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Player of the week: Brandone Francis

We couldn’t see that coming

NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

If you think about it, this is the perfect name: the most unpredictable player for the most unpredictable of the victories. Brandone Francis earns this week’s award with an awesome performance that gives us the possibility to know him better.

Brandone was born in the Dominican Republic, his father played basketball at Boston College, and he attended high school in Florida. He was ranked as a four-star recruit and was rated a Top 35 player by ESPN.com, Rivals and 24.7 Sports for the Class of 2014. He decided to remain in the state and chose Florida as his college.

In his freshman year with the Gators, he had a decent playing time, but he decided to transfer after the season, and selected Texas Tech, obviously sitting out last season respecting NCAA rules.

NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

In Lubbock he wasn’t the show-stealer in the off-conference schedule, quite the opposite: a good amount of minutes wasn’t followed by other numbers, with 10 points against Savannah State as the best result.

On the contrary, once the Big 12 schedule began, Francis increased the quality of his game, and coach Beard awarded him with more minutes on the field, as he had his momentary season high in minutes (20) against Kansas. That was his most solid performance with the Red Raiders, as he recorded seven points.

He improved his personal numbers against Kansas State and Oklahoma, but he literally exploded in the last game: 17 points in 26 minutes, 5/6 from the field, 75% from beyond the arc, and 4/4 from the charity stripe. He seasoned this with two rebounds and a steal.

Following Zach Smith’s injury (broken bone in his foot) that will sideline him for an extended period of time and maybe for all the season, Texas Tech needs contributors to step up. Brandone Francis is certainly one of them.