This NCAA Championship Basketball Team Has Banned Smartphones. Is It Their Secret Sauce To Victory?

How did the coach and team leaders ever pry the sacred phones of the clutches of players?

Have you heard about the NCAA championship basketball team that banned smartphones?

If you’re following the Final Four at all, you’ve certainly heard of the team.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders.

They’ll face Virginia Monday night in the finals.

But this season didn’t always look like it was heading for this coveting destination.

TIME Magazine reports back in February, Texas Tech was reeling from a 3-game losing streak. All road games against conference opponents.

That’s when team captain Norense Odiase did what a good leader often has to–makes an unpopular suggestion in order to lead the troops in a different direction.

His proposal–lock up all cell phones before bed. “Get locked in,” he explained. “No distractions.”

Texas Tech team captain Red Raider Norense Odiase was the leader who banned smartphones on road trips.
Texas Tech team captain Red Raider Norense Odiase was the leader who banned smartphones on road trips. Credit: Texas Tech

Some players went along more willingly than others, but all handed over their phones.

The result? The Red Raiders won the next night at Oklahoma.

The standard for the rest of the season was set. In fact, Coach Chris Beard took it even a step further: cell phones would be collected on all nights of a road trip, not just the night before a game.

Texas Tech Men's Basketball coach Chris Beard loves the move that banned cellphones for his players on road trip nights.
Texas Tech Men’s Basketball coach Chris Beard loves the move that banned cellphones for his players on road trip nights.

Now, Texas Tech junior manager Cooper Anderson knocks on player doors around 11, to collect each player’s phone. He puts them in a red and black Texas Tech cooler bag.

You won’t get 100% of the players to say they love the practice, but it’s hard to argue with the stats. Texas Tech is 14-1 since the ban began.

Sophomore guard Parker Hicks says the new nighttime routine has taken some getting used to. “Actually having to lay there and actually go to sleep is kind of different,” Hicks told TIME. “You look at the ceiling and look at random things. Count to ten or something. Count the sheep.” 

If Texas Tech pulls off an upset Monday night against Virginia, they’ll have a lot more than sheep to think about.

It’ll be a dream come true.

Now, that’s something to tweet about.

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This NCAA Championship Basketball Team Has Banned Smartphones. Is It Their Secret Sauce To Victory?

by DarynKagan time to read: 2 min
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