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Avery Benson’s gritty performance in Texas Tech’s win over Louisville embodies Red Raider basketball

The walk-on from Arkansas is quintessentially Texas Tech

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Louisville Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech just served notice to the nation that they’re on another mission.

Without Ramsey, the Red Raiders outplayed the Cardinals from start to finish, something very few expected.

This speaks to Chris Beard’s wizardly ability, and the brand of basketball he has his teams play. Tech grinds, scraps, lays out, and out efforts everyone they face. No player embodies that more than Avery Benson.

Avery Benson is not Big 12-talented, but his effort and hustle have made him a player Beard trusts for extended minutes.

While his stats this game were solid (10 points, four rebounds, two blocks and a steal), his impact is the fire he brings to the team. Bilas called it, he plays so hard he guilts his teammates to give that extra push, to take that charge, and to sacrifice their bodies.

It’s impossible not to be inspired watching him play, and if Beard could copy Benson’s mentality and give it to all his players, I don’t know who could knock Tech off. No matter who Benson takes on, he never backs down and despite his sometimes awkward defense, he rarely gets beat, even in spite of his opponents trying to isolate him and drive to the rim.

I don’t want this piece to make anyone think I’m over-praising Benson because it’s a feel good story. The reality is, Tech loses to Louisville without him. Benson makes the big play, and he will be essential to sustaining this success. The moment never seems too big, and when the team is starting to get knocked out the fight BANG a three ball from Benson. With a young team, Benson will be tasked to play critical minutes and he will deliver exceptional play.

Texas Tech, if you didn’t know him by now, meet Avery Benson. He is nowhere near done yet.