Although football is currently on the minds of most sports fans in America, the Texas Tech basketball program is still on the recruiting trail in late summer. Indeed, Mark Adams and his staff are in the mix for two outstanding high school prospects.
Twitter account earlier this week @247HSHoops Class of 2023 big man Jazz Gardner has reportedly taken an official visit to Texas Tech starting September 10th. That’s the weekend the Red Raider football team hosts Houston at Jones Stadium.
Gardner, a California native, is a 6-foot-10 center who is rated a 4-star prospect by 247Sports.com. The nation’s No. 11 player is listed as the 79th player overall in 2023.
Of course, the competition for the service will be strong. The list of teams that have offered scholarships includes Kansas, Illinois, Arizona State, Houston, Georgia, LSU, Pitt, Southern Cal, Virginia Tech and others. But on July 31, Gardner cut his list of schools to Texas Tech, Kansas, Mizzou, Pepperdine, UCBB, USC, St. Mary’s and Dayton.
Looking at Gardner’s highlights, one aspect of his game stood out from the rest; His outside shot. As smooth as any guard’s shot, Gardner’s jumper is a real weapon, especially with other bigs as he can pull them away from the basket to help his teammates look at the rim with ease.
Ironically, Tech is already doing well against the big boys. With 6-foot-11 transfer Fardaus Aymak resting this season and 7-footer Daniel Bachon receiving a redshirt sophomore season, Tech will have a pair of towers this year, and what’s more, both are eligible for 2023-24. If Gardner sees himself as a one-and-done prospect, does the busy rotation at center give him pause when considering potential Red Raiders? It will be interesting to know.
Meanwhile, @247HSHoops reported this week that one of the top players in the 2024 class is also considering the Red Raiders. 5-star prospect Jamari Phillips has reportedly cut his list of suitors to Tech, Oregon, UCLA, Gonzaga, Kansas and Louisville.
A 6-foot-3 guard, also from California, Phillips is the No. 6 shooting guard and the nation’s No. 21 overall player for 2024. If he chooses the Red Raiders, he will easily be a top-ranked high school. A player to sign with the program.
Phillips averaged 23.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.5 steals for his high school team last season. And this summer on the club team circuit, it absolutely blew up. Now he is one of the most coveted players in the country.
Interestingly, Tech already has five guards on the roster listed as freshmen or sophomores. What’s more, Tech has two more 4-star guards, Drew Steffe and Jason Jackson, committed for the 2023 class.
Whether or not Techland lands Gardner or Phillips, the fact that the program will contend with both narrows down its choices as a reminder that Texas Tech basketball continues to grow and thrive in the sport. Bringing some of the best players in America to Lubbock. Now, we’ll see if Adams and company can seal the deal on these two big-time recruiting battles.