Keon Clergeot signed with the Red Raiders during the early signing period back in November after making an official visit to the South Plains in early October. The 6-foot-1, Scout three-star prospect chose Tech over offers from several mid-majors including Bowling Green, Chattanooga and VCU.
Tubby Smith was ecstatic about landing Clergeot and had this to say about him when he received his National Letter of Intent:
"Keon is an outstanding competitor who is going to bring a lot of energy to our program. He has a relentless attitude toward playing the game. Keon is a very skilled offensive player and plays with a great deal of passion on the defensive end. He's a team player that can play the point guard and shooting guard positions. More importantly, Keon is an exceptional person. He really hit it off with our players during his recruiting visit. Keon is a great fit for our program, and we're very excited he chose to become a Red Raider."
Perhaps the Red Raiders lucked out with Clergeot signing early because the explosive guard turned in a tremendous senior campaign statistically with approximate averages of 28 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals per outing. Yet in the interview below, Clergeot sounds more excited about helping Auburndale claim its first district title in 30 years and ecstatic about his future under Tubby Smith at Texas Tech than anything else.
RaiderPower: First off what's it been like watching Tech go on this run?
Clergeot: It's been amazing to see them get some good, quality wins under their belt. Anytime a team you're rooting for gets the win it's a plus.
RaiderPower: Why do you think Tech has been able to turn it around?
Clergeot: I think the chemistry is clicking at the right time. I also feel like they know that it's crunch time to make a tournament bid.
RaiderPower: Going back to your recruitment, what made you decide to sign early with Tech?
Clergeot: The main reason I made the decision was it felt like the right fit. Growing up where I'm from its either go big or go home. Texas Tech is a quality program with a legendary coach.
RaiderPower: Speaking of the coach, what's your relationship with Tubby like? How would you describe him?
Clergeot: I would describe Tubby as a very passionate man. He cares a lot about basketball, but he cares more about people. I would say we have a real healthy relationship. He's constantly telling me to stay focused on school and the rest will work out. I'm glad to have him as a future coach and mentor.
RaiderPower: You made your official to Tech back in October and committed just days after if I remember right. What was it about the visit, what did you like about it, the campus, facilities, etc.?
Clergeot: My future teammates, Coach Joe (Esposito), the people we met while in Lubbock were all just great. It was an exceptional vibe that I got from just being there. Also, the facilities are top of the line.
RaiderPower: I read throughout your season you were tearing it up your senior year. Do you know what your season stats (averages) ended up being?
Clergeot: I believe I closed out around 28 ppg, 8 Rebs, 6 ast, 2 steals and .5 blk, I also was able to part of a team that brought the first district title to my high school in 30 years.
RaiderPower: Congrats on the district title, making history, that's always special. How would you describe your game? Biggest strengths? What do you need to work on most?
Clergeot: I would have to describe my game as a kid who is always trying to learn and always wanting to win. I don't care if I have to be offensive powerhouse, distributor/facilitator, lock down defender whatever it takes to help my team I'm willing to do it. I would say the love I have for the game is exceptional.
My biggest strengths is that I'm very aggressive and I have an inside - outside game. I love to attack the basket and I'm okay with the contact. I know I need to work on the pick and roll game and I have to trust my midrange game more than I currently do.
RaiderPower: How often do you talk to the staff, Tubby?
Clergeot: I am constantly in contact with the staff. Sometimes I know they're busy so we don't speak daily, but we try to make it our duty to speak on weekly basis.
RaiderPower: When do you plan on making it to campus? When is report date?
Clergeot: As of right now I'm just taking it one day at a time. I have to close out this senior year and finish strong. I hope to be there this summer with no exact report date. I have to be there the first day of fall classes though.
RaiderPower: Do you know what you want to study at Tech?
Clergeot: Sports management.
RaiderPower: You mentioned you talk with the staff on a regular basis, is there anyone you are trying to help add to the 2016 class? Anybody you are helping recruit?
Clergeot: No sir. I don't get caught up in all that. Texas Tech has a great basketball program with great coaches and a staff that handles that.
RaiderPower: Great stuff. Is there anything I'm missing or anything you'd like to add?
Clergeot: No sir!
RaiderPower: Thanks for your time and congrats on all your success.
Clergeot: You're welcome!