Texas Tech's Matt Mooney starred for the Red Raiders on Saturday night in their 61-51 victory over Michigan State.
The 6'3" redshirt senior guard hails from Wauconda, Illinois. He started all 68 games during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons at South Dakota before transferring into Texas Tech's program. But he began his collegiate career at Air Force—the only Division I school to offer him a scholarship.
He averaged 6.9 points and 1.8 assists per game on 44.8% shooting during his freshman campaign for the Falcons after missing a year when he crashed his bicycle and broke his fibula and tore a deltoid ligament.
After sitting out the 2015-16 season, Mooney averaged 18.6 points and 18.7 points, respectively, over the next two years and recorded the fourth- and fifth-best scoring seasons in school history at South Dakota. He never got to the NCAA tournament, though, as the Coyotes were bested twice by Mike Daum and South Dakota State.
As Mooney told Sports Illustrated's Greg Bishop, he decided to transfer to Texas Tech for a shot at playing in the 2019 NCAA tournament after his coach at South Dakota, Craig Smith, left for Utah State last offseason.
Mooney, 24, averaged 11.0 points, 3.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds on 42.2% shooting from the field in his first year with the Red Raiders. He has upped his average to 13.8 points during the NCAA tournament. The fifth-year transfer tied a season-high by dropping 22 points in Texas Tech's Final Four victory over Michigan State, which clinched a spot in Monday night's title game against Virginia.