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Breaking: Nimari Burnett leaving the Texas Tech basketball program

The McDonald’s All-American has struggled offensively this year, but his departure comes as a shock midway through the year

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

Texas Tech basketball lost one of their most intriguing prospects in recent memory today. Nimari Burnett has left the team, as first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania and later confirmed in a press release from the team.

Burnett was the highest-rated recruit in program history, and was ranked as a five-star recruit by both ESPN and Rivals. He qualified for the McDonald’s All-American game, becoming the first Red Raider commit to accomplish that feat.

Burnett played in all 12 games this season, averaging 5.3 points per game, 1.8 rebounds, and .9 assists. His 1.4 steals per game was inside the top ten in the Big 12, and he had the highest Defensive BPM on the team. With that said, his shooting percentages were awful, as he shot only 17% from three and 28% from the field. His EFG% was 32%, which is a historically low number for a high major guard receiving serious playing time.

Burnett’s departure leaves Tech with only 11 scholarship players left on the roster after Joel Ntambwe left the program earlier this year. Without Burnett, guys like Chibuzo Agbo and Clarence Nadolny will likely see a rise in minutes in the coming games. The defense of Burnett will be immediately missed, but only time will tell the true impact that this has on the program.

Stay tuned to Viva The Matadors for more news and analysis on this situation, and be sure to check out our recap from the victory over Kansas State!