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Player of the week: Zhaire Smith

Despite consecutive losses, the freshman continues to shine

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

The Red Raiders are not living the best moment of their season, and we all know this. Injuries to three seniors (Keenan Evans, Zach Smith, and Justin Gray) and some unlucky situations brought three consecutive losses and made tonight’s game against West Virginia a crucial importance crossroad for the team.

That said, in these last games we could notice the improvements two freshmen had, and that’s important also if we extend our considerations to the next seasons. I’m obviously talking of Zhaire Smith and Jarrett Culver, with the first who’s the player of the week.

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

In the last two games, against Oklahoma State and Kansas, he accumulated 38 points, and nine rebounds (all offensive), shooting 13/23 from the court, and 10/12 from the three-point line. He was the best scorer in both games (20 with the Cowboys and 18 with the Jayhawks) and showed his usual arsenal of athleticism and dunks.

With the regular season approaching its final week, we can already give an overall judgment over Zhaire’s freshman season, and it’s very positive, as he averages 11.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. His athleticism helped the Red Raiders in many situations, and with his 27.5 minutes per game, he surely gained the experience he will need next year when he’ll be the main offensive terminal of the team.