go-to guy in Lubbock. That reliability is reflected in the conference’s all-time records for field goals and attempts, both of which Emmett still holds.

As a senior, Emmett joined Emeka Okafor and Jameer Nelson among the five consensus All-Americans for 2004. Nelson was part of the outstanding St. Joseph’s team which went undefeated in the regular season and knocked Texas Tech out in the NCAA’s second round. Okafor was named the most outstanding player for national champ UConn.

As has been the case for too many of the players profiled here in THE ARCHIVES, Emmett’s pro career has been disappointing. Emmett actually played very little in the NBA.

Very little meaning eight games for the Grizzlies.

Drafted by Seattle in the second round, he was traded to Memphis and then Miami. Emmett has dealt with what many star college guards face. They are skilled enough to be “scorers” at the college level but are not prolific 3 point shooters or unguardable ballhandlers at the pro level. 

Emmett has since traveled the world, playing in places like Lithuania, France, Belgium and China. He has tried, so far unsuccessfully, to get back to the NBA. Still, he is representative of Texas Tech’s rise as a Big 12 contender in the 2000s, and the Red Raiders would be better off these days if they had another player like him.

TECH’S TOP GUN: Andre Emmett is currently the all-time scoring leader for Texas Tech men’s basketball. He is the first player we’ve featured in THE ARCHIVES currently holding this distinction for his school.

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