Nimari Burnett Opts Out of Remainder of Texas Tech’s Basketball Season
Per reports from The Athletic, freshman guard Nimari Burnett is leaving the program for personal reasons. He's the second Red Raider to leave the program since the regular season started, with Joel Ntambwe leaving the program the week of the first game.
Burnett came to Texas Tech as the highest-rated Red Raider recruit of all-time, and the only McDonald's All-American to ever sign with the school.
Ryan Mainville of The Daily Toreador also confirmed that Burnett had entered the Transfer Portal.
In 12 games this season, Burnett averaged 5.3 points and 1.8 rebounds and recorded 17 steals in just 17 minutes per game. Against Kansas State on Tuesday, Burnett played just six minutes.
It certainly was not the starting role that most imagined when he committed to Texas Tech.
I'm not going to speculate too far into the reason that Burnett is leaving beyond that Burnett obviously thinks that he'll be in the NBA soon and his marketability takes a hit if he's not starting and on the floor making plays. The problem with assuming that you'll walk in the door and start is that is just not how Chris Beard operates. He doesn't distribute minutes based on recruiting rankings, and he never will.
Burnett's departure from Texas Tech certainly is a hit, but does it topple the team? No, it doesn't.
The freshman was 8th on the team in minutes, with Chibuzo Agbo and Tyreek Smith trailing right behind him. Without Burnett, the minutes will certainly reallocate, but barring any injuries it doesn't affect the rotation too much. I'd assume those minutes will trickle upwards to either Kevin McCullar and Micah Peavy. It will also provide Agbo with an opportunity for more minutes.
Beard commented on the departure via a statement, saying, "We appreciate Nimari’s contribution to our program. We wish him the best in his future."