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Bijiek, Thibodeaux impressed following unofficial visit to Texas Tech

Posted: June 28, 2017 - 7:02pm

Following an unofficial visit Wednesday to Texas Tech, Garrett Thibodeaux and Jal Bijiek both admitted they are more informed.

The pair of Class of 2018 prospects, both forwards, felt like they had all of their questions answered and were wowed by some of the Red Raiders facilities and recent upgrades they toured while in town.

“I feel like I met everyone that makes Texas Tech basketball go, from the coaches to the trainers and strength coaches. Lots of people,” said Bijiek, a three-star prospect according to 247Sports. “I also learned that everyone there is all about family and wanting the players to succeed and reach their potential. That was really cool.”

Bijiek, a 6-foot-9, 190-pound small forward, is expected to play a post-graduate season at Creating Young Minds Academy in Dallas. The former Des Moines North wings said he made the decision to “bulk up” and improve his chances to “make it” in the National Basketball Association.

“That’s my goal: to play in the NBA,” said Bijiek, who was offered by Texas Tech back on June 7. “I feel like with all of the help they provide at Texas Tech, that I could become one step closer to playing in the NBA.”

One important facet to his trip was speaking to an NBA talent in Zach Smith, who went through some of the NBA Draft process — talking with several teams — before electing to return for his senior campaign.

Another highlight, according to Bijiek, was speaking to head coach Chris Beard for the first time. He, along with Thibodeaux, have been recruited by Red Raiders assistant Al Pinkins.

Bijiek holds seven total offers, receiving another from Wichita State on Tuesday. Thibodeaux has been offered by Tulsa, Pepperdine, Louisiana Tech, Sam Houston State, Arkansas Little-Rock and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

“It was good because he talked to me about the motion offense and where I would fit in their system,” said Bijiek, who has run in the motion for a majority of his basketball career. “Everyone is basically a basketball player and it’s a free-flowing offense where you need high basketball IQ.”

Thibodeaux, a versatile 6-8, 220-pound forward, said he was also interested to learn about the motion offense.

“I got to see what they do, and saw how they have bigs who can get rebounds and run the floor,” he said. “I feel like that matches my game. It fits what I like to do on the court.”

Thibodeaux has not been on court recently, so he’ll need to prove he can rebound, run the court and finish strong for a chance to be on the Red Raiders’ radar. He is expected to play at Seminole State College in Oklahoma this season and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Prior to that, the athletic forward will participate in a basketball showcase — consisting of high school, junior college and European players — scheduled for July 21 at The MAC Sports in Lewisville.

Bijiek will also participate in the showcase — his only live event of the summer.

“They got to talk to me, but I have to show them that I can play,” Thibodeaux said. “This will be their chance to see me in-person, so I need to play well.”

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