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Kevin Obanor


Old Titan
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Man, watching Kevin Obanor as Texas Tech struggles at Providence tonight, and it's painful:  he looks stiff and slow, and they're not using him at all like last season at ORU.

Never seen him look so lost and tentative.  Just 4 points and 2 rebounds with 15 minutes left in a 38-33 slugfest, and after posting up and not getting the ball on a corner three from a teammate, he ran down the court looking back over his shoulder at the shooter with his hands up in derisive frustration.  He was promptly substituted for on the next dead ball, and has not returned several minutes later.

So far in six games, he's the fifth-leading scorer on the team at10.3 points per game, with just over 4 rebounds in only 20 minutes per game .

It would be easy to conclude that things would be so much better for all parties if he had stayed at ORU, but who's to say he might not be just as frustrated in Tulsa this season? 

Suffice it to say that it's simply a shame his final year in college has so far been a disappointment.

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Texas Tech battling back behind two corner threes from Obanor...earning him another trip to the bench.

The new coach at Tech is the most substi-tootin-est mico-manager I've ever seen, with a month-old jet-black dye job desperately clinging to his 65-year-old mop of hair. 

Looks like Roy Orbison just walked in from a snow storm.

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Let's keep in mind that Obanor did graduate from ORU with a Bachelor's Degree before transferring.

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10 hours ago, Dave Connor said:

Let's keep in mind that Obanor did graduate from ORU with a Bachelor's Degree before transferring.

Hey, don't get me wrong:  I really like Kevin.  I can understand why he might have wanted to get out of Max's shadow.  But I was not alone in wondering why Texas Tech, with a new, unproven coach and a ton returning players and some other high-profile transfers.

There were many (eagleman5 I think was the most outspoken) who wondered whether he would get much playing time.  I think I was one of the few who thought he might replicate his success from ORU again this year.

Unfortunately, it appears (at least in the short run) that the majority was right.

BTW, Tech fell to Providence tonight in a close one.  In the penultimate possession late, Kevin ran a high ball screen and fully expected to get the ball back for a game-winning three.  Instead, the guard with the ball continued his drive and clanked an awkward runner.  Kevin was once again visibly frustrated.  Hard to find another running mate like Max!

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7 hours ago, Old Titan said:

But I was not alone in wondering why Texas Tech, with a new, unproven coach and a ton returning players and some other high-profile transfers.

I think KO made a big mistake not going to Arkansas (or staying at ORU).

At Arkansas he would be the 1st or 2nd option at PF instead of buried behind a couple of potential NBA draft prospects. Also, the PR aspect of playing in the markets of the SEC (or staying with the team that you took to the Sweet 16) would have been better for his profile than the moonscape of west Texas.

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After our sweet 16 run KO went back to the east coast  to train hoping to try out for the NBA. From what I heard he was around people who were feeding his ego and not giving him realistic advice. He is a really good player but what  we are witnessing now is how he  meshed with Max and played in a system and for a  coaching staff that fed his strengths. Mills did everything within his power to help KO understand it was in his best interest to come back to ORU. It is hard to put an old head on young shoulders. On the other hand how many big schools tried to lure Max away? Max didn't take the bait which is probably to his benefit for a number of reasons.

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If you look at the box scores for the more competitive games TT has played so far, KO is one of their top scorers. In the blowouts the minutes we’re spread out and he only has about 7-8 points. It looks like he is one of their go to guys against stiffer opposition. For him, I hope that is the case. I don't think he is going to be an NBA player, but like Caleb and Domo should make a really good career overseas. 

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KO should probably start learning to speak Turkish......😉

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47 minutes ago, dave said:

If you look at the box scores for the more competitive games TT has played so far, KO is one of their top scorers. In the blowouts tge minutes we’re spread out and he only has about 7-8 points. It looks like he is one of their go to guys against stiffer opposition. For him, I hope that is the case. I do t think he is going to be an NBA player, but like Caleb and Domo should make a really good career overseas. 

His coach kept taking him out on dead balls when the Red Raiders were going on defense, which I can understand in the final minutes of a close game, but he was doing it midway through the second half and perhaps 6-8 times down the stretch (as with a half dozen others on the Tech roster). 

I just don't think he's being used properly; Kevin is a streaky player who needs to get into the flow of the game.  Hall of Fame coach Al McGuire said it best about keeping stars in the game:  "Don't let the sweat dry!"

(and, he looks like he's lost a step - lack of conditioning?  too much muscle added?  who knows...)

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Obanor is not the best defender and I’m sure that does not sit well with the new defensive minded coach. Thus the substitution patterns. 

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The Tech head coach and Mills are pretty much complete opposites in coaching style. Adams is known as a micromanager. That has got to be a tough adjustment for Obanor as at ORU he had the green light on the offensive end to do pretty much whatever he wanted along with Max. AS they should. No looking at the bench or worrying about getting the quick hook. ORU was a perfect situation for him and played to his strengths. 

Tough situation now as he just needs to hang in there. Someone may have given him some bad advice but that certainly happens sometimes. 

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2 minutes ago, ORUTerry said:

Obanor is not the best defender and I’m sure that does not sit well with the new defensive minded coach. Thus the substitution patterns. 

Yea... His family or advisors maybe should have looked into Mark Adams as that is what he is known for. He ran the defense for Chris Beard when he was there. You are going to play D for him or get the hook quickly. Someone didn't do their homework on that one. Really not a good fit for KO. Grass isn't always greener. 

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Let's play devil's advocate, just for fun. I can imagine that KO was told by NBA scouts that he needed to improve his defense because that certainly is a part of his game that was/is lacking. With that in mind, it is totally possible that he chose TT BECAUSE of the coaches defense first approach. ORU would not have given him the same opportunity to improve in that area as TT and playing teams the caliber of the Big 12. If he continues to score 15-20 pts a night in conference play, and improves defensively, he may be more attractive come draft time. Just a thought.

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I don’t agree that ORU would not have given Obanor a chance to improve his defense.  The best way to improve is when a good coaching staff (which we have) coaches you up and gives you a lot of playing time to demonstrate your improved skills.  

He certainly would be playing 38 minutes a game at ORU vs 20 minutes a game at TT, and would be averaging 20+ points a game vs 10 pts a game due to double the minutes and running the offense through him.

IMHO going to TT was a mistake plain and simple.

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Bingo, Jason.....well said....:k_obanor:

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I was just playing devil's advocate. However, his competition will be much greater in the Big 12 on a night-in-night-out basis. And who's to say he won't get more playing time when the rotation tightens up a little more during conference play. Don't get me wrong, I wish KO was back in Tulsa, but it very possibly could be much better for him than it appears to those of us on the outside.

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K.O. was always one of my favorite ORU players.  He was a good witness for the faith, having come from a background where his parents are pastors.  His interviews during the NCAA tournament were A plus and represented ORU well.  He did it all at ORU: first and second team all-conference, newcomer of the year in the Summit League, and helped take the Eagles to the Sweet 16.  

I can see why he jumped to the Big 12: chance to play the best (KU, Texas, Baylor,etc) and be on ESPN.  Plus, he plays in front of crowds at home of 10,000 or more.  Texas Tech basketball is just two years removed from playing in the National Championship game (2019).  It is high level Power 5 basketball.

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Agreed, Keenan. Can't blame the guy for leaving. From a strictly basketball standpoint, I do wonder if he's regretting leaving. Grass isn't always greener. 

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One of the things that Kevin brought to the ORU team that we desperately need now (especially on the road) is toughness. We need that player who has a chip on their shoulder that looks to take the fight to the other team before they even have a chance to bring the fight to you. 

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He also may have brought some other things that weren't good for the team, but we all have our faults right? 🙂

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4 minutes ago, vcboy2000 said:

One of the things that Kevin brought to the ORU team that we desperately need now (especially on the road) is toughness. We need that player who has a chip on their shoulder that looks to take the fight to the other team before they even have a chance to bring the fight to you. 

I agree.

This year's team seems to gets pushed back on their heels in the first half and has to find a way to respond... & sometimes that doesn't come until the second half.

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19 minutes ago, vcboy2000 said:

One of the things that Kevin brought to the ORU team that we desperately need now (especially on the road) is toughness. We need that player who has a chip on their shoulder that looks to take the fight to the other team before they even have a chance to bring the fight to you. 

I agree completely, not having that mentality on this years team has definitely contributed to our slow starts. Part of it also is our style of offense, we have 5 guys out around the ark looking to space the court and shoot 3's which is not a physical style of play like pounding the ball down into the post or attacking the basket off the dribble! Coaches style has obviously worked, but I think posting someone up on a targeted match up or attacking the basket off the dribble- particularly early in the game- would help get our guys get into the game with a little more aggressiveness. It cant hurt to come out physically rather then waiting to get get punched in the mouth and reacting- and almost always playing catch up!

Go Eagles!!      

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I wonder if playing Isaiah earlier in the game would help. He was a difference maker for sure when he was in the game against TCU. 

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5 minutes ago, vcboy2000 said:

I wonder if playing Isaiah earlier in the game would help. He was a difference maker for sure when he was in the game against TCU. 

I don't think you necessarily have to change your starting line up, you could post up Carlos or Kareem if they have a match up with a smaller defender or isolate them for a drive to the basket. Both are strong and good around the basket for their size, and could exploit a mismatch.

This would be a good way to start the game attacking, possibly draw an early foul on the defense and it's also a good way to get them going offensively early in games since they both have struggled shooting 3's and are not playing the roles in the offense they should be. 

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K.O. is in Madsion Square Garden tonight, a once in a lifetime opportunity.  They are playing Tennessee in the Jimmy V Classic.  The announcer Jay Bilas said that K.O. was preparing with another Texas Tech player, forgot which one he said it was, for a possible chance at going pro this past summer.  When that did not work out, the Red Raider player recruited K.O. to come to Texas Tech.  This is according to Bilas and what he said on ESPN tonight.  Did anyone see that?

Seems odd rooting for K.O. and him playing for the Red Raiders.

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