Yet another member of the Texas Tech basketball program, Jamarius Burton, has entered the transfer portal according to multiple sources. That brings the total number of Red Raiders seeking a transfer to five (if we count 2021 signee Jaylon Tyson). It also brings the number of likely departures from this past season’s core roster (not counting mid-season defectors Joel Ntambwe and Nimari Burnett) to five and counting.
But unlike the departures of players like Mac McClung and Kyler Edwards, Burton’s move is not as painful to endure. That’s because the Wichita State transfer simply never made much of an impact as a Red Raider.
Somewhat of a square peg in a round hole at Tech, he averaged just 4.3 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.2 boards per game. That came a season after he put up 10.3 points and 3.4 assists per game as a sophomore at Wichita State.
Of course, Burton’s time in Lubbock got off to a strange start. Upon signing with the Red Raiders last offseason, he initially expressed a desire to redshirt in 2020-21 and focus on improving his strength and conditioning.
However, when it became known that this past season would not count eligibility-wise for any player, the decision was made that the point guard would suit up for the Red Raiders after all. Still, he never seemed to gel with the system he was asked to play on the offensive end of the court.
Only once this year did the North Carolina native manage to hit double digits as he scored ten points against mightily Grambling back in December. Other than that, his best showings were a pair of nine-points games in Big 12 play.
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Given Burton’s stats coming out of Wichita State, many were hoping he could develop into the point guard of the future for this program. And having previously played in a program that was defensive-oriented and had a reputation for being more than a bit scrappy, it was assumed that he would be a natural fit at Tech.
But Burton never proved to be athletic enough to be a difference-making guard at the Big 12 level. Unfortunately, he was unable to beat defenders off the dribble nor was he able to create for others and both were reasons why he fell to the end of the rotation.
Still, this departure makes it all the more imperative that new head coach Mark Adams brings in a handful of ready-to-play guards before next season begins. That’s because Tech has only Clarence Nadolny on the current roster at the guard position and though he showed significant signs of improvement over the course of the past season, he is far from being ready to be a lead guard on a team that has aspirations of competing in the Big 12.
In fact, you could argue that even with Mac McClung and Kyler Edwards in the backcourt, Tech needed to add at least one significant guard to the picture before going to battle next season. Now, that number has grown to at least three.
Jamarius Burton is not a player any Red Raider fan is going to fret over. However, his entrance into the transfer portal does further deplete Tech’s stores in the backcourt, which is quickly becoming the most pressing issue facing Adams and Co. as they try to put together the roster.