Dec 26, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; UCF Knights guard Brandon Mahan (13) grabs a rebound against the Houston Cougars during the second half at Addition Financial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports If you are a wing player around 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-6 and you are in the transfer […]
If you are a wing player around 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-6 and you are in the transfer portal after having proven you are capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time, it’s almost certain that the Texas Tech basketball team is at least going to contact you to gauge your interest in coming to Lubbock. That trend continued this week when Jon Rothstein reported on Twitter that UCF transfer Brandon Mahan, a 6-foot-5 guard, has been contacted by the new Red Raider coaching staff.
The Alabama native, who began his career at Texas A&M, scored 12.3 points and pulled down 5.0 rebounds per game in 2020-21 while dishing out 1.9 assists. He was second on the UCF roster in scoring and tied for the team lead in rebounds.
As a sophomore this past season, Mahan started 19 of his team’s 23 games in the COVID-abbreviated season. Along the way, he garnered third-team All-American Athletic Conference honors.
But what might make him so appealing to the Red Raiders is what he did from beyond the arc. Averaging 4.2 attempts from deep per game, Mahan connected at a 43.8% rate making him one of the nation’s top 3-point snipers.
UCF transfer Brandon Mahan tells me that he's receiving interest from the following programs:
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 12, 2021
Though the Red Raiders have added a number of intriguing wing players that are similar in size to Mahan, adding a player with that type of range from long distance could be a huge boost to next year’s team, especially given that Tech has already lost Kyler Edwards (56 made 3-pointers last season) and could still see Mac McClung (47 made 3s in 2020-21) depart for the professional ranks.
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It’s also worth noting that Tech could be trying to spin a new master defensive plan with all of these versatile wing players (such as Adonis Arms, Mylik Wilson, and Davion Warren, all of whom have committed to Tech from the transfer portal in the last month).
While many assumed the addition of assistant coach Barret Peery was to help the Red Raiders open up the offense and play at a faster tempo on that end of the floor, the former Portland State head coach was also known for his team’s maniacal full-court press which was designed to lead to easy buckets.
It is doubtful that Mark Adams is going to turn the Red Raiders into a team that presses at all times but it would seem as if Peery’s influence could lead to more pressure at strategic moments. Thus, it would make sense for Tech to try to have as many athletic and rangy wing players as possible to throw at opponents. Therefore, the interest in Mahan is not surprising.
Mahan had some big performances against top programs this past season. In fact, he put up a season-high 32 points against Florida State. He also poured in 21 points in a game at Michigan, a team that spent almost all season in the top 10.
So while Red Raider fans may be a bit tired of seeing Tech linked to wing players instead of much-needed post players, there has to be a method and sound reasoning to Adams’ recruiting strategy. So don’t be shocked to see another wing player join this roster in the coming weeks. And if that player is Brandon Mahan, it would be a nice addition to the Red Raider roster.