Tuesday, the Texas Tech basketball program got some much-needed good news. Down to just five players on the roster after a wave of defections since Mark Adams was named head coach, the Red Raiders added another player to the mix for 2021-22 when JUCO star K. J. Allen flipped from Southern Cal to Tech.
Featured prominently on the Netflix series Last Chance U, Allen is a 6-foot-6, 225-pound forward who averaged 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game this past season for East Los Angeles College. Rated a 3-star prospect by 247Sports, he is the No. 10 JUCO prospect in his class.
Allen also held offers from the likes of Fresno State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, and Loyola Marymount. Now, he’s a Red Raider and he could provide some immediate depth to a roster that is set to undergo massive changes.
Thus far, Tech has seen Mac McClung, Kyler Edwards, Micah Peavy, Jamarius Burton, Vlad Goldin, Tyreek Smith, and (likely) Terrence Shannon depart the program. That led to tons of hand-wringing and consternation among the Red Raider fan base.
While the addition of one 3-star JUCO prospect won’t sell a ton of season ticket packages or convince all of the Chicken Littles that the sky is going to remain in place, it is an injection of good news into a program that has been short on that for the past two weeks. And it is fitting that Adams’ first commit as Texas Tech basketball head coach is a JUCO player.
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After all, Adams has won over 500 games and a national championship as a head coach at that level of the game. As a result, he remains highly respected in that world and his connections in the JUCO game run deep.
Still, he’s going to have to mine other talent pools in order to build his first roster in Lubbock. He’s going to have to hit the transfer portal with a vengeance and he must start to develop connections at the high school and AAU levels.
But, we can count on the JUCO ranks being a huge component of Texas Tech recruiting during his tenure. And already, his experience in that world is paying dividends.
Allen is an explosive athlete who is known for attacking the rim. He’s also got a smooth mid-range jumper that should translate well to the Division I level.
However, he is not a perimeter scorer. In fact, he attempted just five 3-pointers during the most recent season making none.
So keep your chin up Red Raider fans. While the exodus out of Lubbock has been tough to watch over the last two weeks, it only means that new faces and surprising additions are in store as we saw on Tuesday when Mark Adams and his coaching staff flipped a prime JUCO talent away from the PAC 12 school that he grew up in the shadow of.