The Red Raiders hit the basketball lottery with the commitment of junior college forward Khalid Thomas this week. The 6-foot-9 Thomas, a native of Portland, Oregon, has a unique skillset. He is coming off of a stellar freshman season at College of Southern Idaho, where he averaged 14.7 points and 6.5 rebounds.
Thomas is a dynamic offensive scorer with the ability to stretch the floor. He shot 41 percent from 3-point range last season, which is superb for a forward. Physically, Thomas looks a lot like former Red Raider Zach Smith. He may not provide the same world-class athleticism as Smith, but Thomas is a more polished offensive scorer.
The Red Raiders were up against stiff competition in recruiting Thomas. Arizona, Baylor, and Oklahoma were all hot in pursuit of the gifted big man. Thomas’s visit to Lubbock sealed the deal for the Red Raiders, as Thomas stated he felt like he was at home.
The commitment of Thomas provides a scorer the Red Raiders will need in the future. Zhaire Smith’s fantastic freshman season followed by his entry into the NBA Draft could set a template for the program. Sophomore Jarrett Culver will likely be the team’s go-to scorer with grad transfer Matt Mooney and a combination of Texas Tech’s incoming freshmen lending scoring punch as well. But it’s anybody’s guess at how many of them will be back when Thomas arrives for the 2019-2020 season.