The Texas Tech basketball program has two spots left to fill before finalizing the 2023-24 roster. And as it stands now, new head coach Grant McCausland still needs to add some significant firepower to their roster. Could Creighton transfer Arthur Kalama be the perfect solution for the Red Raiders?
Recently, we discussed the needs this roster still has but didn’t get into the reality that Tech also lacks a proven scorer. A person who can be considered an offensive provocateur. That’s important to have in any conference, but especially in the tough Big 12. Points can sometimes be as hard to come by as common sense in college stations.
Kaluma could be the player that turns the Red Raiders into a legitimate NCAA Tournament team. He averaged 11.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists last season as a sophomore in the Big East, more than being the focal point of the team’s offensive attack.
Red Raider fans got a first look at his talent at the Maui Invitational when he poured in 18 points on 6 of 11 shooting to lead the Blue Jays past the Red Raiders in the tournament opener. This was one of Kaluma’s 26 double-digit scoring efforts last season.
Included in that group of games was a 27-point outburst against BYU, a 20-point game against Xavier and a 19-point game against Villanova. In other words, this 6-foot-7 wing can stack up against tough competition.
Moreover, there is reason to believe that his best basketball is ahead of him. Last season, he increased his 3-point shooting by nearly 6% (although at 31.1% from deep, he still has room to grow as an outside shooter.) He also saw significant improvements in free throws (up 6 percent) and points per game (0.6 more per game). , the amount of money in the game is reduced by 0.4.
Kaluma took his name out of the NBA draft process, signaling his recent return to the college level. But bringing it to Texas Tech is tough. His other suitors include Alabama, Texas and Kentucky (according to ESPN college basketball player Jeff Borzello).
Consider Kalama a possible replacement for Jaylon Tyson, who averaged 10.7 points and grabbed 6.1 rebounds last season for the Red Raiders. The two young forwards play similar roles on the court and are essentially in similar bodies (Kaluma has about 10 pounds on Tyson).
That’s something Tech hasn’t added this offseason, though many believe Georgia transfer Kye’ron Lindsay, who joined the Red Raiders at the start of the spring semester, could be the player to fill that spot.
Still, the thought of the 6-foot-8 Lindsey and Kaluma playing side by side on the wings should be more than a little exciting for Tech fans and McCalland. That gives the team a pair of tall, lanky, athletic wings who can guard multiple positions and bring versatile offensive skills to the floor.
After averaging 11.5 points per game as a true freshman last season, Kaluma will pair well with sophomore guard Tech Pop Isaacs, who is set to come back and lead the offense. Kaluma’s ability to cut to the rim pairs perfectly with Isaacs’ ability to get up and down as each creates space for the other in the half court.
What’s interesting about this recruitment is that it gives us another chance to see how McCasland can navigate the world of Neal’s era and whether he’s willing to go all-in on a star player from a big-time program. He has offers in 2022-23 from schools with better seeds than the ones he played for.
So keep an eye on the recruitment of the word. Now that he’s out of the draft and Tech could be in the middle of the action, he’s likely to get a lot of buzz. And if this goes the Red Raiders’ way, it would be the biggest addition McCasland could make yet, potentially making the team a powerhouse in the Big 12 next season.