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4-Star Recruit Nimari Burnett Reportedly Leaving Texas Tech Basketball Program

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2021

Texas Tech's Nimari Burnett (25) signals a teammate during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas in Lubbock, Texas, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Justin Rex)
Justin Rex/Associated Press

Texas Tech freshman guard Nimari Burnett is opting out of the 2020-21 season, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania

Burnett, who averaged 5.3 points and 0.9 assists through 12 games with the Red Raiders, "will continue his basketball training" and is planning to either return to the NCAA next season or enter the 2021 NBA draft, per Charania. 

The Chicago native was the No. 34 player overall in 247Sports' composite rankings for 2020.

Charania only cited "personal reasons," so it's unclear what precipitated Burnett's decision. However, The Athletic's Brian Hamilton noted in the report that Burnett may have expected to play a bigger role for the team—he didn't start a single game and only played more than 20 minutes three times.

The Red Raiders lose some backcourt depth with Burnett's departure. His 212 total minutes were sixth-highest on the team, but his 17.7 minutes per game were eighth-most.

Head coach Chris Beard isn't lacking in guard options, though. Only three of the 13 players listed on the team's official roster are forwards.

Aaron Torres @Aaron_Torres

Just saw that Texas Tech guard and former McDonald's All-American Nimari Burnett is transferring. Talented player, but a tough spot to earn playing time, with so many veteran guards in the backcourt at Tech. Would expect there to be a LOT of teams lined up to sign him

While his production fell short of expectations, Burnett's profile coming out of high school should help him land on his feet with another school should he go the transfer route.

Getting at least one more year under his belt would also help stabilize his draft stock. The 6'4" guard was absent on the most recent big board for B/R's Jonathan Wasserman.

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