Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith is hopeful there's only one way his Red Raiders can go.

Smith is coming off his first losing season in 23 years. Texas Tech is aiming to win those close games after losing nine conference games by single digits last season.

The Red Raiders finished ninth in the conference last season (14-18, 6-12 Big 12). That was a slight improvement from the previous year (11-19, 3-15).

Smith is the first coach in four years to begin a second season in Lubbock. He succeeded interim coach Chris Walker, an assistant under Billy Gillispie. The West Texas native Gillispie resigned due to health reasons after one season and one Big 12 win.

Smith lost four seniors to graduation and two transferred.