With more players being added to the Texas Tech Basketball roster over the past few weeks, I wanted to break down which players could best fit the role as a forward and/or center, and what they bring for the team this upcoming season.
As we know, Marcus Santos-Silva, Chibuzo Agbo, and Kevin McCullar are all returning to Texas Tech for the next season. Mark Adams and Co. has also picked up Last Chance U star, KJ Allen, and let me say, this is a HUGE get for Texas Tech. All four of these players fit the role to play in the power forward, small forward, and center position. This group of athletes is very versatile, and that is something that sets Texas Tech apart from many other teams.
I see Kevin McCullar coming in next season as a power forward, but also a glue guy for the team. McCullar is seen as a leader. He can successfully play both sides of the ball very aggressively. When needed, I see McCullar being the player who dives for loose balls, sets solid screens, and hits crucial free throws when it is needed.
Last season, McCullar’s offensive game improved from his previous season. He averaged 10.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game for the Red Raiders. He took more outside shots and put the ball up more than he had in the past. McCullar is a strong asset for this team, because even next year, playing as a power forward, he can switch easily into that small forward position, and glue guy, which will ultimately lead to him putting up good numbers for the Red Raiders.
A big-time returner for Texas Tech is Marcus Santos-Silva, he averaged 8.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game, and also got two double-doubles this season. Santos-Silva started in all 29 games for the Red Raiders and was awarded Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year. Santos-Silva surpassed 1,000 points this season in his career and is now sitting at 1,069 points, 806 rebounds, and 124 blocks over his 126 game career.
For the upcoming season, I can expect to see Santos-Silva as a power forward or center. He has the versatility to switch back and forth, which creates a lot of opportunities for the team. I can see him shifting his gameplay this season to a similar style, like past Texas Tech player, Tariq Owens if we do not get any bigger guys on the roster. I say this because of Santos-Silva’s ability to rebound. He is a huge rebounder for our team and if he switches his gameplay similar to Owens, we could potentially see more rebounds and more turnovers.
Chibuzo Agbo, in my opinion, is a great fit for our team. Even if he did not get a lot of playing time throughout his 22 games this season, he still showed a lot of potential. In his senior year of high school at Saint Augustine HS, he averaged 22 points per game. At the end of the season, he averaged 2.0 points per game with eight 3-pointers, playing a completely reversed role his first season here at Tech.
Agbo brings a lot to the table for the Texas Tech Basketball team. This past season he was seen more playing as a small forward or power forward. This upcoming season, I see Agbo moving into more of a stretch 4 role, playing the power forward, but being able to take shots further than the regular power forwards. This will be exciting because we will see him taking more shots. Agbo has proved to be a very versatile player, which is important to the new roster for this upcoming season.
Finally, KJ Allen. Allen brings so much to the table for Texas Tech. I am so excited for him to be joining the Red Raiders. Allen is a 6’6 prospect, who is known from the show Last Chance U. Allen averaged 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game this past season at East Los Angeles College. He originally was committed to USC, who fell to Gonzaga this year 66-85 in the Elite 8 game of the NCAA March Madness Tournament, but de-committed and committed to Texas Tech.
Allen is a very athletic player, one of the top athletic players in the country. His playstyle is very aggressive, and he likes to play above the rim. I see him fitting into this new team perfectly. I see Allen playing the power forward position as well because he likes the drive to the basket, and he likes the opportunity to dunk when he can. With the new coaching staff brought in under Mark Adams, I can see Allen being a part of an extremely explosive offense.
Texas Tech has been known to have an explosive and strong defense and a good offense. With these four players and our new coaching staff, Mark Adams and Co., I feel like the Red Raiders will be explosive on both sides of the ball, which will be exciting to watch.
I like this assessment. I would feel better though if Adams can bring in at least one player 6-9 or better, just to ensure that center spot is strongly manned at all times. Santos-Silva will be the leader of this group, but with one additional player who is a taller version of him, I can see a front court that can be almost unstoppable. Agbo and McCuller are huge returnees because of how much they improved over the course of last season. Their versatility will be a huge benefit. Shannon, unfortunately, will not return, I think, after being chosen in the NBA draft. KJ Allen, though only 6-6, is an extremely physical player that really ups the front court physicality significantly. His play should create some interesting matchup problems against Tech foes. Overall, who is now available gives me hope for the upcoming season. GO TECH!!