One of the top points guards in the Class of 2017 has trimmed his list of potential collegiate destinations to six.
Trae Young, a consensus top-25 recruit, listed Texas Tech, Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington, Oklahoma State and Kentucky as the schools he is considering as he readies to begin his senior year of high school.
The list of the 6-foot-2 point guard is largely provincial as it includes Oklahoma, whose campus is just minutes away from Young’s Norman North High School, and fellow in-state school Oklahoma. Another pair of Big 12 schools make the list in powerhouse Kansas and the Red Raiders, whose first-year coach, Chris Beard, has spent the bulk of his career working in Texas. Texas Tech is also Young’s father’s alma mater. Washington has been on a role sending its players to the pros and recently received the commitment of top-five 2017 recruit Michael Porter, Jr.
Kentucky, of course, needs no explanation as to its attractiveness to high-level players.
It was an inglorious two-year run for Francis-Ramirez in Gainesville as he was ineligible his freshman year for academic reasons and then averaged just 10.8 minutes per game as a sophomore under first-year coach Mike White, who took over the program when Billy Donovan jumped to the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.
Francis-Ramirez shot 20.2 percent from the floor and 16.9 percent from 3-point range in his limited action last season. While his collegiate track record has been sparse, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard was one of the most well-regarded players in the 2014 class, with Rivals ranking him 35th nationally and the likes of Cincinnati, Indiana and USC offering him.
Texas Tech gets a bit of a reclamation project with quite a bit of upside once Francis-Ramirez becomes eligible in 2017-18. He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining.
Report: Texas Tech adding grad transfer Livingston
Arkansas State graduate transfer Anthony Livingston is headed to Texas Tech, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
Livingston was one of the top grad transfers available this spring after a junior year with the Red Wolves that saw him average 15.5 points and 9.4 rebounds per game as a 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward. Arkansas State went just 11-20 last season.
It’s a major get for new Red Raiders coach Chris Beard, who inherits a roster that over-achieved last year in making the NCAA tournament under now-Memphis coach Tubby Smith. Adding a talented, productive and experienced big is a significant move.
Livingston played his freshman season at San Jacinto Junior College in Pasadena, Texas, which is over 500 miles from Lubbock, was a two-time all-Sun Belt pick. He’ll almost certainly start immediately for the Red Raiders, and will be a strong candidate for Big 12 newcomer of the year next season.
Texas Tech loses starting big man Odiase for up to 6 weeks
Texas Tech took a huge blow to its interior depth this week as head coach Tubby Smith confirmed on his radio show that starting big man Norense Odiase is expected to miss the next six weeks with a broken bone in his foot.
The 6-foot-9 Odiase broke his fourth metatarsal in a win over TCU this week and he is expected to spend the next three weeks in a cast before being reevaluated. Starting in all 17 games for the Red Raiders this season, Odiase averaged 9 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest in 19.5 minutes per game. Although he doesn’t put up huge numbers, Odiase has been a steady interior presence for a Texas Tech team that doesn’t have much depth up front.
Without Odiase in the lineup, head coach Tubby Smith will likely rely on reserves like junior forward Matt Temple or other options that have seen more regular rotation minutes like sophomore forward Zach Smith and junior forward Aaron Ross.
Texas Tech sits at 12-5 and is hoping for some upsets in Big 12 play to spring an NCAA tournament bid, this is not a good sign of the Red Raiders making that postseason run happen.
Four-star 2016 center Schnider Herard announces final five schools
One of the top interior prospects in the Class of 2016 announced Thursday night that he’s narrowed his recruiting focus down to five schools. Schnider Herard, who attends Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, announced via Twitter that Kansas, California, Mississippi State, Purdue and Texas Tech are the five schools he’s still considering at this time.
Herard cut his list to ten schools in early August, and at the same time it was reported that he’d set up an official visit to Mississippi State for the second weekend of September. According to Scout.com Herard has lined up officials to Texas Tech (beginning September 25) and Kansas (October 11) as well. While California and Purdue don’t have scheduled official visits with Herard just yet, both programs have some personnel issues to account for in the front court in the 2016 recruiting class.
The Boilermakers will lose senior center A.J. Hammons at the end of the season, and while Cal doesn’t have a scholarship senior in its front court rotation they do have to consider the possibility of highly regarded freshman Ivan Rabb spending just one year in school.
As for Kansas, the Jayhawks will lose multiple seniors from its front court rotation and freshman Cheick Diallo has yet to be cleared for the upcoming campaign. While that may not impact 2016, the fact that no decision has been made on him is something the staff has to consider in its recruiting.
Mississippi State has one scholarship senior in its front court rotation (Gavin Ware), but they’re in a position where they need another interior body moving forward. Texas Tech doesn’t have a senior in its front court rotation, but 2015 signee Shawntrez Davis not qualifying academically puts them in a spot where they’ll need another body to call upon in the post.
POSTERIZED: Texas Tech’s Jordan Jackson makes up for missed free throw
Unlike the Division I teams who took their summer trips overseas, Texas Tech remained on the North American continent for its excursion. Tubby Smith’s team went to Canada, and Wednesday night the Red Raiders moved to 3-0 on their four-game trip with a 67-60 win over Carleton University.
The highlight of the game: freshman guard Jordan Jackson’s emphatic two-handed dunk on an opponent after missing a free throw late in the third quarter. That’s how you make up for leaving a point at the foul line. Texas Tech plays its final game of the trip Thursday night against Ottawa University.