Less than a week ahead of the Texas Tech basketball program’s first official practice of the fall, some bad news has come to light. According to Jon Rothstein, transfer forward Fardaws Amiaq has broken his foot and will be out “several months”.
This is a huge negative development for the Red Raiders who were counting on the Utah State transfer to play a starting role this season.
The 6-foot-11, 245-pound senior who has two years of eligibility remaining was one of the offseason’s most prized transfers and was expected to give the Red Raiders some tremendous punch on both ends of the floor. Last season, he averaged 18.9 points and 13.6 rebounds per game making him one of the nation’s best two-way players.
He shot 49% from the floor and 43% from beyond the arc. Additionally, he blocked 1.3 shots per contest, something that Tech was counting on him to provide this season.
There is no official word on this reported injury from Texas Tech nor is there any word on a specific timetable for his return. However, three months from now is roughly when Tech will be gearing up for Big 12 play so that might be the earliest the Red Raiders can hope to get Aimaq back.
Without him, sophomore big man Daniel Batcho will be thrust into a much greater role. And on Thursday, as he met with the media, head coach Mark Adams was effusive in his praise of the former Arizona transfer.
"“Daniel Batcho is one that [is] really a different player than he was last year,” Adams said. “A lot of times in practice, he’ll separate himself from other players ’cause he’s a 7-foot guy who is athletic and he’s worked on his scoring and he’s shooting the ball, he’s worked on his jump shot, his 3-point shooting. He’s just a completely different player and I think everybody will be surprised and impressed to see his progress.”"
Adams would then go on to say that he and his coaching staff believe Batcho has an NBA future. Those remarks are rather eye-opening given that Batcho averaged just 2.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per game last year while playing only 9.9 minutes a contest.
In fact, his season-high in points was just eight, a number he reached only twice. What’s more, he was held without a point in 13 of the 32 games he appeared in as a redshirt freshman in 2021-22.
However, we must remember that he was coming off of a knee injury that forced him to miss all of the 2020-21 season at Arizona. Thus, he might have been behind in his basketball development as he spent most of his true freshman season rehabbing rather than working on his game.
Conventional wisdom also says that a player typically makes the greatest strides between his freshman and sophomore seasons. Thus, Batcho might be ready to be a breakout player for the Red Raiders. Now, with the reported injury to Aimaq, he will likely be thrust into a starting role this year, and how he handles that will go quite a way towards determining how well Tech can survive the season’s first major setback.