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Texas Tech transfer Avery Benson joins the Texas program

A Chris Beard target at Little Rock, Benson walked on in Lubbock and has now followed Beard to Austin.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

A former Texas Tech Red Raiders player under new Texas Longhorns head coach Chris Beard is in Austin, as redshirt senior guard Avery Benson has joined the Longhorns program, according to multiple reports over the weekend, after entering the NCAA transfer portal on May 24.

A Springdale, Arkansas product, Benson famously attracted Beard’s attention during the season Beard spent at Little Rock.

“He went for a loose ball and lost about three teeth,” Beard said in 2019. “He wouldn’t take himself out of the game. They cleaned the blood up, and I turned to Wes Flanigan and said, ‘offer that kid a scholarship.’”

When Beard moved on to Texas Tech, the 6’4, 195-pounder walked on with the Red Raiders and became a critical piece of Beard’s efforts to build culture and toughness in Lubbock.

The statistics say that Benson played in 71 games for Texas Tech, including 1.3 points on 60-percent shooting in 5.2 minutes last season. Clearly, Beard didn’t bring Benson to Austin for his statistical impact during games — it’s about the value that the Arkansas native adds as a practice player as Beard seeks to instill his culture on the Forty Acres.

“Our culture is everything,” Beard said. “Our culture is what got us to the Final Four and won the Big 12. Players come and go, coaches come and go, but if culture stays the same, there’s a way to keep winning. The Patriots wide receivers change from time to time. Alabama gets a new quarterback, but they keep winning... And having guys like Avery means the world to us.”

Texas currently has four scholarship transfers, four returning scholarship players, and one scholarship 2021 signee, leaving four spots open on the roster. Benson and recent 2021 addition Gavin Perryman are candidates to fill two of those scholarships, affording Beard and his staff some flexibility as they look to finalize the 2021-22 roster.