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Red Raider Ravioli: go, Zhaire, go!

My (unpopular) opinion on the topic of the week

Buongiorno!

After some weeks of silence, Red Raider Ravioli returns in all his glory, claiming - with vigor - its position of Viva The Matador’s most useless column. That’s an achievement I painstakingly reached and I won’t give up that easy, you all!

Well, the basketball season is over after an exciting, emotional ride. Despite many seniors leaving the team, I’ve never been as optimistic as I am in this program, because of the recruiting, the players, and most of all, coach Beard, our plucky commander.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-East Regional-Villanova vs Texas Tech Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

By the way, I’m really waiting to see who’ll win the National Championship: I have a historical idiosyncrasy for Michigan so I hope Villanova wins. The Wildcats didn’t do anything wrong, apart from the fact that they defeated the Red Raiders in the Elite Eight, but they remedied that by putting out Kansas, so they’re my friends again.

In the Texas Tech universe there’s another question that’s holding court as we approach the NBA draft, set for June 22nd: will Zhaire Smith declare and become the first one-and-done in the history of the school?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-East Regional-Villanova vs Texas Tech Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

During the week, one of the newest VTM members, Dylan, wrote an interesting piece in which he analyzed options Zhaire has in front of him, giving valid options to both arguments, leaving and spending one more year in Lubbock. Even the biggest Italian sport newspaper dedicated an entire article to his choice. Don’t believe me? Watch here, and if you don’t speak Italian, it says the same things Dylan says, believe me.

Dylan made a nice reference to C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) and I have to say I totally agree with this point, Zhaire should declare for the NBA Draft. I know that this would be a huge loss for the Red Raiders in the short term, but how can you miss the big check coming from the biggest stage?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Texas Tech vs. Florida Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Many mock drafts project Zhaire as a mid-first round pick. According to Real GM, the pick no. 16 is expected to earn a $ 2,157,900 check, and we consider that first round picks can sign for as much as 120% and as little as 80% of the rookie scale, the check varies from $ 1,726,320 to $ 2,697,375.

It’s true Zhaire should improve in some areas to develop his game for the next level, and that he’d benefit from another year under coach Beard, but another year in college would mean being exposed to the possibility of injuries, bad performances, and chances to have his draft stock lowered.

I perfectly know this is an unpopular position because all of us want Zhaire to stay four years in Lubbock, but I genuinely think that’s the best solution for him. And I’d like to hear your opinion, too!

Alla prossima!