There was little time off for the Texas Tech basketball coaching staff over the 4th of July holiday. In fact, while most of the rest of us recovered from celebrating our nation’s independence by taking Monday off, Mark Adams and Co. were busy trying to add more talent to next season’s roster.
Specifically, the Red Raiders offered a scholarship to Texas State forward Isiah Small on Monday, a development made known by several sources on Twitter including Jeff Goodman. Tech now joins Texas and Texas A&M in officially offering a scholarship to the 6-foot-8, 170-pounder from New Jersey.
Last season, Small averaged 10.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He also put up 1.7 assists and 0.8 steals per contest.
Of course, the shortened and unusual 2020-21 season saw Texas State play a majority of its games against less than stellar opponents. In fact, the only high major team that the Bobcats faced was Texas, against which Small put up 8 points and 6 boards.
Still, Small is a player who is generating a significant amount of interest after entering the transfer portal last week. That’s in part because of how picked over the portal is and in part because he can be a puzzle piece for a quality team.
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A long and rangy athlete, Small is tough to stop when he gets headed towards the goal. He’s also a versatile defender who can guard multiple spots on the floor.
Most of Small’s offense this past season came at or near the rim. He shot 53.9% from the floor while averaging 7.7 shot attempts per contest.
From 3-point range, Small is an efficient shooter. Taking only 2.3 shots from deep per contest, he averaged one long-range bucket per outing (42.1%).
In essence, Small is extremely similar on both ends of the court to Terrence Shannon Jr., who could announce any day whether or not he will return to school or stay in the NBA Draft. Should he decide to return, it would be easy to imagine Tech rescinding the scholarship offer to Small and spending the remainder of their two open spots on a point guard and a big man.
But if Shannon stays in the Draft, Small would be a nice option to help fill his shoes. And he would certainly give Mark Adams yet another lanky and athletic forward to deploy next season.
As for Shannon, he was recently in Lubbock spending time with people in and around the program. However, it is also being reported that he is set to work out for the Golden State Warriors this week.
On Sunday, he also sent out a Tweet that was nothing but a thought bubble suggesting that he has quite a lot to consider. And what he ultimately decides to do will have long-lasting ramifications on the 2021-22 Red Raiders.