Former Texas Tech basketball forward Robert Jennings commits to Big 12 rival

Former Texas Tech basketball forward Robert Jennings has committed to Oklahoma State making him a conference rival for the Red Raiders.
Baylor v Texas Tech
Baylor v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

There was a time when it was unusual for players to transfer within a conference. Those days are long gone now, though, and on Thursday, former Texas Tech basketball forward Robert Jennings announced his intention to join the Oklahoma State Cowboys' program.

The simple reality is that Texas Tech won't miss Jennings all that much. Thus, the animosity toward him shouldn't reach the level that it has for previous Red Raiders who transferred to other Big 12 programs, specifically Kevin McCullar Jr. who left Lubbock for Kansas.

In two years as a Red Raider, Jennings proved that he has a rather low ceiling. Players who are 6-foot-7 but who can't dribble or shoot at a Big 12 level usually wind up as tweeners and that's what Jennings is.

He is a small post player and at times, he was exposed when playing bigger posts. We saw that happen in Texas Tech's NCAA Tournament loss to NC State when Jennings was unable to handle 6-foot-9, 270-pound D.J. Burns Jr.

That game was a reminder of the limitations Jennings will always have as a player. Sure, he did some nice things as a Red Raider, especially when he had to start in place of the injured Warren Washington. He scored 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds against BYU in the Big 12 Tournament, for instance.

However, he averaged just 4.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore. That's an indication that he simply isn't destined to be anything more than a role player, especially given his limited skill set.

Where Jennings was useful was as a strong body to come off the bench and check opposing big men for short stretches. He was willing to do the dirty work that every team needs however he isn't likely to ever be more than that and Texas Tech should be able to easily find players that bring more to the table at the power forward position.

College basketball is all about churning the roster these days. Gone are the days when players would have time to develop into contributors over the course of several years.

Now, the transfer portal has increased the potential value of every scholarship a team has at its discretion. That's why players like Jennings so often change programs.

Jennings was a decent piece for the Red Raiders and he helped save Tech's bacon when Washington was out for a month at the end of this past season. However, he doesn't have the look of a player who is going to be a true difference-maker and that is why he's no longer a Red Raider.

Perhaps he will bloom in Stillwater but that seems like a stretch given what he's shown so far. Thus, the Red Raiders aren't likely to lament the fact that he has landed at a Big 12 rival.