It’s only natural to think that, after an 8-23 season that saw his Texas Tech team go 1-17 in the Big 12, Billy Gillispie would want to start over with a new roster.
Based on the way that players are defecting from his program, it seems like Gillispie is doing just that.
For the sixth time this offseason, a Texas Tech player has left the program. This time it is Kevin Wagner, who started six games this season, averaging 2.5 points, but missed the second half of the season with a knee injury. Wagner — who follows Jaron Nash (North Dakota), Terran Petteway (Nebraska), DeShon Minnis (Rhode Island), Javarez Willis (Ohio) and Cameron Forte (Northern Arizona) out the door — will enroll at a Junior College in Waco.
With Robert Lewandowski graduating, that frees up seven scholarships for next season. Believe it or not, that may not be enough. Tech has nine players signed for the Class of 2012, and while one (who has remained unnamed) has agreed to walk-on, that still means that Gillispie has one player more than he has scholarships available.
What makes this turnover even crazier is that Gillispie’s nine-man recruiting class isn’t even the biggest in his tenure at Tech. The Red Raiders brought in ten newcomers prior to last season. Five of them left in the past month and a half.
Now THAT’S roster turnover.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.
The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.
But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.
New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.
The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.