The 2014-15 men's basketball team struggled through yet another season, finishing with a 13-19 record, with only 3 of those wins coming in Big 12 play. In what will be Tubby Smith's third season at the helm, this team will look to up that win total by adding some athleticism, in order to better compete in arguably the best conference in college basketball. Meet your new Red Raiders.
Jordan Jackson (Fr) | Guard | 6'3", 180 lbs
St. Pius X High School (Houston, Tx)
Rated as a 3 star signee by ESPN, Rivals.com, and 247Sports.com, and the son of former Tech legend Sheryl Swoopes, Jackson brings athleticism and versatility to a team that is hurting for both. Tubby is a coach who puts a great value on guys who can play multiple positions, and Jackson fits that mold. But his greatest asset is the fact that he is 6'3, can play all three guard positions, and does things like this:
Anytime you add a guy who can ruin people's basketball career like that is welcome on my team anyday.
CJ Williamson (Fr) | Guard | 6'6", 200 lbs
Evans High School (Orlando, Fl)
CJ is a 6'6 guard out of Florida, who helped lead his team to 2 state finals appearances. He was a top 200 national recruit according to 247Sports.com. The biggest thing that stands out to me about this kid is his versatility. He can dribble, pass, block shots, and has the leaping ability that brings me schadenfreude.
As Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) famously said: Mobile, Agile, Hostile.
Devon Thomas (Jr) | Guard | 6'0"
Thomas has spent time at the Division I level as well as the JuCo ranks. He is a point guard who thrives in an uptempo style of play, which is what Coach Smith wants from his teams. Thomas has all the skills you want from an uptempo point guard; he gets in the paint, has good court vision amidst traffic, and finishes at the rim.
Last season we saw Tech become a team that loves the alley oop, this guy promises to provide lots of high flying action.
Andrew Sorrells (Fr) | Guard | 6'3", 170 lbs |
Birdville High School (North Richland Hills, Tx)
Sorrells is an averaged sized shooting guard who really knows his role. He is great at setting up screens, coming off those screens, catching the pass and knocking down the three pointer. Tech has struggled mightily shooting the ball in recent years, but this guy can definitely become a shooting threat. What excites me with Sorrells is how well he utilizes screens to get himself open, as well as his quick release.
Only word word needed to describe his game: Butter.
Donovan Ham (Fr) | Point Guard | 6'2", 200 lbs
Dutchtown High School (Atlanta, Ga)
Any real Texas Tech hoops fan will probably recognize the name Ham. Donovan's father, Darvin, is one of the more beloved and well known guys that has put on the Tech uniform. Darvin, was a 6'7 rim protecting, physical, monster in his days playing for the Red Raiders. Donovan, being only 6'1", maybe 6'2" on a good day, is a much different player. He is a hard nosed defender, who has great slashing ability as well as passing ability. These are some characteristic traits of a good point guard. Donovan walked on to the program, so we are not sure whether he will see the court much this season. He needs to improve his shooting, both mid range and behind the arc, and probably needs to put on some bulk to be able to keep up with the giant point guards that teams like Kansas throw out on the court. Therefore let's enjoy one of the many fun things his father did during his time playing college ball.
Darvin is currently an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks but my goodness, destroying backboards will always cause me to lose my absolute mind.
I believe Jordan Jackson will have the greatest impact out of the new guys on this year's team. He has impressed in some of the exhibition games the team played in Canada recently. CJ Williamson should also make contributions to a team that will look to become a more athletic and competitive team this season.