Is it time to think about basketball? Well, yes, it is. The only real way that I looked at the team last year was to look at the shooting percentages and I remember being a bit concerned about how well the team shoots especially in a world where you need to stretch the floor to open things up inside and it seems as if outside shots can be easy shots depending on the situation. Those are, realistically, easier points, but making them isn’t as guaranteed as something inside.
These numbers are from the great T-Rank, which is a fantastic site that you should visit. It’s simplistic and the color shading is my doing, but the idea is to demonstrate who’s doing well.
The first thing is that the 2023 team totals are projections, but only partly projections. I am all but certain that Walton and Tyson will surpass 37 and 11 attempts and Tyson will make a 3-pointer moving forward. For me, the good thing about T-Rank is that he doesn’t try to project something he doesn’t know, thus, with Tyson, we can expect more. The same is true for the incoming freshmen, we don’t know what they’ll do, but we do know that they’ll contribute in some way.
Regardless, I think the 2023 projections is enough data to get an idea about what the coaching staff went for when they went after transfers.
Before we get to that, any 2-point shooting percentage over 55% is dark green, and anything between 50% and 54% is light green. For the 3-point shooting, anything above 35% is dark green and anything between 30% and 34% is light green. I’ll admit that someone shooting 30% from deep isn’t really all that great, but that’s what I went with.
Now, let’s revisit the 2022 team and Bryson Williams was a bucket-making son-of-a-gun, just incredible to have that type of shooting percentage. And to think that this team consisted of 5 players that shot over 50% from the field and as a team shot 55% from the field is amazing. That’s not easy to duplicate (I think) going forward. There just aren’t a ton of post-players like Williams that can play the way that he does and the same could be said about Arms, a guard who makes 55% of his 2-point shots is pretty rare.
For the record, the eFG% of the 2022 team was 52.85%, and to point out, eFG% takes into account a player making 2-point and 3-point shots. You can also see the 3-point shooting, just 2 players shooting above 35%, a handful of players in the 30% range and as a team, just shooting 32%, which in today’s game isn’t that great.
But you can see the difference in the 2023 team and I didn’t even include guys like Daniel Batcho who will likely be a huge part of the team in some form or fashion. But the idea of including or not including Batcho is really irrelevant because Mark Adams and Steve Green and Al Pipkins and Corey Williams went after shooters. Amazingly, Obanor is the only guy that’s shooting below 35% and the projection is that the team will be significantly better from shooting from deep. And without some of the key players and knowing that they’ll contribute and maybe be better, with this emphasis on 3-point shooting, the projected eFG% is 50.49%, which is obviously a decrease, but we really have some incomplete numbers and I think that there are some players like Tyson and Batch, who are going to blossom this year.
Kevin Obanor | #0 | 6-8/235 | S-Sr
I think I was more impressed with Obanor’s inside play than his shooting, which was supposed to be his hallmark. I’m expecting improved shooting and more of the same from Obanor, which I think is basically an all-conference type of player. I don’t think he’s really getting the credit that he should, but my guess is that he’ll be better than what’s been expected from hiim around the conference.
Lamar Washington | #1 | 6-4/205 | Fr
Washington is probably not a lead guard, but he has lead guard attributes that help make him really dangerous. He’s clearly comfortable with the dribble and drive aspect of the way the game is currently played and he’s got a nice outside shot that lends to being a really tough cover. Plus he’s a lefty and I love watching lefty’s shoot.
Pop Isaacs | #2 | 6-2/170 | Fr
Isaacs (look for the pink shoes in the white jersey) is a lead guard and the question will be not if, when when his shot translates. If it translates, then he plays early and often, if it takes time then he’s going to take more time to adjust. Regardless, he’s great with the ball in his hands. Isaacs is really grat at finding the open man and with his range, I think he’s going to be just fine. If Green wants to run a faster tempo of offense with movement and finding the open man, then Isaacs is going to push some veterans.
D’Maurian Williams | #3 | 6-3/200 | Jr
Williams is going to be a nice player and love that he’s a transfer with multiple years to play. I like his shot, his ability to create off the dribble and think he can be a lead guard.
Robert Jennings | #4 | 6-7/225 | Fr
Finding video of Jennings that focuses on just one game is a bit difficult, but from what I can tell, Jennings will be an athletic forward that’s more post than wing, but can and is working on his outside game.
KJ Allen | #5 | 6-6/225 | Jr
The best case for Allen is that he’s more nimble to guard outside players. I absolutely love his bounciness and that’s a super fun part of his game. However, teams were running the pick and roll and on the switch, he had a difficult time guarding the outside player. That’s his biggest issues and there are defenders who are have had to learn tougher things, but I think that’s what’s holding him back. As an aside, Allen is #5 in White in the video.
Fardaw Aimaq | #11 | 6-11/245 | Sr
Aimaq is plenty athletic and he’s got old man post moves, the kind of patience that teams and other players hate playing against because they have to be technically perfect or they make a mistake. Aimaq has a sweet outside shot that will translate and that’s going to make him a really tough guard.
Daniel Batcho | #12 | 6-11/235 | R-So
How relevant are the highlights if Batcho is one of the most improved players on the team? We’ve seen highlights of Batcho’s passing ability in offseason clips and maybe improved shooting from the outside. I don’t know what to expect, but my expectations are much higher than then were last year.
CJ Williams | #13 | 6-1/155 | Fr
I don’t know much about Williams (of course other than he’s the son of Texas Tech assistant coach Corey Williams), but would guess he’s a walk-on, but don’t know that for sure.
Jaylon Tyson | #20 | 6-6/210 | So
The Keyonte George is currently at Baylor, so this is going to be interesting for sure as future conference foes. Tyson is going to be a tough cover and I’m expecting him to start. He’s had a year to refine his game. Tyson has a sweet shot, he’s got good handles to get to the rim, is more than athletic to finish at the rim.
Elijah Fisher | #22 | 6-6/190 | Fr
I sort of envision Fisher as being a smaller version of Dennis Rodman, but without the off-court antics. A guy who can defend, rebound, and score in the open court as well as a bit in the paint. I know that Fisher is the highest rated recruit for Texas Tech, but think that he’s not the most refined offensive player. Defensively, everything will translate.
De’Vion Harmon | #23 | 6-2/205 | Sr
If Harmon gets hot then it’s lights out. I think Harmon will be a really good defender and I think he’s got a good outside shot that’s repeatable.
Kerwin Walton | #24 | 6-5/200 | Jr
I sort of want Walton parked outside and I want him to have a beautiful and repeatable outside shot with a release as quick as when girls would reject me at the bar. That’s not to say that he won’t have other aspects of his game, but I want Walton to be deadeye from deep and that stroke will open up the post. I think that Walton will be a fine defender and think he will thrive under Green’s offense.