As the Texas Tech basketball team continues to try to put together another contending squad in 2022-23, a huge piece of the puzzle has fallen into place and it could have far-reaching roster ramifications. On Thursday, Oregon guard De’Vion Harmon announced his intention to transfer to the Red Raiders giving Tech a huge boost in the backcourt.
A 6-foot-2, 198-pound senior who still has two years of eligibility remaining, Harmon averaged 10.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game this past season for the Ducks. And if his name is familiar to Red Raider fans, that is likely because he played for Oklahoma from 2019-2021 averaging over ten points per game in each season.
Harmon’s status as a two-time transfer means that he will have to be granted a waiver in order to be eligible for the upcoming season. But should that process go the way of the Denton, Texas native, he will instantly give the Red Raiders a rugged and experienced guard who is more than comfortable being a primary ball-handler.
Given that Tech is still waiting to find out whether or not last season’s pseudo point guard, Kevin McCullar Jr., will return to Lubbock after testing the NBA waters and simultaneously entering the transfer portal, Mark Adams and Co. could desperately need Harmon to be available immediately.
There’s no question about Harmon’s fit on this team. That’s because he does a number of things on the court that Tech needs.
First of all, he’s an above-average 3-point shooter. For his career, he’s shot 34.9% from beyond the arc. That includes a career-best mark of 36.7% this past season while attempting 4.0 shots from deep per game, the most of his career.
Second, Harmon is able to distribute the ball averaging at least 2.0 assists per game for every season of his career. That could be important given that Tech could lose McCullar and Terrence Shannon, this past season’s No. 1 and No. 3 Red Raiders in terms of assists on top of seeing Adonis Arms, the No. 2 assist man on the team in 2021-22, exhaust his eligibility. Between them, those three players averaged almost eight assists per contest.
Now, one has to wonder how this addition could impact McCullar’s decision-making process. Many believe that he is seeking a role as a team’s primary ball-handler in order to best showcase his skills for the professional level (assuming that he doesn’t try to head to the pro ranks this offseason) and now, Tech appears to have a new guard to run the show.
In fact, Tech could have a new starting backcourt after having already added D’maurion Williams, a 6-foot-5 guard who played last year at Gardner-Webb averaging 14.5 points per game. That could spell the dawn of a new era in Lubbock…not that eras last very long in the world of college basketball and the transfer portal.
Speaking of the transfer portal, on Friday, Tech could very well add another piece to next season’s team via that talent acquisition method. 6-foot-11 forward Fardaws Aimaq is set to announce his college choice after narrowing his list to Tech, Texas, and Washington. For what it’s worth, Aimaq visited the South Plains this week so the Red Raiders are squarely in the mix for his services.
The college basketball offseason has become almost as action-packed as the season itself thanks to the freedom of player movement brought on by the portal. And no program has taken greater advantage of that talent acquisition opportunity than the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Tech is again swimming in those waters this summer and on Thursday, they added a huge pickup. Now, we wait to see if another is in store on Friday.