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How Much Is Jarrett Culver Worth to Texas Tech’s Final Four Spread?


Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jarrett Culver

  • Jarrett Culver's rise has been the highlight of Texas Tech's Final Four run. But how valuable is he to the spread?
  • Eli Hershkovich spoke to an oddsmaker to find out, plus makes his own assessment.
  • Texas Tech will face off against Michigan State (-2.5) on Saturday at 8:49 p.m. ET on CBS.

En route to Texas Tech earning its first Final Four berth in program history, Jarrett Culver’s ascension has emerged as one of the most notable storylines of the season.

The Red Raiders were pegged to finish seventh in the Big 12 standings after losing three of their starters from last season, including eventual lottery pick Zhaire Smith. The 6-foot-5, 195-pound Culver notched only the 16th-most win shares (4.2) among Big 12 players last season (per Sports Reference), and a major production spike wasn’t expected of him.

His scoring average has jumped 7.7 points per game (18.9 ppg) in his sophomore campaign, as his possession rate (31.7% ) rose 10.4 percentage points in the process — good for the 28th-highest in the country.

Culver now owns the 16th-most win shares (6.9) across college basketball, ranking first overall in his conference. The emerging star has also tallied the most defensive wins shares (3.4) in the nation — ahead of Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke (3.2), Michigan’s Zavier Simpson’s (3.2), Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ (3.1), the Wolverines’ Jon Teske (3.1), Washington’s Matisse Thybulle (3.0) and even his teammate Matt Mooney (3.0).

The Lubbock, Texas native has vaulted to No. 1 in KenPom’s Player of the Year rankings, sitting above Duke freshman Zion Williamson, who slid all the way to seventh after the Blue Devils’ Elite Eight loss to Michigan State.

Matt Lindeman, an oddsmaker at Caesars Palace, noted that while his player ratings aren’t definitive because their worth changes by game, Culver has at least top-10 value to the spread.

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