In early August, it seemed everyone was making predictions on who the starters and ultimate rotation would be for this Texas Tech Basketball Team. Many players were mentioned but one player was seemingly left off everyone’s list; Daniel Batcho.
This was not surprising as the redshirt freshman hadn’t played a single minute of College Basketball and was coming off an ACL tear that sidelined him for his only season at Arizona. His limited action in the first months of practice had some assuming he would also sit out this season. He didn’t arrive on campus until June and was incredibly limited until the end of the summer and going into the fall semester.
Going into the season, everyone outside of the program had little hope he would even see the court this season and tabbed him as a ‘project’ big man. This title brings to mind players who ultimately transferred like Russel Tchewa, Vlad Goldin, and Joshua Mballa. Batcho has not only blown the ‘project’ title out of the water but he’s also become the secret weapon that could lead to a deep NCAA Tournament run for the Red Raiders.
Now I understand 3.8 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game aren’t padding the stat sheet by any means. What Batcho provides when he’s on the floor is something none of the other bigs on the team do. He runs the floor like a guard and can finish inside over multiple defenders. He is also your best interior defender and rebounder.
As many young players do, he brings a certain energy to the floor. The ball seems to move crisper, the defense seems to rotate more efficiently, and a ton of rebounds seem to go in his direction. He’s averaging 18.6 minutes per game over the last five matchups for the Red Raiders. Coach Adams has preferred Batcho over some of the more experienced players on the team in recent weeks and I, believe it’s because of his playstyle.
Batcho is a gritty defender that disrupts everything at the rim. He’s arguably the team’s best interior defender, and when he’s off the floor, you notice. He can also switch off on guards and not miss a beat. Batcho is quick enough to not be beaten off the dribble and has the length to guard every position on the floor.
Keeping Batcho on the floor is imperative to make it to where this team wants to go. #BATCHOHIVE