The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2020.06.19

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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24/7 Sports Kevin Flaherty has a deep dive into the state of the Big 12 basketball, including the top 5 teams, Flaherty picks Texas Tech to finish 3rd overall, behind Baylor and Kansas. Flaherty also picks the best recruiting class, which includes Texas Tech at the top spot:

Chris Beard has shown an ability to compete at a high level on the recruiting trail, and he did some of his best work in 2020, bringing in two top 42 players. Nimari Burnett (No. 33 overall) was a five-star prospect for much of the process. He and Micah Peavy (42) give the Red Raiders two terrific wings to build around. The Red Raiders actually brought in a third wing in Chibuzo Agbo Jr. (114) who was much higher ranked on 247Sports (69) and whose defensive potential and range fits Texas Tech well. Power forward Esahia Nyiwe (205) is a slender big man in line with what Texas Tech has landed — and excelled with — in the past.

In addition to this, Flaherty also picks Joel Ntambwe as the top newcomer of the Big 12:

Chris Beard talked about Ntambwe as a likely starter and key cog for the 2019-20 Red Raiders at Big 12 Media Days, when Texas Tech was trying to get him a waiver to play immediately. The waiver failed, but Ntambwe was able to sit out and develop to become a key player this year. At 6-foot-8 and 220 pounds, Ntambwe averaged just shy of 12 points and six rebounds per game as a freshman at UNLV, shooting 38.6 percent from behind the 3-point arc. If he’s bought into Beard’s defense, he could make a tremendous impact once he hits the court. The Big 12 also brings in two of the top junior college players for next year in Tyon Grant-Foster (Kansas) and Kedrian Johnson (West Virginia) to go with a strong crop of transfers that includes Ferron Flavors Jr. (Oklahoma State), Adam Flagler (Baylor) and Kevin Easley (TCU). And keep an eye on former VCU pivot Marcus Santos-Silva; Texas Tech is applying for a waiver for him to play immediately, and with a mature body (6-7 250) and his skill set (12.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 1.1 steals this past year), he could plug in quickly as well.

There’s a lot of content there, so make sure and check it out.

Speaking of Ntambwe, CBS Sports’ David Cobb picks the best transfers who are eligible, right now, and Ntambwe gets the nod again as the 7th best eligible transfer in the nation:

Texas Tech is getting attention for landing Marcus Santos-Silva, Mac McClung and Jamarius Burton in this year’s transfer cycle. But don’t sleep on Ntambwe, who sat out last season as a transfer from UNLV. The 6-8 forward proved to be a good rebounder while averaging 11.8 points on 38.6% 3-point shooting in the 2018-19 season. Now he’s in position to compete for a starting job on a remade Red Raiders team with high hopes.

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