Well, the Red Raider season has come to a depressing end and well, I just wasn’t ready to look to the future yet. I wanted to review EVERY single Red Raider from this years roster, and give my honest opinion. Today, I’ll be tackling the lone senior: Kevin Obanor.
KO had an up and down year and I’m gonna break down the pro’s, the cons, and my overall thoughts on the season for the Texas Tech forward.
- First and foremost, Kevin Obanor was a leader on a team that desperately needed one. The team while going through an awful stretch, needed a guy to keep spirits high and keep the team together, I truly believe Kevin Obanor was one of the main reasons these guys stuck together. He’s a great person, a great teammate, and he will be remembered highly by all Red Raider fans.
- Obanor had games this year where he was just a force both inside and outside. His top games included at home vs Kansas, where he dropped 26 points to go along with 7 rebounds. He had a dominant game in the comeback at home vs Iowa State with 24 points and 13 rebounds, and finally had 19 and 7 against Texas at home, coupled with some extremely clutch shots.
- Obanor was significantly better in almost all categories playing at home vs on the road. It must just be something about playing in the USA for him. At home, Obanor shot 49.5% from the field and 37.5% from 3. On the road those dipped to 48.8% and 25.5% respectively.
- Kevin Obanor was voted to the All-Big 12 honorable mention, and while that isn’t what a lot of people expected this season, that is still a very prestigious honor in the best basketball conference in the country.
Obanor had his fair share of ups and downs this year. Looking at the pros, he was a leader and one of this teams best players. He’s a guy that deserves recognition for what he did not only this season, but last season as well.
After talking about the good... we also have to mention the not so good. So lets just dive into...
- Defensively, the Red Raiders as a whole took a huge step down this season. Obanor suffered from a team that just wasn’t as good of fit as last season. Obanor saw his defensive win shares move down from 2.1 last season to 1.5 this season. His defensive rating went from his career best of 93.5, all the way up to 101.7. That isn’t just a picture of the defensive season KO had, but really this team as a whole.
- Obanor averaged more turnovers this year than he did last season, but it still wasn’t many. Turnovers were an issue at times for Obanor, but it wasn’t a consistent issue, just some rough games.
- Speaking of rough games, KO had a few of those, namely during conference play. In the first conference game of the season @ TCU, Obanor finished with just 6 points on 2/7 shooting. @ West Virginia, KO had just 4 points. KO might’ve had his worst game on senior night, with 5 points on 2/9 shooting. Some nights just aren’t your night, and like stated, KO had a few of them.
BUT, enough with the bad stuff. Let's get back to some praising of the lone senior from this group. I just want to give a HUGE thank you to Obanor for what he’s done for this program. He is the epitome of a Red Raider. He is a fighter, a kid who always kept fighting, even when this team was struggling. He was there to help keep spirits high during a huge amount of controversy within the program. Kevin Obanor is a Red Raider for life.
Obanor was one of the few bright spots during a Red Raider season that was full of dull moments. He produced memorable moments like we’ve known him to do, including hitting a huge shot to seal a win against top 6 Texas. He was the first guy that Mark Adams brought in after Chris Beard left to go to Austin, and he was the first glimmer of hope for the program at the time. He stayed a glimmer of hope throughout this whole season, and he was one of my favorite Red Raiders of all time. The season may not have finished how we all wanted, but Kevin Obanor never quit fighting for this program.