Elhadji "Tacko" Fall - Center (Liberty Christian Academy, Tavares, FL)
Interest: Kansas State (Cool), Baylor (Cool), Tennessee (Cool), Texas Tech (Cool)
Yes, that is the correct size. The Red Raiders offers the big man last week and it didn't go without notice. The 7'5" Tacko is from Sengal and has only played a year and a half of basketball. He came over from Sengal around two years ago in order to learn the game of basketball in hopes of going to college and maybe even into the NBA. He has an outstanding 4.0 GPA in the classroom and wants to be a biochemist in order to take care of his family. He told TMZ(how does this TMZ know about him?) that he will likely grow another two inches. So by the time he stops growing, he could be 7'7" in addition to 8 foot wingspan. Insane. WTSP (Tampa Bay news) talked with Tacko back in May, and he said that at first he was slow and couldn't keep up with the pace of the game, but that he's doing better now. Finally, in a story with Fox Sports (back in April), he said that he visited Texas and Tennessee. This is the 2nd time Tubby has gone after a native African with crazy potential, Gueye being the other. With the state of the program as it is right now, it might not hurt to take a few chances in hopes to find a gem. Joel Embiid was a product from Africa, and he ended up doing outstanding for Kansas and was the 3rd overall pick in the NBA draft. Maybe Tacko could develop into the same type of player. Let's take a look at what Tacko can do on the court. Tacko is simply just taller than everybody. There will be some balls that Tacko will get just because he's 7'5". However, Tacko does look like he has gained some skill in his first year and a half in the U.S. He knows the keep the ball high and how to put the ball in the basket, weather it's from navigating through the lane or just laying it in. Or in some instances, dunking the ball and almost bringing down the backboard. He does possess some paint presence, and looks like he's learning how to play in the post. Obviously he does have some flaws in his game, as he's still a raw talent and will need to be coached well at the next level, but his future is bright. Hopefully he'll choose to learn from the legendary Tubby Smith. Here is more film on Tacko Fall.
Melvin Frazier - Small Forward (L.W. Higgins , Marrero, LA)
Interest: Houston (Warm), Oklahoma (Cool), Texas A&M (Cool), Texas Tech (Cool)
The Red Raiders offered arguably the best basketball player in the state of Louisiana last week with Melvin Frazier. However, what I found surprising is that basically all his offers are from bordering states. The noticeable offers for Frazier include LSU, A&M, OU, Houston and Arkansas. Now you can add Texas Tech to that list. There isn't a lot of stories on Frazier (it's not like he's 7'5" like Tacko), but I did find a story about him from November stating that he's was practicing throughout the summer of 2013. Also, Arky and Houston were two of the first to offer. 247sports list Houston as the Crystal ball favorite, but 247sports isn't the best when it comes to keeping up with basketball recruits. Now let's take a look at Melvin's highlights. Mevlin has incredible athleticism in his game, something that we've seen Tubby recruit a lot. What I like about Melvin is that he's not afraid to attack the rim. He fights for rebounds and forces his way into the paint. Tech has struggles rebounding again last season, so seeing that Tech is recruiting a SF that can rebound is reassuring. He didn't shoot much in the video, but it looks like he does have some sort of mid range jumper. I'm curious if Frazier has an outside shot or not. It's not necessary for a SF, but if he has one, it could help his team a lot. He does look like a plays defense hard too, as he poked balls away and was able to get down court quickly on fast breaks. It doesn't look like Melvin Frazier is leaning towards one school right now, and we haven't seen an offer form a major college program despite his high ranking. This could a steal for Tech if we can get him. Here is more film on Melvin Frazier.
Here are some more updates:
- Jarrett Stidham, 98 rated QB commit, is now a 5-star QB on Scout (2nd overall) and 247sports (2nd overall). He's also a 5-star on 247composite and 2nd overall. The Opening showcase is what ultimately shot Stidham up the charts. Our QB is better than your QB.
- Corey Dauphine, 84 rated soft RB commit, was visited by Baylor's track coach last week. On the bright side, he did take an unofficial visit to Texas Tech last week. After he visited, he announced he will shut down his recruitment and stay committed to the Double T.
- Johnathan Giles, 84 rated ATH, also visited Tech last week, the same time Corey Dauphine did. Maybe talking to a fellow commit could convince him to stay a Red Raider. Plus, he took the greatest selfie ever
- Lio Lafaele, 87 rated JUCO OT commit, has started scheduling his visits. Lio will be visiting Texas Tech for the Arkansas game and Oklahoma will likely be included.
- Conner Dyer, 90 rated OT, unofficial visited Texas Tech for the 3rd time this past week. Dyer went to a Tech camp in June and has been busy visiting schools, with Texas Tech being one of them (again). Would be a huge commitment for the Red Raiders
- Madison Akamnonu, 93 rated OT, has changed his Top 3, which now includes Oklahoma with Missouri and Texas Tech. Akamnonu is about the visit Oklahoma and could decide soon. He been to Lubbock before.
- James Lockhart IV, 93 rated DE, will be deciding where he will play this Friday. I expect the decision to be down to Texas A&M and Alabama. If I had to guess, I would say Alabama.
- John Humphrey, 89 rated ATH, has named a Top 5 in OU, UT, Ole MIss, Norte Dame and Baylor. I wasn't quite sure what Tech's interest would be after the decommitment, but it doesn't look like it's very strong.
- Jalen Bates, 89 rated DE, will be taking an official visit to Tech during the Central Arkansas game according to Matt Clare. He also told Rivals and 247sports his top two schools behind a paywall, but eventually told a fan via twitter that the Top 2 are Mississippi State and Texas Tech. Expected to make a decision some time in September
- Keisean Lucier-South, 98 rated DE, told Rivals that he'll be taking a closer look at Tech according to Matt Clare. The story is behind a paywall, but it looks like Fehoko was able to convince the 5-star DE to look at Tech again.
- Joshua Jones, 85 rated OT, named his Top 5 on Saturday and Tech made the list along with OKST, TCU, Purdue and Wake Forest. Tech is in a great position to grab Jones, as he's camped with the Red Raiders and has visited Lubbock.
- Breiden Fehoko, 97 rated DT commit, loves teasing us and getting under our skin, this time saying that Josh Sweat, top rated player in the nation, wants to visit Texas Tech. Also mentioned that he's waiting on Darrion Daniels, 88 rated DT, to join him. You know, just more rumors to keep track of.
- Dominik Foy, NR JUCO TE, has said that the best fans he's come across so far in his recruitment are Tech fans. Still waiting on an offer from Texas Tech
- Aric Holman, NR F, has received an offer from the Red Raiders. Holeman has offers from OKST, K-State and Auburn, along with interest from Louisville.
- Kerwin Roach, NR SG, has received an offer from the Red Raiders. Roach likely played in a Dallas Tournment this weekend and played well enough to receive a Texas Tech offer.
- Antonio Vrankovic, NR C, received an offer from the Red Raiders yesterday. Tubby likely saw him while in Georgia and offered him. He is AAU teammates (Florida Vipers) with fellow Tech offers CJ Williamson and Keith Stone.
- Christian James, 83 rated SG, also recevied an offer from Texas Tech. James resides in Bellaire, TX and has offers from Oklahoma and Temple. He is apart of the AAU team Houston Hoops
- D'Eriq King, 91 rated 2016 ATH, visited Texas Tech this past Wednesday, and according to his twitter, looked like he enjoyed himself. The athlete recently named Texas Tech and UCLA his favorites.
- Shane Buechele, 93 rated 2016 DT QB, recently talked with SBNation and talked about his offers, including Texas Tech. He said "I really like Texas Tech, I like the coaching staff there and I really like their offense, they throw it about 60 times a game". Also stated later on he was open to any offense, but is most comfortable in the spread and likes a fast pace offense.
- Darrly Godfrey, 84 rated 2016 S, named his top schools currently and Texas Tech made the list. Other notable schools are Arizona State and Michigan State. Arizona State and Utah State are his only reported offers thus far.
- Kameron Martin, 91 rated 2016 RB, committed to Baylor last week. He was a big Tech recruit for 2016, and a while back named FSU his favorites, but untimely choose to go to Baylor. Also teammates with Corey Dauphine, so you have to wonder how that will affect his decision.
- K.D Nixon, NR 2017 WR, went on twitter to name his Top 4, which consist of Baylor, Oregon and TCU. He also went said that Tech fans are crazy (guilty as charged). Tech is his only offer thus far.
- JP Urquidez, 90 rated 2016 OT, planned to commit to Baylor or Texas last weekend, but decided to take more time. He just took at visit to both schools, which could've caused him to feel excited about both and rush to a decision. No timetable is set.
- Bruce Brown, 93 rated 2016 SG, picked up an offer from Texas Tech Friday night. According to this article, Brown's top schools currently are Xavier, Michigan, Miami and VCU.
- Lucas Siewert, NR 2016 PF, has an offer from the Red Raiders. I'm not sure when they offered, but I learned about it this week. Fun fact, Lucas is from Brazil.
- Updated highlights for Red Raider offer and Tech legacy Gary Trent Jr, a NR 2017 SG.
The Esposito Express:
This isn't really an update on who the coaching staff has gone after, just a updates on where the coaching staff has been. Esposito started off his recruiting trip at the LeBron James skills academy (in Las Vegas), then went over to Europe for a week to recruits. Yes, Europe. Now my knowledge on overseas recruiting in minimal, but I do know that some great players came from overseas. Before coming to America, Joel Embiid was first a player in Africa. Bill Self knew about him there, which helped him when he was recruiting him in 2013. Tech recruited a foreign player in Abdoulaye Gueye for this last recruiting class and is currently recruiting Tacko Fall. Maybe this coaching staff can find a hidden gem somewhere in Europe and get him in the Red and Black. Basketball is a universal sports, so having a recognizable name in Europe could be useful.
Tubby and Esposito are in Georgia this week to look at recruits in the Nike Peach Jam. What this is basically is a tournament in North Augusta, South Carolina where the top teams in the nation compete for a national champion. Many of the top high schools players and many young prospect attend the event every year, so it's important that you have coaches their evaluating the talent and getting a head start and the guys you want. While it's impossible to see what guys Tubby was going after, we have a few clues (thanks to twitter) on what games he watched and who he could've possibly recruited:
- Hunter Shelton - There were reports that Tubby was once again looking at Shelton, but still no offer from Texas Tech. He's a guy that is liking the Red Raiders a lot right now. Only has small offers thus far.
- Malik Beasly - Tubby was spotted at a Georgia Stars game. One player I recognize is Malik Beasly. Beasly was a 84 rated SG when Tech offered, but now he's a 98 according to 247sports. Big jump. Georgia looks to be the favorite right now.
- Mickey Mitchell - Tubby was at a Texas Titans game, and one player he might've looked at was Mickey Mitchell, brother of Mike Mitchell. Mickey is committed to Ohio State right now, but maybe a transfer from his brother could make him reconsider. Currently a 94 rated SF by 247sports.
- Tyler Davis - Another Texas Titan player is Tyler Davis, who is currently being recruited by Tech. The crystal ball prediction suggest Davis could go to Baylor or Kansas. He also has taken a few visits to SMU. He's a 95 rated C on 247.
- Samir Sehic - Tubby was at a Houston Hoops game, and one name I recognized was Sehic's. Tech recently offer the 89 rated C, and are in a need of a big man with his skill set. Tech are high on Sehic's board with Iowa, Nebraska and Wake Forest.
- Tubby also saw the Dallas Mustangs, but not any names I reconed. They played in a tournment in the DFW area on Saturday.
Those were all the names I recognized from the teams listed, but I'm sure the Tech staff saw plently of more recruits. Just another week on the recruiting trail.
New 247sports Rankings:
As you saw above, new ranking came out for 247sports. You noticed that they made Jarrett Stidham a 5-star QB (and the best DT QB in the 2015 class) and bumped Breiden Fehoko up a few spots, but where did other Tech targets land? Here is where they are:
- Malik Jefferson - 11th overall in the new rankings. Looks like A&M, Texas, Ohio State and Alabama are in front right now. Not likely we'll get him
- Kendall Sheffield - 12th overall in the new rankings. Not sure about Tech's position with him, but the Aggies and Alabama look to lead.
- Keisean Lucier South - 19th overall in new rankings. Seems to be new interest after talking with Fehoko at The Opening. Looks like he leans towards UCLA, Michigan and Notre Dame.
- Tyron Johnson - 26th overall in new rankings. You already know about him and picking us his favorite and all, I don't need to repeat myself.
- James Lockhart IV - 106th overall in new rankings. Will pick this Friday, I expect him to pick Alabama over Texas A&M
- Kris Boyd - 108th overall in new rankings. Has been recruited by Bethel and Stidham to come to Tech, visited Texas and Baylor last week. Has been to Lubbock before.
- Trent Irwin - 118th overall in new rankings. Recent Texas Tech offer, looking like USC or Stanford as of now.
- Chris Warren III - 133rd overall in new rankings. Could be naming Top schools again soon, not sure if Tech will be in there or not.
- Carlos Strickland - 134th overall in new rankings. Big Red Raider target that we haven't heard much about recently. Still likes Tech
- Kirk Merritt - 142nd overall in new rankings. SPARQ champion, Tech not listed in his recent top 5, could change though.
If you want all the rankings you can look through them here
Finally, the deadline for players to sign with their MLB team passed Friday, and many Red Raider recruits decided to come to Tech instead of join their MLB Team. This includes Quinn Carpenter, Patrick Mahomes, Rudy Martin and Kholeton Sanchez.