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Red Raider Hoops | Texas Tech Basketball and Previewing the Commits and Signees

This is a two-part series, the first part is who might be back next year and the current commits or signees. The problem with this sort of exercise is that we don't know exactly who is going to stay and who is going to be off the roster next year. So this is going to be tough to speculate, but at the very least, we have a pretty good idea who is going to be here next year because they have committed or signed, but we should keep in mind that not all committed players will qualify, so this somewhat adds to the speculative part of this process.

Part I: Red Raider Hoops | Texas Tech Basketball and Who Returns

Recruiting Profiles on the Commits and Signees can be found under the section: Texas Tech Basketball Recruiting 2012

Who Is On The Way

Again, I want to preface this by saying that there is not 100% certainty that every one of these players will qualify. There are some questions about whether or not Bail or Carey will qualify, but I don't think this is as big of a concern as initially thought. This is who either committed or signed a letter of intent:

Position Player Height/Weight
Point Guard Daylen Robinson 6-0/178
Point Guard Jamal Williams 6-3/185
Shooting Guard Dusty Hannahs 6-3/200
Shooting Guard Michael Carey 6-5/190
Small Forward Wannah Bail 6-8/205
Small Forward Aaron Ross 6-8/220
Power Forward Rodrigo Silva 6-10/225

One of the things that I may have learned from last year's recruitment of Nash and Nurse was that scoring in the JUCO ranks most likely is a pretty good indicator of how well a player will perform in Division I basketball. Both Nurse and Nash were not good or great scorers at the JUCO level, I think they both averaged at or under 10 PPG and they didn't shoot the ball all that well.

Quite simply, I don't think they were highly rated and their JUCO stats played it out. If anything, you usually don't expect more than what they did in the JUCO ranks . The biggest difference between what Robinson offers and what Nurse did was that Robinson is a guy that's scoring at a fairly high rate and also has a fairly high assist rate (I think it would have been top 20 or 10 in the JUCO ranks). That's the biggest difference between what Nurse was coming out of Tyler J.C. and what Robinson offers coming out of Moberly C.C., which is that Robinson can put the ball in the bucket and he is a better player on his JUCO team.

PG Daylen Robinson (6-0/178)

Up first is PG Daylen Robinson who is having a pretty good year thus far at Moberly Area C.C.:

16.3 PPG | 41% FG | 33% 3FG% | 71% FT% | 3.5 RPG | 1.4 SPG | 5.9 APG | 4.1 TPG

The thing that jumps out at me is that Robinson is adept at distributing the ball, at almost 6 assist per game, but does turn the ball over a bit much, but I don't know what the style of play is like for his JUCO team. The other interesting thing is that he's not much of a three-point threat and doesn't have the best shooting percentage, but he is taking just a shade under 4 three-point shots a game. Not perfect, but I think this is pretty good production.

My hopes is that Robinson will be the guy that can get to the bucket, set up his teammates, not turn the ball over and knock down an open jump shot then Robinson will be what this team needs. If Robinson can be close to the player that Baylor's Pierre Jackson was this past year, 13.5 points a game and 5.7 assists, then this will go a long ways to this team making a significant improvement.

PG Jamal Williams (6-3/185)

Jamal Williams may be more Nurse than Robinson:

10.58 PPG | 36% FG% | 35% 3FG% | 76% FT% | 2.6 RPG | 0.8 SPG | 3.8 APG | 2.4 TPG

Williams isn't exactly lighting it up and is the 4th leading scorer on his JUCO team. And this isn't a case where he's distributing at a higher level than Robinson in terms of assists or setting up his teammates. Williams sophomore campaign at JUCO isn't stellar by any means and the field goal shooting is a concern. If you were to put your money on one player having success at the Division I level and had to choose between Williams and Robinson, then I think my money is on Robinson. I've never been able to find any film on Williams, so all I've been able to base my opinion is off of what he's done at the JUCO level based on his statistics.

More after the jump.

C Rodrigo Silva (6-10/225)

Rodrigo Silva is having an okay year, but not the best year for a guy that's a 6-10 power forward:

10.1 PPG | 38% FG% | 31% 3FG% | 50% FT% | 9.6 RPG | 1.5 APG | 1.0 SPG | 2.5 BPG | 2.6 TPG

What does stand out is the rebounding and he's obviously adept at that and what Texas Tech is probably also getting is more of a defensive presence with a fairly high block rate. The problematic things are obviously the shooting percentage, which is way too low for a guy that's most likely playing near the basket, or should be playing near the basket. The free throw percentage is also a bit worrisome, much like Nash, he's just not a good free throw shooter. Again, if given the opportunity to choose between Silva, Kravic and Tapsoba, I'd put my money on Kravic, then Tapsoba and then Silva as guys that I'd look to contribute next year.

SG Dusty Hannahs (6-3/200)

There is no doubt that the biggest reason why Hannahs will see significant time this next year is because he can shoot and he can shoot the ball from long range. We've already talked about how Hannahs was named the player of the year in Arkansas, ahead of Kentucky commit Archie Goodwin, and if Hannahs can shoot the ball even remotely close to what he did in high school, he will immediately be the best shooter on the team. Without question. The biggest key is that the offense needs to be able to draw defenders inside, whether it be through the high post offense that BCG runs or by one of the point guards driving and dishing, which we didn't see much of this past year. I haven't been able to find stats on Hannahs' shooting percentage for the year, but when his team lost in the state title game he was 12 of 14 from the field and against Goodwin he was 11 of 18 from the floor. I have a feeling he can shoot and Texas Tech needs that particular skill next year, even if it is for 15 minutes a game.

SF Wannah Bail (6-8/205)

The biggest question for me is what type of player is a top 100 player and what should be the expectations? I looked over Rivals top 100 players for the 2011 class and Oklahoma St.'s LeBryan Nash was #6, Baylor's Quincy Miller was #7 and Texas' Myck Kabongo was #26. That's three-fifths of your all-rookie team from 2012. Bail is the #66 player in the 2012 class according to Rivals and for comparison purposes, Texas' Sheldon McClain averaged 11.3 points a game this year and was the #60 ranked player, Oklahoma St.'s Cezar Guerrero averaged 5.6 points a game and was the #71 ranked player and Jonathan Holmes averaged 7.2 points a game and was the #89 ranked player. The point with looking back is that it's probably not fair to expect that Bail will be a savior in his first season for Texas Tech. It's likely that Bail will average in double-figures or close to that as long as he's not blocked by anyone for playing time, but don't expect a 20 point a game scorer right off the bat. I'm sure that I could find examples of players that are averaging double-figures that are in that range, and much of the success of a player is dependent on who is in front of that player in terms of playing time and what the team needs right now.

Bail does offer an inside and outside presence that I don't think that Texas Tech fans have seen very much at his height and presents a match-up problem because of his length and his ability to handle the ball. Bail was fantastic at the end of the year, and on an absolute tear offensively. And it's his mid-range game that's so impressive that could earn Bail immediate playing time with this roster. The closest thing that Texas Tech has to Bail is Crockett, but I think that right now, Bail has a better mid-range game.

SF Aaron Ross (6-8/220)

I'm still not sure what to expect from Ross. He's billed as a big forward ranging in size from 220 to 250 depending on the website that has the ability to play outside, but probably has the requisite size to compete in the Big 12 immediately. His Wisconsin prep school team likes to get him the ball at the top of the key and let him create a bit off the dribble-drive, but I think he might be a step slow to do that in the Big 12 right away, although if you give him enough time I think he'll be fine. Ross is going to have to learn to play inside initially, I think, and that may be a bit problematic considering that I don't think he's the most athletic player. That's not to say that he's a bad athlete, but I think he's going to have to learn to play post defense first, somewhat like Tolbert.

PG/SG Michael Carey (6-5/190)

It wouldn't surprise me to see Carey be a bit behind Bail, Ross and Bail in terms of playing time because I think he's more raw than than either player. He was averaging about 12 points a game, but his points really tailed off at the end of the year. Not every player can play immediately and that's fine. He might need to give it a year to adjust, but he does offer a combination of height that at the point guard and shooting guard position that Texas Tech currently doesn't have.

Somewhat Final Roster

Position Player Height/Weight Year
Point Guard Daylen Robinson 6-0/178 Junior
Point Guard Jamal Williams 6-3/185 Junior
Shooting Guard Toddrick Gotcher 6-3/195 RS Freshman
Shooting Guard Dusty Hannahs 6-3/200 Freshman
Shooting Guard Michael Carey 6-5/190 Freshman
Small Forward Wannah Bail 6-8/205 Freshman
Small Forward Aaron Ross 6-8/220 Freshman
Power Forward Jaye Crockett 6-7/200 Junior
Power Forward Jordan Tolbert 6-7/210 Sophomore
Center Dejan Kravic 6-11/230 Junior
Center Kader Tapsoba 6-10/215 Junior
Center Rodrigo Silva 6-10/225 Junior

So this is the roster that you'll end up with as of right now and there will obviously be one additional player added to make 13 scholarship players. It's a much bigger roster assuming that each of these players make team. Whatever you may have learned this year about the players, you can probably forget for the most part and if someone tells you that they think that this next year's team will make the NCAA Tournament, make sure that they know that there's most likely going to be an entirely different roster and that they should be basing that opinion on the fact that Gillispie is the head coach and nothing else.

Honestly, I don't know what to expect, and I've spent quite a few words guessing on Tuesday and today, I'm still not completely sure and I've probably taken more time to know what's happening more than most folks. I'm not at all suggesting that you can't be excited about the team or hopeful, but I think that right now, expecting anything more than a .500 record will be setting this team up for failure. It may take BCG more time that it's taken him in the past, but he essentially had little to no talent remaining on this team and he had to start over. I don't think you'll see the cutting of players again next year. He's got to create some continuity and consistency.

Perhaps the biggest difference between this roster and the roster this past year is that it's more well-rounded. Last year, there were four point guards on the team (Willis, Nurse, Wagner and Minnis) and only one shooting guard (Gotcher). Having one true shooting guard was problematic as soon as Gotcher was injured. There was only one post player with good height (Lewandowski) and now there are at least three that are 6-10 or taller.