Texas Tech basketball: Red Raiders make the cut for Kentucky undergrad transfer

The Texas Tech basketball program has made the cut for transfer Johnny Juzang, who played his freshman season at Kentucky in 2019-20.

One of the highest-rated high school recruits in the class of 2019 has entered the transfer portal and the Texas Tech basketball program is one of the potential destinations he is considering.  Johnny Juzang, a sophomore-to-be who played this past season at Kentucky, is looking for a new home and released his top six choices on Tuesday with the Red Raiders being on his list.

In addition to Tech, he is also looking at Oregon, UCLA, Villanova, Notre Dame, and Arizona.  But Red Raider fans should keep in mind that even if this 6-foot-6 forward decides to call Lubbock home, we may not see him on the court next season because of NCAA transfer rules, which we learned this year with the Joel Ntambwe situation, can go any way imaginable.  But based on the type of recruit he was coming out of high school, he could be worth any possible wait.

The Los Angeles, California native was the No. 33 player in the country in 2019 and the No. 9 player in California according to 247Sports.com.  The four-star prospect had offers from the likes of Virginia, Kansas, Oregon, Utah, USC, UCLA, Washington, and several other programs.

https://twitter.com/JohnnyJuzang/status/1245115851721682944?s=20

But despite such a high profile, he started just two games this season and averaged 12.3 minutes per game. He scored 2.9 points per game while shooting 44.1% from the floor (32.6% from 3-point range).  When the Wildcats came to Lubbock, he scored five points in eight minutes of action hitting two of his three shots, one of them being a three.

He had only two double-digit games but both came on the road in the gym of rivals.  Against. Tennessee, he had 13 points, a rebound, an assist, and a steal in 24 minutes and at Florida, he scored ten points with two rebounds and two assists to boot.

Should Juzang join the program and have to sit out a year, he could be in line for a prominent role in 2021-22.  That’s because there’s a shot that sophomore forward Terrence Shannon Jr. might head to the NBA next summer if he has a breakout season after averaging 9.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in his first campaign at the collegiate level.

Of course, most expect sophomore Kevin McCullar Jr. to be in the program that year as well. and he and Juzang play the same position on the floor.  The 6-foot-5 San Antonio native came on late in the season to start the final five games.  He was one of Tech’s most consistent players by the end of this season but he looks like the type of player that could stick around for all four years being as he doesn’t currently have any attributes that seem to make him a big-time NBA prospect meaning that he’s likely going to be one of the team’s starting wings two years from now.

Next: Red Raiders in everyone's early top 25 for 2020-21 season

There’s always the chance that Juzang could file for a waiver to be able to play this season but on the surface, it would seem like he would have an uphill battle when it comes to immediate eligibility, especially if he comes to Tech rather than playing in his hometown of LA or on the west coast.  But obviously, this is a player that Beard is interested in and he has the size and skill set that seems to fit Tech’s system so keep an eye on this recruiting battle because even though it might not make an immediate impact, landing Juzang could eventually be a significant part of the future of Texas Tech basketball.

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