One of Mike Martin’s first impressions of Claire Ricketts was marveling at how the 6-foot-3 forward could run the floor.
Martin, who locals may know as the Sudan coach from 1987-1997, coached Ricketts at John Paul II High School in Plano, a TAPPS 5A school.
“I was really impressed with the way she got up and down the floor,” Martin said. “I think that’s one of the things I saw immediately, is when you have a kid that size that can run the floor. I think that catches coaches’ eyes for sure.”
Division I coaches definitely saw it. On Thursday night, Ricketts, a junior, orally committed to play for the Texas Tech women’s basketball team.
She chose Tech over offers from Iowa State, Kansas State, Indiana and Northwestern — amongst others — her coach said.
Ricketts joins Artavia Ford (Colleyville Heritage) as Tech’s second post commitment for the 2014 class.
Ricketts averaged 16 points and eight rebounds per game this past season, said Martin, who said Ricketts can play with her back to the basket or come out a bit.
He said she has a smooth shot and a good mid-range game.
“This year she played with her back to the basket probably 60, 65 percent of the time,” Martin said. “Late in the season we started letting her open up the post a little bit, and she proved that she could do that.”
Martin lauded her skills, and he expects her to continue to improve during her senior season.
He said he would like to develop her 3-point game because he believes she has good enough range.
Martin also wants to add some more explosiveness in her step, getting her to go up to the basket quicker.
“Once she does that, once she gets the explosiveness to get up off the floor in a hurry, I expect it will make her really tough,” he said.
Oral commitments are non-binding until a player signs a national letter of intent.
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