Texas Tech basketball: What we still don't know about the Red Raiders as Big 12 play arrives

Jan 1, 2024; Lubbock, Texas, USA;  Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Pop Isaacs (2) works the ball
Jan 1, 2024; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Pop Isaacs (2) works the ball / Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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Is Texas Tech guard Kerwin Walton for real?

The biggest surprise thus far for the Red Raiders has been Kerwin Walton's strong play since joining the starting lineup. After being a non-factor to begin the season, the former North Carolina transfer is averaging 11.2 points per game as a starter.

In those five games, he's shot 50% from 3-point range and 57.6% from the field overall. He's also yet to turn the ball over this season.

Will that continue, though, against Big 12 teams? Thus far, the teams Walton has scored in double figures against have been Omaha, Oral Roberts, Vanderbilt, and Sam Houston. That's not a string of Big 12-caliber opponents.

Against Villanova, Walton played only two minutes and didn't score. Against Butler, he played nine minutes and put up three points. So we don't know if he can be a factor against good major-conference teams.

Last season, Walton had only one double-digit scoring game versus a Big 12 team. That was a 12-point showing against Baylor in Lubbock. He also put up 17 on a pretty poor LSU team on the road to help key a Red Raider win.

Now that he's played quality basketball for about a month, Walton is going to be one of the focal points of the opposing team's defensive strategies. Can he find a way to be effective despite that? Is he capable of diversifying his offensive game to become more of a scorer and less of just a spot-up shooter? If Tech hopes to survive this brutal conference, he had better.