High Flying

Texas Tech hoops fans get ready for some high-flying, rim-rattling throwdowns from Tubby Smith's latest commit, a 6-8 forward from the Dallas-area.

Texas Tech hoops fans get ready for some high-flying, rim-rattling throwdowns from Tubby Smith's latest commit.

Plano East 6-foot-8 senior forward Zach Smith, who gave his verbal pledge to the Red Raiders on Saturday, is going to provide some highlight reel dunks and help bring some excitement back to United Spirit Arena.

"We've had a lot of guys come to the gym, a lot of big-time college coaches and I think he's up there with as good an athlete as there is in the country as far as his jumping ability and ability to finish at the rim," Plano East head coach Jeff Clarkson said. "Obviously that's always exciting and always gets the crowd going. I know for us last year he had some phenomenal finishes and quite the highlight reel."

Smith said he chose Texas Tech over the likes of Marquette and TCU because he enjoyed his visit a couple weekends ago and the opportunity to play for Tubby Smith was something he couldn't pass up.

"A lot of it was I got a good feel for the campus and a good feel for the team while I was up there," Smith said. "I also got a good feel for the coaches, but, they also have Tubby Smith, who is a Hall of Fame coach, and I think I could do well playing under him."

Smith said Tech first recruited him over the summer and mainly by assistant coach Pooh Williamson.

"He was easy to talk to and all that, he was more laid back, but he got his point across when it came to basketball," Smith said.

Though Smith said he's excited about the talent coach Smith will be able to bring in, he said Berkeley Prep (FL) guard Justin Gray's commitment on Thursday had no bearing on his decision.

Smith is working on becoming a go-to scorer in the half court this season, looking to polish his game before heading to Lubbock.

"He can probably already contribute at Tech on the boards, defensively and running the floor and making the phenomenal dunk," Clarkson said. "He's going to have to improve some to be a steady scorer, but he's already making that progress; I think he'll do that. If he does, he can be a pretty phenomenal player, a really good thing for Texas Tech for sure."

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