National Signing Day was last week, and it doesn't look like we had much surprises this year (I'll get more into detail later on in the post). However, the basketball recruiting scene is still well in progress. After this year, we will lose Crockett, Kravic, Williams and Tapsoba. A year after that, Tolbert and Turner will be gone. We will have Ross, Foster, Hannahs, Gotcher and Onwuasor. Tubby Smith has a chance in the next few years to make Tech into consistent NCAA qualifier.
Right now Texas Tech will have 6 scholarships available (8 if you include next year). We have incoming to Tech a lengthy, do-it-yourself athletic SG/SF named Justin Gray, a power house dunker in SF Zachary Smith, and a shifty, passing PG in Keenan Evans. Tech will still need to get some big men either this class and next class with so many big guys leaving, along with another guard with both Gotcher and Dusty leaving at the same time. Some guys that could help us right away are two Missouri State - West Plains players in Center Justin Jamison and Combo guard DeVaugntah Williams, along with a raw high school PF in Abdoulaye Gueye. If we get two of those, that leaves us with three scholarships to use for 2015 and try and get more difference makers. Let's take a look at those 2014 recruits now.
Justin Jamison - Center/Power Forward (MSWP, West Plains, MO)
Height: 6'9" Weight: 260 lbs
Interest: Texas Tech (Warm), Oregon (Warm), Pittsburgh (Warm), Kent State (Cool)
Justin Jamison has a very interesting back story. Out of high school in 2009, he was drafted by the Rangers and decided to forgo playing baseball at Ohio State to play for Rangers. After three years in the league, he quit baseball and decided to go to West Plains CC to have a shot of playing College Basketball. Now, he has many schools looking at him, including ranked Pittsburgh, Oregon and Texas Tech. All three schools have visited West Plains and watched Justin play, extending him a scholarship too. Texas Tech and Kent State are the only out of these schools to offer another teammate (I'll get to that later). Anyway, he's very interested in Tech and could end up picking them. Here is a look at his film. One aspect of the game I like from Jamison is his ability to navigate through the defenses. He does good going through players, finding the opening in the post, and making the basketball. He also is a threat with his outside shot, with the ability to make long range shots. He's a guy I could envision being a good pick and roll player, along with being able to get rebounds. With the departure of Kravic and Tapsoba, and the development of Foster and Ross, Tech should use a scholarship on him. He could help our front court while he get assistance. Hopefully he picks the Red Raiders.
DeVaugntah Williams - Combo Guard (MSWP, West Plains, MO)
Height: 6'3" Weight: 200 lbs
Interest: Texas Tech (Warm), Florida State (Warm), Arkansas (Cool), Kent State (Cool)
DeVaugntah Williams hasn't gotten as much attention as some of his other teammates have, but he could very well be preforming at a D-1 level next year. Schools went there to look at Jamison and found some other talent on that team too. The reason I said combo guard above is because one site have him as a point guard and another has him as a shooting guard, so my guess is he is a shooting point guard. Not only that, but he has good size for guard, which as we saw Saturday in the highlight of Tech basketball for the past five years, big guards are useful when guarding athletic guards in the league. I think Tubby realizes this and is trying to get those bigger guards (Onwuasor and Turner last year). Now let's take a look at DeVaugntah's film. The first thing I notice about DeVaugntah is his ability to shot the 3, something that Robert Turner hasn't been consistent with all season. According to his stats, he looks to hot and cold at the 3 point line, so I don't know how that will translate at the next level. He does have good handles however and the ability to make a play on the ball. If you look at the latter half of the film, he does have good awareness also, being able to kick it out on offense and make plays on the ball on the defensive side. If he comes to Texas Tech, I think he will likely be a back-up for us. With Gotcher, Hannahs, Turner and Onwuasor however, the need of another guard is not very high ,so if we can't get him, the loss is not big. Just yesterday, he named Texas Tech and Florida State in his top two. We'll see what happens in the upcoming weeks.
Abdoulaye Gueye - Power Forward (Central Park Christian Schools, Birmingham, AL)
Height: 6'10" Weight: 220 lbs
Interest: Minnesota (Warm), Texas Tech (Cool), UAB (Cool), Auburn (Cool)
I reported last week that Tubby Smith has down in Alabama scouting someone and wasn't sure who it was. Now I know it's Abdoulaye Gueye, a Senegal native who just came to the U.S. two year ago. I found this cool article from a while back that goes into Gueye's recruitment. Apparently,he started playing basketball back at age 14. Central Park got him from Senegal two years ago and have been devolving him at their school. Right now, he is extremely raw, going through workouts and practice to learn how to be a good basketball player. The coaches are saying he's going to be a new form of a hybrid 4-man that can run the floor and make outside shots. Most scouts compare him to a young Kevin Garnett, but he claims that he will be more of a Kevin Durant. There isn't much film on him playing basketball right now, but there is a few instances of him doing drills in the video in the story. He said he would take official visits once he got his ACT back, and so far he only has visited Minnesota, which has a lot of similar recruits we do. On the trip however, we did offer him. He's considering visiting Tech, but hasn't made up his mind. This would be a good grab for Tubby, being able to develop a player while Ross and Foster play. When they graduate, he can come in his RS Sophomore year and produce. He will be deciding late, so the process is long from over.
Here are some more updates:
- Michael Coley, 79 rated ATH, committed to Texas Tech on National Signing Day and will be a DB for the Red Raiders. He's 6'3" and will be lengthy DB for Curtis and Haverty to work with.
- Vincent Jackson Jr, 83 rated OLB, choose USF early on National Signing Day. Tech didn't give much attention to Vincent Jackson after the dead period was over with. They were busy getting Stidham, Newsome and others high on their list.
- Deionte Noel, 83 rated OT, committed to Oklahoma State on National Signing Day. A lot of people were expecting this last Tuesday and it happened. Looks like he will Blueshirt there.
- Jamarcus Howard, 83 rated JUCO CB, decided not to sign with Texas Tech and look elsewhere. He will be taking a Louisville visit this weekend, which is the favorite right now, and he took one to Middle Tennessee State.
- LaDarrius Kidd, 76 rated DT, has flipped his commitment to Louisiana Lafayette. He decided to stay closer to home, weather it was his own or someone elses.
- Mason Reed, RB from Cisco HS, has decided to walk-on at Texas Tech. He could also (and most likely) be a OLB, as he played so in high school.
- Michael Starts, former 4-star DT commit, has decided he will try to play Texas Tech football again. However, when press talked to Kliff on national signing day, he said he hasn't talked to Starts yet about the situation.
- Tanner Osmer, a long snapper, will walk-on at Texas Tech. Makes the 2nd long snapper for the Red Raiders.
- Justin Endicott, OT from Kilgore JC, first told me he will walk on at Texas Tech next year. Was teammate with another walk-on in QB Tanner Tausch.
- Keenan Evans, 83 rated PG commit, was at the game on Saturday behind the Texas Tech bench. Safe to say he had a good time. Jeff Newberry was there too to cheer on his committed school Oklahoma State. Safe to say his time there was not as good.
- Jarrett Stidham, 96 rarted 2015 QB, has been in the news a lot lately. First, a story and interview came out of Rivals where he shared his recruiting process. He mentioned visiting a lot of places (has visited Lubbock at little bit), and his relationship with coaches, including Kingsbury, who visited him when a lot of head coaches don't do so. He later named a Top 10 in which Tech was on it. Surprisingly, Texas and Kentucky weren't on it. Finally, he will be attending Cody Hodges' Air it Out QB Academy this summer, a former Red Raider.
- Kyler Murray, 97 rated 2015 QB, and Gregory Little, NR 2016 OT, both visited Lubbock this weekend. They both had a good time at Texas Tech and looked to enjoy their visit. Murray named Texas Tech in his top 5 last week.
- Fred Ulu-Perry, 92 rated 2015 OC, had a visit from Texas Tech when Mike Smith visited Breiden Fehoko and later on offered him. Only offers thus far are Hawaii, Washington State and Texas Tech.
- Deshon Elliott, 83 rated 2015 WR, got offers from Texas Tech and Baylor on National Signing Day. Visited Lubbock twice already with Rockwall Teammates (including Chris Warren III). He has named Baylor the leader
- Ryan Newsome, 90 rated 2015 ATH, said on twitter that his cousin was none other than former Lady Raider PG Monique Smalls. He was at TCU's junior day, will be going to UT for their junior day, but he will visit Texas Tech during their Spring Game. He recently got offers from Oregon and Arizona State.
- Justin Gamble, 87 rated 2015 WR, was interviewed by Texas State's scout website. On there, he listed that he's going to Cal, Texas State, SMU and OKST's junior day, and possibly Tulsa. A 6'0" WR that was clocked at a 4.42 at the U.S. army combine.
- Corey Dauphine, 2015 RB Commit, was rated an 84 yesterday.
- Darrion Green, 2017 WR, has listed Texas Tech in his top 5. Others are Texas, TCU ,Mississippi State and Oregon.
What About the Lady Raiders?
This is only my first year watching the Lady Raiders, so I'm going a little out of my comfort zone here. As most of you know, the Lady Raiders basketball year has not been a great one. We are currently 6-17 overall, including a disastrous 0-12 in the Big XII. This team lost a lot of good players last year, losing 4 of their starters. Don't worry however, because Candice and Co have done well recruited a pretty good class last year (Lockhart and Caston were both ESPN100 players) and this year Texas Tech has gotten some good recruits. With the 3 Tech forwards leaving, there is a need at the forward and center position. Let's take a quick look at them:
Ionna McKenize - Post (Dr. Phillips HS, Orlando, FL)
Height: 6'2" Weight: It's rude to ask a women's weight
Ratings: 89 by ESPN, #49 ranked Post player
Interest: Texas Tech (Commit), FAU, UCF, Georgia and Florida A&M
Ionna comes from a school of winners, where the high school team has won the last three state championships. It should also be mentioned that 3 other players on the roster will be playing college ball. Pretty outstanding team. The reason Ionna picked Texas Tech was because the coaches there remind her of her high school coaches and that the Big 10 has the best competition and she wants to play the best (someone will tell her it's the Big XII, but we have 10 teams. Confusing). Here is the article. Now with the lack of recruiting sites and video to watch Ionna, it's hard to find film on her. The only thing I found was a 10 sec clip where she gathered rebounds, kept her arms up and put it back in. The ESPN profile however says she is a "Strong, physical low-post player that is an emerging offensive threat who you can rebound and start the fast break". Could start right away with the lack of front court players next year.
Adedayo Olabode - Forward (Timberview HS, Grand Prairie, TX)
Height: 6'1" Weight: It's rude to ask a women's weight
Rating: 89 by ESPN, #52 ranked Forward
Interest: Texas Tech (Commit)
I can't really find much information on her. But I did found out she made her all district team as a junior, which isn't a bad thing. She played for Timberview HS, which has good competition being a 5A high school in the DFW area. According to her ESPN profile, she has great length for a forward who apparently has crazy potential. She is mobile and good in transition. It sounds she might be player they don't use much of in 2014 so she can develop more skill. We'll see what happens next year though.
Courtney Vaccher - Post (Yorba Linda HS, Yorba Linda, CA)
Height: 6'2" Weight: It's rude to ask a women's weight
Rating: 88 by EPSN, #52 ranked Post
Interest: Texas Tech (Commit)
Not a lot a recruiting information about here either, but unlike the other two recruits, there is actual film on her. She is averaging 14 ppg and 8 rpg for her team right now, which is pretty good. She is from Yorba Linda, Caliofrnia, so I'm not sure how big or small her school is. Let's take a look at her film. The first thing I noticed is the strength she bring to her position. The Lady Raiders have had trouble with the post this year, so she should be able to help us. Her footwork is a lot like Kravic of the men's team in which she is shifty around the basket. She can spin off a player and lay it in. Not only that but she has the ability to rebound and put it back it. It looks like she can make free throws, which is always nice when having a post player. Good luck to her next year.
Some other players that will in the Red and Black next year are two tall 6'1" forwards in Rayven Brooks, former Miami player who transferred to a JUCO school and will play here next year, and Paige Parliament, former Abilene Christian player who decided to walk-on this year. The height will help.
And Finally, I made this comment in the National Signing Day thread last Wednesday, but I wanted to review some basketball players so I'm saying it this week. You have a chance to influence who I am going to review next week! Here is who I've done so far for the 2015 class:
QB: Jarrett Stidham, Kyler Murray, Ryan Agnew
RB: Chris Warren III, JaMycl Hasty, Ronald Jones II, DeUnte Chatman
WR: Carlos Strickland, Ryan Newsome, Justin Gamble, Mark Lovette
TE: Chris Clark, Josh Moore
OL: Jalin Barnett, Conner Dyer, Sam Tecklenburg
DL: Breiden Fehoko, Marquise Overton, James Lockhart IV, Darrion Daniels, Chris Biggurs, Kingsley KeKe
LB: Riley Garner, Louis Brown
DB: Holton Hill, Jamile Johnson, PJ Locke, Jaylon Lane
Some names you guys mentioned were DT Zach Abercrumbie and OC Fred Ulu-Perry. If there anyone else you would want to review, or review the guys above, please put so in the comments. If you need a list of who we have offered for the 2015 class, here is the list. Some guys (like Malik Jefferson) are on there, but I probably won't review because are chances of getting him don't seem so high anymore. Please respond below.
Update: Jarrett Stidham has talked to Michael Brewer and Davis Webb in the last 24 hours