Texas Tech basketball: The most impressive aspect of Jahmi’us Ramsey’s start

True freshman Jahmi’us Ramsey is off to a great start for the Texas Tech basketball team in large part because he’s been on fire from 3-point range.

It’s certainly safe to say that Texas Tech basketball fans were excited about finally seeing Jahmi’us Ramsey in the scarlet and black this year.  After all, we’ve been following the career of the program’s first-ever 5-star signee for over a year before his arrival on campus.

It’s also safe to say that the 6-foot-4 Duncanville, Texas product has not disappointed.  On a team stacked with more talent than any in Red Raider history, he’s still standing out as the most dynamic player on the roster.

He leads the team in scoring at 19 points per game and in all three of his showings as a Red Raider, he’s reached double digits with his 13 points in the year’s second game being his season-low to this point.  What’s more, he’s coming off a 25-point game on Wednesday against Houston Baptist in which he had 20 points and 5 rebounds in the first half.

But we all expected the No. 32 player in the 2019 signing class to put up his share of points.  What we didn’t expect is how he’s gone about the process of lighting up the scoreboard.

Thus far, the perceived weakness in Ramsey’s game, his 3-point shot, has been arguably his greatest strength.  That should terrify any upcoming opponent that has to figure out how to guard such an electric athlete who has now shown the ability to hit from deep with consistency.

For the year, Ramsey has nailed 7-11 shots from behind the arc.  That puts his 3-point percentage at 63.6%, which is second on the team behind…no, not Davide Moretti…but Avery Benson, who is 3-3 on the year.  Moretti is third with an impressive 54.5% success rate from deep.

In two games thus far, Ramsey has nailed three shots from long range.  That includes Wednesday when he was a perfect 3-3.

Of course, this has just been a 3-game sample and the level of competition has been lacking.  No one is expecting Ramsey’s hot hand to sustain itself at this rate for the entire season.

But what is worth considering is that the one perceived weakness in his game may not be such a liability after all.  If that’s the case, it isn’t a stretch to think that he could be a potential All-Big 12 talent and likely a one-and-done college player.

Consider the scouting report that 247Sports’ Brian Snow had on Ramsey when he was at Duncanville last season: “At 6-4 and 195 pounds has the size to play any perimeter position. Is a scoring combo guard with the ability to make others better. Ball handling allows him to play on or off the ball. Has to continue to improve as an outside jump shooter, but the tools are there for him to be a high-level scorer at the college level. In order to go from good college player to NBA prospect, will need to become a more consistent shooter. If he does that, he should get a great shot to make a roster.”

The emphasis on the second-to-last sentence I added to underscore the prevailing thought about Ramsey when he was in high school.  Virtually any scouting service had essentially the same thought; if Ramsey is going to reach his full potential, he’s going to have to hit from 3-point range with regularity.

In his senior year of high school, Ramsey was a 31% shooter from behind the arc.  He made 45-146 attempts in 29 games, an average of just 1.5 makes per contest.  This year, he’s averaging 2.3.

At the high school and even the elite AAU levels, Ramsey didn’t need to hit shots from deep all that often because regardless of the defender checking him or the game situation, he could get to the rim anytime he wanted.  But that’s not going to be the case in college and even when he does beat his defender off the dribble at this level, he’s certain to find more resistance once he gets to the paint.

In fact, his 2-point FG percentage (53.6%) is actually lower this year than his 3-point percentage.  While that’s more than an acceptable number from 2-point range, it’s possibly a sign that he’s finding out that the way he scored in the lane in high school is not always going to be available at the collegiate level.

Therefore, it’s highly encouraging to see that he’s more than capable of being a consistent outside shooter for the Red Raiders.  While he’s likely going to settle in somewhere around the 35% range once the year plays out, the fact that the part of his game that was perceived to be his greatest flaw may prove to be an area of the game where he’s at worst, on par with his colleagues.

Entering this season, we wondered if this roster as a whole had enough outside shooting to keep the opposition honest.  Outside of Moretti and Kyler Edwards, no one on the team had proven to be a reliable 3-point threat at the NCAA level.

Again, though it’s been only three games against the little sisters of the poor, the early returns are encouraging.  As a team, Tech is 45.8% from deep and is averaging 7.3 long-range bombs per game.

The flip side of that is that only five Red Raiders have hit a 3 (Ramsey, Moretti, Benson, Edwards, and T.J. Holyfield).  But each one of those players is shooting at least 36%.

Still, it doesn’t look like the other newcomers on the roster are going to be legitimate outside options.  That’s why the most impressive and most important aspect of Jahmi’us Ramsey’s game has been his 3-point shooting prowess.

Next: Beard talks 2020 signing class

Though we can’t expect him to shoot as well as he has over the first three games all season long, it’s something that he’s going to have to do for this team to contend for trophies.  So for every jaw-dropping dunk we see from Tech’s newest star, we should get equally excited when we see him drain another bomb from long-range.

 

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