After two seasons of seeing the Texas Tech basketball program field an undersized roster, Red Raider fans are fairly obsessed with the notion of adding size through the transfer portal. Thus, when TCU center Kevin Samuel put his name into the portal on Thursday, Tech fans began to ponder what he would look like in scarlet and black.
Last season, the 6-foot-11, 255-pounder averaged 8.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. It is that last number, his blocks, that are most intriguing to Tech fans who are longing for this program to find a true rim protector. For what it’s worth, Samuel’s block average was a career-low in 2020-21 as in each of the previous two seasons, he blocked over two shots per game.
Samuel is an old-school player who operates almost entirely in the paint. Virtually all of his offense comes from within ten feet of the basket or off of dunks and that makes one wonder how he would fit on a roster with Marcus Santos-Silva, who also plays almost entirely in the lane on offense.
Is Texas Tech interested in Samuel? Of course, we don’t know for certain. However, not long after Samuel entered the transfer portal, he did follow new Red Raider assistant coach Talvin Hester on Twitter.
Red Raider fans are likely familiar with Samuel. During his time in Fort Worth, he had two double-doubles against Tech including an 11-point, 11-rebound, 2-block game to help the Frogs down the Red Raiders in 2020, the only time Samuel has been a part of a victory over Tech.
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Should the Red Raiders be legitimately interested in Samuel, it would be interesting to see how his potential addition would impact an ever-evolving roster. Remember, the Red Raiders just added 6-foot-11 Arizona transfer, Daniel Batcho.
But keep in mind that Batcho is a bit of a project. Being as he missed all of 2020-21, his true freshman season, with various injuries, no one knows what he can bring to the table at the college level or if he is capable of withstanding the rigors of an NCAA season. Thus, adding Samuel might still be intriguing for Tech given that he’s much more of a known commodity.
Tech is also heavily in the mix for UTEP forward Bryson Williams, a 6-foot-8 senior who averaged over 15 points per game last season. But unlike Samuel and Santos-Silva, Williams is a versatile player who is comfortable playing away from the bucket so he should be able to play with traditional big men.
But while we don’t know if Samuel is a target Tech will pursue, we do know that this roster is still not complete. Tech still has at least two scholarships to hand out and we can expect those to go to players in the portal. Adding a player of Samuel’s imposing size and productive skill-set would certainly be a great use of one of those.