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Three-star prospect Bijiek, Thibodeaux slated to take unofficial visit Wednesday to Texas Tech

Posted: June 27, 2017 - 10:47am

Once again, Texas Tech will host a pair of talented basketball recruits.

Jal Bijiek and Garrett Thibodeaux are expected to make the trek Wednesday and take their respective unofficial visits to Lubbock.

“I just want to learn more about Texas Tech, you know,” said Bijiek, a Class of 2018 prospect who is taking a post-graduate semester at Creative Young Minds Academy in Dallas. “I’ve read a few articles, but wanted to see stuff myself.”

Bijiek is an interesting basketball prospect, touting a 7-foot-1 wingspan and an innate ability to run up and down the court. The 6-9, 190-pound small forward, ranked a three-star by 247Sports on Monday, was offered by Texas Tech back on June 7.

The former Des Moines North wing elected to take a post-year by attending Creating Young Minds Academy in Dallas, Texas. Bijiek also holds offers from Arkansas Little-Rock, Sam Houston State, Cal State Fullerton, North Dakota and Southeast Missouri State.

“I’m just looking to get stronger and develop my body,” Bijiek said of his goals during his post-graduate season. “I’m hoping to learn to play every position and be a guy that can do everything. … Right now, I’ve played the 2 through 5 positions and hoping to improve my game by getting better with ball handling.”

One aspect Bijiek wouldn’t have much trouble with is the motion offense, which he has run for a majority of his playing career.

“It’s an offense that I know because I’ve played it my whole life,” he said. “It’s a good scoring offense.”

Thibodeux, who will play at Seminole State College in Oklahoma, is intrigued to see the motion offense run. The 6-8, 220-pound forward initially signed with UT-San Antonio before transferring to Howard College until he landed at Seminole State College.

“I’m looking for somewhere that my game will translate,” said Thibodeaux, a Class of 2018 prospect who will have two years of eligibility after the fall hoops season. “I feel like I can stretch the floor, and I’m looking for somewhere to do that.”

While the South Plains will be a new experience for Bijiek, Thibodeaux is very familiar with Lubbock.

The 6-foot-8 forward made the trip out when he was first recruited out of Robert E. Lee High School by then head coach Tubby Smith and staff. After playing for Seminole State College, Thibodeaux is expected to have two years of eligibility remaining.

Bijiek and Thibodeaux are being recruited by Red Raiders assistant Al Pinkens.

Thibodeaux is hoping to make better relationships with the coaching staff and see what the program has to offer academically, as well. He holds offers from Tulsa, Pepperdine, Louisiana Tech, Sam Houston State, University of Arkansas Little Rock and UT Rio Grande Valley.

In 14 games with Howard College, Thibodeaux averaged five points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

“I want to see how they’re going to play and use me,” said Thibodeaux, who sees himself as a point-forward. “I want to see how it’s going to be, for me, academically too. I’m looking to major in psychology and seeing what they offer.

“I’ve been working on my shot and added about four inches to my vertical. I’m hoping to help lead our team to Hutchinson (the home of the NJCAA National Championship located in Kansas).”

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