Kevin Obanor’s return is huge for the ’22-’23 Red Raiders
The Texas Tech basketball program received some good news regarding the roster build for the 2022-23 season on Friday 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.
Last season, Obanor finished fourth on the team with 10 points per game. But with the possibility that the three players who scored more than him in 2021-22 could all leave the program, the presence of such a stable influence as Obanor could be a huge boost for the Red Raiders.
Last season, Obanor played in 20 games of 10 or more points. This included the Red Raiders’ three NCAA Tournament games, contests in which he also had at least ten rebounds, as he has now extended his double-double streak in NCAA Tournament games to six. That’s the kind of veteran presence this program could use for next season, when up to five freshmen could join the roster along with a handful of newcomers through the transfer portal.
But what Tech will need most from Obanor next season is his 3-point shot. This is one area where the most recent version of the Red Raiders was woefully inept. So keeping one of the two reliable 3-point weapons on the Sweet 16 team is a huge
Shooting 48 from beyond the 3-point line, Obanor led Tech from long distances last season. Additionally, his 33.6% shooting from downtown was third on the team, behind only Bryson Williams and Terrence Shannon Jr. (the former of whom graduated and the latter took an official to Michigan this week and thinks about his transfer portal options).
The exciting part of what Obanor could be next year is that his college career suggests he could actually be a better outside shooter next season. After all, he shot 46.3% from 3-pointers in 2020-21 while shooting 38.8% from deep the year before and shooting 41.3% as a true freshman.
Meanwhile, Obanor brings more to the table than 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 the Red Raiders.
Obanor shared the news of his return Friday just weeks after Texas Tech’s basketball season ended. In the meantime, it is believed he was weighing his professional basketball options, including the possibility of playing overseas.
But now he has signed up for one last run with the Red Raiders. And that news is a huge win for Mark Adams as he continues the offseason task of building another contender on the Southern Plains.