For the first time since 2004, every Texas Tech men’s basketball signee was rated a 3-star recruit by 247sports.com.
Head coach Tubby Smith signed two high school seniors, Keenan Evans (Richardson Berkner) and Norense Odiase (Delray Beach) and two junior college transfers Justin Jamison and Devaugntah Williams of Missouri State-West Plains on Wednesday.
These four join early signees Justin Gray (Berkley Prep) and Zach Smith (Plano East).
“When you come in and are trying to rebuild a program, restore the winning ways, you can’t do it without winning players,” Smith said. “That starts with good people on our staff. They did a fantastic job in a short amount of time.”
With the loss of four seniors and the transfer of two more Red Raiders, multiple starting spots are up for grabs for next season.
In addition, sophomore forward Aaron Ross reinjured his knee and Smith expects him to be out until at least January.
In total, Tech lost five of its seven members in the front court.
Jamison and Odiase, both at 6-foot-9 and around 260 pounds should provide a solid inside attack.
“They understand how to play,” Smith said. “They were taught the game. They’re good passers and willing screeners. Both have excellent touch around the basket with their right and left hand. They’re bulky, something that we need. The size and the bulk for the loss of players that graduated. See both of those guys playing and contributing a lot. In the Big 12, you better have an inside presence. They both do.”
At 6-foot-8, Zach Smith should be set at power forward. Coach Smith said he was the most athletic player Tech signed.
“He can run and jump out of the gym,” Smith said. “He’s got great touch.”
On the perimeter, Gray and Williams will contribute on the wings while Evans can take some time at the point.
Gray was All-State in Florida this season, and Williams led West Plains in scoring with about 17 per game.
Evans was named to the All-State team in Texas and averaged 21 points, 6.1 rebounds and 6.0 assists.
Texas Tech still has two scholarships available.
“We’re still recruiting,” Smith said. “We probably will be making some announcements in the future.”
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