If you thought Coach Chris Beard would take time off, you were hilariously mistaken. In the past week alone he has hosted former Texas A&M commit Tyreek Smith (ranking 18th nationally) and drawn in Stephen F. Austin’s TJ Holyfield and Virginia Tech’s Chris Clarke (68th nationally). Unfortunately, but expectantly, some Red Raiders have decided to transfer as Beard is drawing in higher-talented players.
Clarke is (surprise) one of the top graduate transfers in basketball, and in the wake of the success that players like Tariq Owens and Matt Mooney had - Texas Tech offered Clarke the best opportunity at exposure and success. In his time at Virginia Tech, the 6’6 guard averaged 8.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3 assists per game last season.
His length, aggressiveness to get to the rim and ball awareness make him one of the more dangerous guards out there. His departure from Virginia Tech might be in part from his suspension last October for drug possession. But if Clarke can buy into Beard’s vision for Texas Tech and turn his actions around, then he might be one of our elite go-to players for 2019-2020.
The addition of Clarke today positions us with one scholarship remaining. In the current mix Coach Beard has RJ Hampton and Tyreek Smith. Smith recently had his official visit and a myriad of pundits are convinces he’s set on coming to Tech (take that, Aggies). Whoever fills that last slot for the Red Raiders will be walking on to an extremely strong team; both with a taste of a national championship game and also with the hunger for one.
National media reactions:
Now I feel confident about putting Chris Beard and Texas Tech in the Preseason Top 10 or so after the addition of Chris Clarke.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 15, 2019
May sound crazy, but it sounded far crazier a year ago that he’d lose 5 of top 7 from Elite Eight team and nearly win the national title.
Virginia Tech graduate transfer Chris Clarke has committed to Texas Tech, sources told ESPN. Huge pickup for the Red Raiders.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) May 15, 2019
Source: Virginia Tech graduate transfer Chris Clarke just committed to Texas Tech. Massive news for Chris Beard.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) May 15, 2019
Early prediction on Texas Tech's 19-20 starting five: Davide Moretti, Jahmius Ramsey, Deshawn Corprew, TJ Holyfield, Chris Clarke.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 15, 2019
Chris Clarke has committed to Texas Tech. That fit couldn’t be more perfect. Junkyard dog defender that can play as a small-ball four. He’s a grad transfer that did not play this season for Virginia Tech.— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) May 15, 2019