Friday, the Texas Tech basketball program got some great news when it comes to putting together the roster for the 2022-23 season as senior forward Kevin Obanor officially announced his intention to play his final collegiate season for Mark Adams and Co. Make no mistake, this is a huge development for the Red Raiders.
This past season, Obanor was fourth on the team in scoring at 10 points per game. But with the possibility that the three players that scored more than him in 2021-22 could all leave the program, the presence of such a steadying influence as Obanor could be a huge boost for the Red Raiders.
This past season, Obanor had 20 games of 10 points or more. That included all three of the Red Raiders’ NCAA Tournament games, contests in which he also had at least ten rebounds as he’s now extended his streak of double-doubles in NCAA Tournament games to six. That’s the type of veteran presence this program could use heading into next season when as many as five freshmen may join the roster as well as a handful of newcomers via the transfer portal.
But what Tech will need most from Obanor next season is his 3-point shot. That’s an area where the most recent version of the Red Raiders was woefully inept. Thus, keeping one of the two reliable 3-point weapons from the Sweet 16 team is a huge
Making 48 shots from beyond on the 3-point line, Obanor led Tech in long-distance makes this past season. What’s more, his 33.6% shooting from downtown was third on the team trailing only Bryson Williams and Terrence Shannon Jr. (the former of whom has graduated and the latter of whom took an official to Michigan this week and is mulling his transfer portal options).
The exciting part of what Obanor could be next year though is that his college career suggests he could actually be a better shooter from the outside next season. After all, he shot 46.3% from 3-point range in 2020-21 while shooting 38.8% from deep the year prior and shooting 41.3% as a true freshman.
Meanwhile, Obanor brings more to the table than just the long-range jumper. In fact, he’s one of the best rebounders in the Big 12. Averaging 5.5 rebounds per game this season, he ranked 15th in the conference and tops among the Red Raiders.
Obanor shared the news of his return on Friday just a few weeks after the end of the Texas Tech basketball season. In the interim, it is believed that he was weighing his professional basketball options, including the possibility of playing overseas.
But now, he’s committed to one last ride with the Red Raiders. And that news is a huge victory for Mark Adams as he continues the offseason task of building another contender on the South Plains.