Texas Tech got what they needed on Friday, and that was another big man. Isaiah Manderson, an 88 rated C from the 2014 class, committed to the Red Raiders just a while ago. Texas Tech lost two big men to graduation, and another transferred out (along with Ross being out til Big XII play). Isaiah Manderson's commitment should give the Red Raiders a quality back-up at center and future star for the Red and Black. Here is my review of him from Tuesday:
Isaiah Manderson - Center (Oldsmar Christian School, Oldsmar, FL)
Height Weight 6'10" 250 lbs
Ratings: 88 by 247 / 70 by ESPN / 3-star by Rivals / 3-star by Scout
Interest: Texas Tech (Warm), Temple (Warm), Cleveland State (Warm), Oregon (Warm)
We first got introduced to Isaiah Manderson last week when we learned that Isaiah was released from his Oregon State scholarship and was planning a visit to Texas Tech. After Oregon State hired their new coach this season, the center decided to leave the program and was released from his scholarship (much like how Sam Atoe was released from Cal and joined Tech's roster). There an article after his release about how he needed to raise his ACT score, but my bet would be that it's not an issue because he's visiting schools. Manderson took a visit to Cleveland State early last week, then took a trip to Lubbock last Thursday to take a look at Tubby Smith and the Red Raiders. He took a visit to Temple yesterday and decided on Sunday to visit Oregon this weekend. Isaiah will decide were to play college ball on August 18th. Texas Tech needs a center after Kravic and Tabsopa graduated and Tolbert transferred to SMU (along with Ross being out until January), so adding a high schooler like Manderson to the mix would help tremendously. He responded to a Jaye Crockett tweet about wanting to play for Tech like week, but I'm not sure how true that tweet may be. Either way, I think the Red Raiders have a good chance to land Manderson, and this would definitely be worth a scholarship spot for the 2015 class (we have 3 currently). Now let's take a look at what Isaiah Manderson can do on the court. There isn't much video on Manderson, but he does have a highlight film from a Nike Top 100 camp. From what I can tell, Manderson is lengthy center that plays on both the defensive and offensive end. There wasn't a lot of film of him being physical, but he seems good at blocking the ball and putting the rebound back up for the score. He also looks stronger than he appears, one time dunking the ball, making the basket shake. This is a position the Red Raider desperately need, so hopefully we'll be able to add him Thursday.
Isaiah Manderson committed to Oregon State early in the process, but left likely due to a coaching change. Teams then started recruiting Manderson for a late addition to the 2014 class, including Texas Tech. He ended up visiting the Red Raiders last Wednesday and seemed to enjoy his visit. He took a visit to Temple a few days ago, but decided that Texas Tech was where he wanted to play. As you read above, Manderson was supposed to announce his college decision on Monday, but decided yesterday to move it up to today. He originally was planning to visit Oregon, but choose not to and commit to the Red Riders. This leaves Texas Tech two scholarships for the 2015 class, with a lot of options to choose from. Picking up this commit was worth a 2015 scholarship, seeing that we needed depth bad at the center position and because Manderson is such a talented athlete.
If you read my Possible Red Raider post from Tuesday, I'm sure you have what Manderson can do fresh on your mind. However, if you didn't read it or forgot what I said, here's a look at what Manderson can do on the hardwood. He's lengthy big man that plays on both and offensive and defensive end. There isn't a lot of film of him being physical, but shows by the way he plays that he's not afraid to get rough in the paint. Isaiah has a nice finishing touch at the rim and has enough awareness on the defensive end to block shots and becoming a defensive threat. Also seems like he runs the pick and roll and the floor well.
Now that Tech has another big man on the roster, it should help us against some of the bigger teams. While I don't know if it's enough to produce more wins than expected, it should help us tremendously down the road. Plus, it gives Tubby and company more freedom when recruiting for the 2015 class. Much like Football, Basketball is on the rise. Now hopefully we can become a NCAA tournament team before Tubby eventually retires (or possibly leaves), and Manderson should help us achieve this goal. If you haven't already looked at the 2014-2015 schedule, you can do so here.