Marcus Santos-Silva is a part of our Heartland College Sports Big 12 men’s Top 25 returning players countdown as we get closer to the 2021-22 college basketball season opener.
No. 19: Marcus Santos-Silva, F, Texas Tech
Where he left off: Santos-Silva, a transfer from Virginia Commonwealth, brought consistency and energy to the paint for the Red Raiders last season. While averaging 8.3 points per game, he also had 6.4 rebounds per game and 1.1 blocks per game while starting every game for the Red Raiders. In other words, he did exactly what the Red Raiders were hoping — stabilize the paint and lessen the Red Raiders’ worry about what happens inside. His career numbers are solid —1,069 points, 806 rebounds and 124 blocks through 126 games.
Where he’s headed: Santos-Silva is going to be the rare player on this list that doesn’t appear to have much more of a ‘ceiling’ left to hit. The numbers he produced last season are close to the numbers he produced at VCU. The Red Raiders would love to see him get closer to the numbers he put up in his final season at VCU — 12.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots per game. He returned primarily because the Red Raiders hired Mark Adams to replace Chris Beard. Santos-Silva should be one of the best big men in the Big 12 this season, and if he puts up 12 and 8 per game the Red Raiders should be a solid team come conference play.
Top 25 criteria: ONLY players that played in the Big 12 last season were considered. Rankings are based on where players left off at the end of last season, as we are not able to make assumptions about the improvements players have made this offseason.
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You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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