Texas Tech basketball: 3 newcomers who are likely to start for the Red Raiders – Wreck ’em Red - Techy Hunters

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Friday, November 5, 2021

Texas Tech basketball: 3 newcomers who are likely to start for the Red Raiders – Wreck ’em Red

Mar 19, 2021; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Oral Roberts Golden Eagles forward Kevin Obanor (0) dribbles the ball against Ohio State Buckeyes guard Musa Jallow (eft) during overtime in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech basketball season will begin in just five days.  And what a fascinating season this is going to be.

Long-time assistant and JUCO head coach, Mark Adams, is finally getting his shot to run a program at the highest level of the sport.  And to stock his initial roster, he’s brought in seven transfers from the portal leading to what should be the most intriguing chemistry experiment in the history of Texas Tech basketball.

So let’s start to get to know some of these newcomers as we prepare for the 2021-22 season.  And today, we’ll begin by taking a look at the three transfers who are likely to find themselves in the Red Raider starting five.

F – Kevin Obanor

The highest-profile newcomer that Adams fished out the transfer portal this offseason, Kevin Obanor is a lock to be one of Tech’s starters.  That’s because he brings several things to the table that this team will desperately need this season.

Playing at Oral Roberts over the past three seasons, the 6-foot-8, 225-pounder has averaged an impressive 15.0 points per game for his career, and last year, he scored 18.7 per contest.  And he didn’t do it all against lower-level competition.

In fact, throughout his career, Obanor has had big games against top-flight teams.  Last season, he put up 17 points and 9 rebounds against Missouri, 27 points and 7 rebounds against Wichita State, 16 points and 12 rebounds against Oklahoma State, and 21 points and 10 rebounds against Arkansas in the regular season.  But what he did in the NCAA Tournament caused his star to rise to new heights.

Helping lead ORU to the Sweet 16, Obanor averaged 23.3 points and 11 rebounds during his team’s improbable run.  That included a monster 30-point, 11-rebound game against No. 2 seed Ohio State in the first round.  He followed that up with 28 points and 11 rebounds against Florida before notching a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double against Arkansas in the Sweet 16.  In other words, the step-up in competition at the Big 12 level shouldn’t be too much for Obanor to handle.

What makes Obanor such a special talent is that he is capable of being a threat to score in the paint, in the mid-range, and from beyond the arc.  And it is the latter of those skills that could make him an invaluable asset to this year’s Red Raider squad.

For his career, the Houston native is a 42.5% shooter from 3-point range.  And last season, he shot 46.3% from deep.  That’s going to be key for a Texas Tech team that didn’t shoot the ball well from distance a season ago and which lost its best 3-point weapon from last year, Kyler Edwards, who has transferred to Houston.

But of course, you can’t play for Mark Adams unless you are going to do the dirty work on defense.  That’s not a problem for Obanor.  Averaging 9.6 rebounds per game last year, he isn’t afraid to mix it up on the glass and that’s going to be just as important to this year’s team as his scoring will be.

Obanor could quickly become a fan favorite in Lubbock partially because he is that special of a talent and partially because of his blue-collar work ethic.  And look for him to be a key member of the Red Raider starting five this season.

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