One of the best grad transfers on the market has chosen Texas Tech. TJ Holyfield, a 6-8 forward that spent his first three seasons at Stephen F. Austin, announced today that he will be joining the Red Raiders and coach Chris Beard for his final season as a collegiate player. Holyfield’s commitment leaves Texas Tech with just one scholarship remaining for the 2019-20 season, barring any more transfers. Holyfield chose Texas Tech over Kansas and Illinois, where his former coach Brad Underwood is beginning his third season.
Holyfield averaged 12.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game as a junior in 2017-18. He was a three year contributor at Stephen F. Austin, playing a decent part in two NCAA tournament appearances, the last of which coming in 2018 when the Lumberjacks faced off against the Red Raiders in a 70-60 Texas Tech victory. Coach Kyle Keller emphasized how important Holyfield was to SFA, stating: “To me he is on the Mount Rushmore of SFA Basketball. I am happy to see how his life unfolds. He is graduating with a business degree. He will be a great father and is a great teammate and son. I would love for my son to emulate him one day.”
Holyfield became the all time leader in blocks for Stephen F. Austin in only three seasons of work. He missed this season due to a dislocated shoulder that occurred prior to the first game.
The journey continues in Lubbock! I'm happy to announce I've committed to the 2019 Big 12 Champions! Excited to be a part of the Red Raider family and ready to get back on the court again! #GunsUp #WreckEm— TJ Holyfield (@teejayy_22) May 11, 2019
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In addition to his shot blocking ability and given size, Holyfield is efficient both offensively and defensively. His 62% true shooting percentage and 41% three point percentage are both outstanding for a big. His 2.3% steal rate and 5.8% block rate paint him as one of the most versatile defenders in the country, while his rebounding intensity provides insurance to an area that was clearly lacking on next year’s team.
Holyfield will likely compete with Khalid Thomas for the starting 5 slot. Hoyfield’s defensive ability will help ease the loss of Tariq Owens, while his jumper alongside Khalid Thomas will make for some lethal pick and pop opportunities with drivers such as Jahmius Ramsey and Kyler Edwards.
Welcome to Lubbock TJ.