With less than a week to go before the Texas Tech basketball program’s first official fall practice session, some bad news has come to light. Jon Rothstein says transfer striker Fardaws Amiaq has broken his foot and will be out for “several months”.
This is a huge negative development for the Red Raiders, who had been banking on the Utah State transfer to play a starting role this season.
The 6-foot-11, 245-pound senior, who still has two years of eligibility, was one of the most valuable transfers of the offseason and should deal a tremendous blow to the Red Raiders at both ends of the floor. Last season, he averaged 18.9 points and 13.6 rebounds per game, making him one of the best two-way players in the nation.
He shot 49% from the ground and 43% from beyond the arc. He also blocked 1.3 shots per match, something Tech could count on this season.
There is no official word on this reported injury from Texas Tech, nor is there any word on a specific timeline for his return. However, in about three months, Tech will be gearing up for the Big 12 game, so the earliest the Red Raiders can possibly hope to get Aimaq back.
Without him, the big man sophomore Daniel Batcho is thrust into a much bigger role. And on Thursday, while meeting with the media, head coach Mark Adams was effusive in his praise of the former Arizona transfer.
“Daniel Batcho is one of those [is] really a different player than last year,” Adams said. “In practice he often separates from other players because he’s a 7-footer guy who’s athletic and he’s been working on his scoring and he’s shooting the ball, he’s been working on his jump shot, his 3-point shooting . He’s just a completely different player and I think everyone will be surprised and impressed to see his progress.”
Adams would then go on to say that he and his coaching staff believe Batcho has an NBA future. Those remarks are quite revealing given that Batcho averaged just 2.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per game last year while playing just 9.9 minutes in one competition.
In fact, his season-high in points was just eight, a number he equaled only twice. Additionally, he went without a point in 13 of the 32 games he appeared in as a redshirt freshman in 2021-22.
However, we must remember that he had a knee injury that forced him to miss the entire 2020-21 Arizona season. As such, he may have lagged behind in his basketball development as he spent most of his true freshman season rehab rather than working on his game.
Conventional wisdom also says that a player typically makes the most progress between their first and second seasons. Thus, Batcho could be poised to be a breakout player for the Red Raiders. Now, with Aimaq’s reported injury, he’s likely to be pushed into a starting role this year and how he handles that will go a long way towards how well Tech can weather the first major setback of the season.