Talent Assessment: Justin Jamison

Texas Tech desperately needs help inside after losing several bigs, including it's entire starting frontcourt. Not to worry Red Raider fans, help is on the way in the form of the 6-foot-9, 260-pound Justin Jamison, considered by many as one of the top junior college talents in the nation for the 2014 class.

Texas Tech lost some size when Kader Tapsoba and Dejan Kravic graduated, but recoups that size and adds some serious skill with the arrival of JUCO big man Justin Jamison.

In this connection, it is worth noting that while Tapsoba and Kravic were both decent players, they were also beanpoles who could and did get rousted out of the lane by big, physical players. Kansas' Tarik Black, in particular, had his way with Tech's post players.

That may not be the case with Jamison on the scene. He's 6-foot-9 260 and is anything but a marshmallow. Jamison brings some major beef and will add a physical presence to Tech's frontcourt that was almost entirely lacking last season.

But don't get the idea that Jamison is a goon or a hacker. He's anything but. On the offensive end in particular, Jamison is polished and highly skilled. Indeed, watching him play, you would be shocked to know that he never played the game before high school, and actually went the professional baseball route before returning to basketball at Missouri State-West Plains. The fact that Jamison has developed so quickly is tantalizing.

And what's not to love about Jamison's offensive game? Very little.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of his kit on offense is his hands; they are like Super Glue. Not only does he field entry passes with ease, but offensive caroms seem to stick to his mitts like flypaper. Obviously, superior hands are a tremendous advantage, not just in football, but in basketball as well.

And when Jamison gets his paws on the rock, he does good things with it. For one, he is incredibly decisive. Jamison catches the ball and heads straight to the rock, often punctuating the trip with a jam. And he doesn't need much room to do his damage. Traffic doesn't bother him and he is strong and explosive enough to finish over and through defenders. One struggles to recall a Red Raider big who gets to the tin as quickly and as forcefully as Jamison.

But Jamison also has finesse to his offensive game. He has a splendid baby hook that he can shoot with either hand. He can put the ball on the floor from the top of the key and get to the hoop. Jamison is also capable of knocking down open jumpers.

The rest of Jamison's game is more of a question mark. But having said that, he looks to be a capable offensive rebounder—again, thanks mostly to those incredible hands—and blocked 1.2 shots per game last season at Missouri State-West Plains.

All particulars aside, however, Justin Jamison should provide Texas Tech basketball with a dimension—particularly on offense—that it hasn't had in a very long time. His presence alone will dramatically alter the look of the Red Raiders next season.

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