|2014 TEXAS TECH SIGNEES|
|Keenan Evans||PG||HS||Richardson (Berkner HS)||6-3||170|
|Justin Gray||G||HS||Tampa, FL (Berkeley Prep HS)||6-4||180||NR|
|Justin Jamison||PF||JUCO||West Plains, MO (Missouri State-West Plains)||6-9||260||NR|
|Norense Odiase||PF||HS||Delray Beach, FL (ELEV|8 Prep Academy)||6-9||265||NR|
|Zach Smith||F||HS||Plano (Plano East HS)||6-7||205||NR|
|Devaugntah Williams||G||JUCO So||West Plains, MO (Missouri State-West Plains)||6-3||190||NR|
The coaching staff remains the same—for a change—but the roster will look very different for the 2014-15 Texas Tech basketball team. There has been a fair amount of attrition: seniors Jaye Crockett, Jamal Williams, Kadir Tapsoba and Dejan Kravic matriculated ; veterans Dusty Hannahs and Jordan Tolbert transferred; and the latest recruiting class now features early signees Zach Smith and Justin Gray, to go along with April commits Justin Jamison, Devaughntah Williams, Keenan Evans and Norense Odaise.
That is a six-man recruiting class, and Tubby Smith and his staff continue to recruit. JUCO big man Abdouley Gueye has narrowed his choices to Texas Tech and Georgia Tech, and even if Gueye chooses the Red Raiders, there is the possibility Tech could sign another player either later during the current signing period or on the next signing day, which is May 21.
Regardless of what happens down the road, however, the current batch of recruits elevates Tech's talent significantly, and depending upon how quickly they mesh with returnees, offers the Red Raiders hope for their best season in quite some time when Tech tips it off in November.
Below are thumbnail sketches of the incoming recruits, which should provide a taste of what to expect from the newcomers.
First team all state; district 9-5A MVP; career best scoring performance was 35 points; senior stat-line was 21 points, six rebounds and six assists per game. ESPN rates Evans the 30th best prospect in the state of Texas. Tech beat Kansas State, Texas, Colorado, West Virginia and St. Louis, among others, for Evans' services. His father was a high jump finalist in the 2000 Olympic Games.
Quotable: "I'm a scoring point guard, but I can find people and get people open," Evans said. "I'm a leader on the court. I'm very unselfish, so I share the ball, but if I need to I'll score the ball." --Evans
Florida at the 4A level. Tampa Bay Player of the Year. Had a stat-line of 18 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks per game as a senior. Rated the No. 10 player in the state of Florida by FloridaHoops.com. Chose Tech over Harvard, Stanford, Virginia Commonwealth and Butler, among others.
Quotable: "You get a lot on the court from him, but you get even more off the court.His work effort is great, he's a fine young man, a great student and he comes from a great family. So there is a good reason he's had the success he has." -- Bobby Reinhart, Berkeley Prep basketball coach
During his one JUCO season at Missouri State-West Plains, Jamison averaged 10 points, seven rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. Recorded 25 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in one particularly stellar performance. All state and Ohio's Mr. Basketball during his senior year in high school. As a baseball player was selected in the 13th round of the MLB draft by the Texas Rangers. Rated the 30th best JUCO prospect in the nation by one recruiting service. Chose Tech over Florida State, Oregon and Pittsburgh among others.
Quotable: "Justin's biggest advantage is he's 23-years-old and he's already made the mistakes that 18-year-olds make. So he's already learned from the things he needs to learn from. And even physically he's a man. He's 260, 265 and just looks like a pro athlete (with) broad shoulders. He's built like a pro." --Yancy Walker, Missouri State-West Plains
Playing for Elev8 Sports Institute last season, Odiase averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds per game. As a senior in high school he averaged eight points and seven rebounds per contest. Chose Tech over TCU, Georgia and Georgia Tech, among others. His brother Nick is a freshman at Tech.
Quotable: "So he went out there (Florida), he's taking some college courses, and he went out there as a full graduate, a full qualifier, so he probably already has 12 hours of college credit, or whatever the maximum allowed is without him burning a year of eligibility." --Tommy Brakel, Odiase's HS coach at North Crowley
First team all district and 10-5A district Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in high school. Averaged 16 points, 12 rebounds and two assists per game last season. Ranked the 25th best prospect in Texas by TexasHoops.com. Chose Tech over Marquette, Nebraska, Kansas State, TCU and Washington State among others.
Quotable: "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. 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." --Jeff Clarkson, Plano East head coach
Averaged 18 points and four assists per game last season at Missouri State-West Plains. Top game saw him score 36 points, grab nine rebounds and hand out six assists. Played at the same high school that produced Michigan and NBA great Gary Grant. As a senior at Canton McKinley averaged 22 points, four rebounds and three assists per game. 247sports.com rates Williams the 26th best junior college prospect in the nation. Chose Tech over Arkansas.
Quotable: "I play combo guard so I can play the 1 or the 2 and score. I play good D and am very aggressive out there on the court." --Williams