There’s a purpose Avery Benson was a Texas Tech basketball fan favourite. And there’s a purpose that his departure from the program, which he introduced on Thursday, feels totally different than the opposite departures that we’ve seen over the previous couple of weeks within the wake of the top teaching transition.
From a basketball perspective, I’m not unhappy or upset about Benson’s entrance into the switch portal. In any case, he by no means averaged over 1.8 factors per sport in his Crimson Raider profession. He was not a key function participant and by no means averaged greater than 9.6 minutes of enjoying time per look.
Positive, he had his moments. Towards No. 1 Louisville in 2019 at Madison Sq. Backyard in New York, he put up 10 factors, 4 rebounds, and two spectacular blocks to assist the Crimson Raiders stun the Cardinals.
However Benson was extra of a tradition man. One who helped set up what it meant to be a Texas Tech basketball participant.
That’s why we are going to miss him and why it’s bittersweet to see him depart. Clearly, we want him nicely and hope that his subsequent chapter is profitable. However we are going to miss the entire hustle performs, the nook 3-pointers, and the center with which he approached being a university basketball participant.
Not as bodily gifted as most Division I school basketball gamers, he needed to scrap and claw for every little thing that got here his manner at Tech. A walk-on who finally earned a scholarship, Benson was the epitome of being a Crimson Raider.
His former head coach at Tech was keen on speaking about wanting his gamers to have a “avenue canine” mentality. That actually match Benson to a T.
All the time the primary to hit the ground in pursuit of a free ball, at all times prepared to sacrifice his physique to attract a cost, at all times enjoying each possession to the bone, Benson was as gritty of a participant as Texas Tech has seen over the past 5 seasons and that’s what Texas Tech has at all times been about.
Whatever the sport, Texas Tech athletics has been constructed on the concept of getting probably the most out of its athletes. By no means capable of recruit on the degree of blue-blood applications, Tech has at all times needed to depend on gamers who had been prepared to outwork opponents each on and off the court docket.
That’s actually what Avery Benson did. And that’s why my favourite reminiscence of him will at all times be the play he made in opposition to Arkansas in 2019.
Going through his residence state college, Benson made one of many performs of the sport whereas battling for a free ball. Going utterly horizontal in his pursuit of the ball, Benson flew previous an Arkansas participant and as fortune would have it, the ball would finally deflect off of a Razorback on the finish of the scramble to offer Tech possession.
It wasn’t as memorable of a play as his two blocks in opposition to Louisville had been, nor was it as talked about as his last-second alley-oop dunk in a blowout win over Baylor was in 2019. However that play in opposition to Arkansas was the essence of what Avery Benson meant to the Crimson Raiders.
Benson was a culture-setter. That’s why he was such a fan favourite. He laid all of it on the road each time he stepped on the court docket and he milked absolutely the most out of his expertise.
Positive, it will likely be straightforward to exchange his statistical contributions. However what he dropped at the desk as the center and soul of Crimson Raider basketball was immeasurable. That’s why Benson’s departure feels a bit totally different than the opposite departures we’ve seen this 12 months. It’s as a result of Avery Benson personified what it means to be a Crimson Raider.