It's probably not the best thing to start this out with, but please temper your expectations with good old Kader, he's a 6-10/200 center who is incredibly raw and he's not going to be a scoring option, but he should be a defensive presence. Nevertheless, this team needs height and it needs a defensive presence.
More about Tapsoba after the jump and a nugget about another possible recruit (grain of salt).
The Player Speaks: Just like we did with Nash, we'll start chronologically, and Tyler Morning Telegraph's Joe Buie who previewed Kader's JUCO team before their conference tournament and his head coach had this to say about Tapsoba:
Tapsoba, who came to the Apaches as a raw project from West Africa, will leave as TJC's most improved player and a Distinguished Academic All-American. Tapsoba averages 6.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and a conference-best 3.6 blocks per game. He's being recruited by Northwestern out of the Big Ten, along with the Pac-10's Washington State and California.
"Kader protects the middle of the lane, protects the basket for us, blocks some shots," coach Marquis said. "He's started to rebound outside of his area, which is why so many people are starting to really look at him for the future.
"He's really improved offensively where he's begun to finish well. He'll be a big part of any success we have in the tournament."
A couple of things to grab from the quotes above, which is that Tapsoba is an academic All-American and his coach doesn't really talk about his offensive game, but he's truly improved in his short time playing basketball. TMT's Buie also talked to Tapsoda's head coach after committing to Texas Tech:
"It's just a real unique situation," Marquis told the Tyler Paper on Tuesday. "Kader couldn't even catch the ball as a freshman and now he's going to have a chance to make a contribution in the Big 12. And the biggest school to recruit Jaron out of high school was Arkansas-Pine Bluff."
Marquis added that this is a testament to the players' hard work and the TJC program's ability to develop talent.
Tapsoba, a 6-10, 200-pound center from Africa with a 7-2 wingspan, was being recruited by Northwestern out of the Big Ten along with Washington State and California. The quick and agile shot-blocker is also a Distinguished Academic All-American.
"I never expected this," said Tapsoba, who averaged 6.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game as a sophomore. "I worked hard. I'm very excited to be there. The (Big 12) game is very physical. I need to work on my strength and work on my post moves so I can be a good matchup for all the centers in the Big 12.
"I came to Tyler and didn't know much about basketball, and coach Marquis helped me a lot."
LAJ's Courtney Linehan talked with Tapsoba when he committed as well and he takes pride in playing some defense:
Marquis compared Tapsoba to former Tyler forward Kurt Looby, who went on to play for Steve Alford at Iowa before joining the NBA D-League and playing professionally overseas. The difference, Marquis said, is Tapsoba is already better developed than Looby was in junior college.
"He’s about two levels of play ahead of Looby at the same age," Marquis said. "He’s got a better body. He’s way better on defense, but looks, runs and jumps the same."
Tapsoba said he takes pride in his ability to shut down opposing post players. He expects his presence inside to make an immediate difference for the Red Raiders.
"There’s got to be somebody who can stop the other team’s big men," Tapsoba said. "Any time I can be that guy, I will."
You should also give this interview a listen, it's with Tapsoba who was interviewed by 1340 The Fan's David Thetford and Gary Ashby. A couple of things jump out, which is that Tapsoba says his wing-span is 7'2" and that Gillispie had been recruiting he and Nash prior to being retained at Texas Tech. It's obviously not crazy to think that Gillispie has been on these two for a while.
Last, but not least, when Tapsoba signed his LOI, Gillispie talked a bit about his game:
"Kader is one of the most respectful young men I have ever met," remarked Gillispie. "He comes from a very unique family situation and is just an incredible person. As a student, he is just off the chart. Kader is tall, long, athletic and light on his feet. He led the league in shot blocks last year which is really impressive considering how competitive that conference is. He is still growing and improving and is eager to learn and really wants to be at Texas Tech."
The Video: Nope.
Scouting Report: Just based off of statistics, I'm thinking that Tapsoba either dunks the ball or just doesn't shoot. Here's his statistics for the year while at JUCO: 6.7 points PG; 67% FG; 67% FT; 8.03 rebounds PG; and 3.46 blocks PG. He's skinny. Really skinny, but again, think defense.
Kader, welcome to Texas Tech and Git Your Guns Up!
The 2012 Class: I've been picking some things off of Twitter recently and there's a guard/forward in California that may be close to receiving an offer, Merv Lindsay (6-5/188). Again, this is just based off of some things I've picked up on Twitter and so please take all of this with a grain of salt. And if you're curious, here's his Scout profile, ESPN profile and YouTubery. I can't find a Rivals profile and he doesn't appear to have any offers.
As far as the entire list is concerned, this is getting to be it's own team. I wonder who would win in a game? The remaining players (Javarez Willis, Jame Outler, Marshall Henderson, Theron Jenkins, Robert Lewandowski, Jaye Crockett and Mike Davis) or this group.
|Position||Commitment||Ht/Wt||High School/State||Rivals||Scout||ESPN||ESPN Grade|
|PG||Kevin Wagner||5-8/145||Estacado (Lubbock, TX)||3||2||2||88|
|PG||Ty Nurse||6-1/180||Midland College (Midland, TX)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|SG||Toddrick Gotcher||6-3/185||Lakeview Centennial (Garland, TX)||3||2||3||88|
|SF||Terran Petteway||6-5/200||Ball (Galveston, TX)||3||N/A||3||91|
|SF||Jaron Nash||6-8/185||Tyler J.C. (Tyler, TX)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|PF||Jordan Tolbert||6-7/210||All Saints' Episcopal (Ft. Worth, TX)||3||2||3||88|
|PF||Hershey Robinson||6-7/200||Christian Life Center Academy (Humble, TX)||2||N/A||2||87|
|C||Kader Tapsoba||6-10/200||Tyler J.C. (Tyler, TX)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|