Last season, the Texas Tech basketball program compiled a 19-13 record complete with a quick exit in the NCAA Tournament at the hands of Butler. While last year did provide optimism for future teams, head coach Chris Beard is working feverishly to stock his team with competent players in his first year on the job.
In doing so, Beard quickly established several players that he would make priorities in the 2017 cycle, a short list that included three-star shooting guard Jarrett Culver. As a native of Lubbock, Texas, Culver attends Coronado High School and is one of the top players in the state at his position. Shortly after Beard assumed his role as head coach in April, Culver landed his offer from the Red Raiders.
“They really want me,” Culver told Rivals.com in July. “I was one of the first ones that they actually gave an actual scholarship out to. It makes me feel wanted and shows they really mean that they want me.”
In the time since landing his offer from Texas Tech, Culver has remained in close contact with Beard’s staff, and the group of coaches picked up their first win, this one coming on the recruiting trail, as Culver announced his commitment to the program Thursday on Twitter.
According to 247Sports.com, Culver is listed as the No. 42 shooting guard in the country and sported offers from Texas, Baylor, TCU, Illinois and others before closing his recruitment down in favor of Texas Tech, which should help to foster a stress-free senior season. Culver is scheduled to take his official visit to Texas Tech next month, and it poses a convenient opportunity for the Texas native to get to know the other two members of the Red Raiders’ 2017 class, guards Hyron Edwards and Jordan Brangers.
Standing at 6-foot-5 and 170 pounds, Culver brings a necessary skill set to the Texas Tech lineup thanks to his quick-release shooting stroke, ball-handling and intensity on the defensive end of the court. Culver’s reliable shot, especially from long distance, is a key element to his game as the Texas prospect does not currently possess a dominant game above the rim, though he can elevate over defenders when absolutely necessary.
Even with Culver in the fold, however, the Texas Tech staff remains on the recruiting trail looking for other potential pieces to what is currently the No. 71 class in the country based on 247Sports.com‘s metric. Jordan Nwora, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound small forward from Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vt., is the latest to pick up an offer from the Texas Tech staff, which occurred on Friday morning.
Texas Tech has now offered 2017 @VTAcademyHoops forward Jordan Nwora after seeing him this morning, per source
— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) September 23, 2016
Last season, Nwora did a little bit of everything for his team, producing a stat line to the tune of 25.2 points, 12.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.4 steals per game. Nwora is a pesky defender thanks to his long wingspan and really likes to push the pace on the break. Unlike many players his size, however, Nwora is a competent ball-handler and is confident in his stroke from three-point range, two qualities that increase the value of a hybrid forward such as Nwora.
With Texas Tech in the mix, Nwora now holds offers from 22 Division I schools, including Louisville, Georgia Tech, UConn and Pittsburgh, among others. These schools all recognize the high ceiling that Nwora possesses; the rangy athlete is listed as a four-star recruit and the No. 10 small forward in the nation according to 247Sports.com.
The Texas Tech program is also opening its arms to recruits on the football field as well. Earlier this week, Tyree Range, a three-star juco running back, issued his commitment to the Red Raiders after picking up a scholarship offer from the school. Range is familiar with Texas Tech running back coach DeShaun Foster from his first go around in the recruiting process, and this relationship helped ensure his comfortability with the school.
“It just felt right,” Range told Scout.com. “Coach Foster is just an amazing coach, I’ve talked with players from Texas Tech that have nothing but good things to say about him. You know, we’ve got an amazing offense in the spread at Texas Tech, similar to what we run at my school now, it gives me a lot of five- and six-man boxes, which would be a running back’s dream. Then we’ve got an amazing recruiting class coming in in the class of 2017, and I just feel like I can come in and have an impact immediately.”
Range is the only running back currently committed to Texas Tech in the 2017 cycle, but the Red Raiders boast a fairly crowded backfield. Still, Range has the possibility to provide a needed change of pace with his shifty nature, and he should assimilate quickly under Foster’s tutelage.