Even though it’s almost Independence Day, the Texas Tech basketball team is still trying to build its roster for next season. That effort could take a big step forward this week, as one of the top guards remaining in the portal is due to pay Lubbock a visit.
Following the resignation of Bob Huggins as head coach at West Virginia, Mountaineer guard Joe Toussaint has entered the transfer portal and according to collegiate sports expert Jon Rothstein, the New York native will visit Kansas State and Texas Tech in the coming days. .
This visit comes just as we learned on Monday that recent verbal confirmation, Dishon Jackson, now go meet Charlotte, where he was originally admitted before giving the Red Raiders a verbal ban last week. That leaves a scholarship still open for Grant McCasland to play. However, Toussaint and Jackson are very different players, which means trading one for the other might not make perfect sense.
Jackson is a 6-foot-10 back-to-basket center that would provide Tech with some much-needed size down low. Now that he’s out of the lineup, McCasland again lacks height with Arizona State transfer Warren Washington, now the only player on the roster taller than 6-foot-8.
Toussaint certainly won’t help in that regard. At just six feet tall, he’s a point guard who can make Tech’s backcourt even smaller than it was the season before.
On the other hand, he is capable of putting the ball in the bucket and proven scorers are something Texas Tech lacks. So McCasland may be ready to roll out the red carpet for Toussaint.
Last season, he averaged 9.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in 34 games. Those numbers came in just 21.7 minutes per game as one of the best backup point guards in the conference.
Red Raider fans will remember this player because he arguably had the best game of his career when the Mountaineers arrived in Lubbock last season. Playing 28 minutes, he added 22 points (thanks in large part to 12-of-14 shooting from the free-throw line), 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists as the Mountaineers overcame a huge early deficit to pull away from the home team. . Last season, he also put up 20 points over Baylor and had a 19-point blast against Iowa State.
However, would he be a natural fit playing alongside another small guard, Pop Isaacs? For one thing, he’s not as much of a shooter as Isaacs, with Toussaint averaging just 3 attempts per game from beyond the arc last season (less than half the 3-pointers Isaacs made on average). Instead, Toussaint is more of a player who will create offense with his dribbling, which would be a change of pace from Isaacs.
On the other hand, though, both players are smaller than the average Big 12 guard. While the Red Raiders now have plenty of size on the wing thanks in part to the addition of Arizona State transfer Devan Cambridge, playing Toussaint alongside Isaacs could leave Tech undersized in the backcourt for the second straight year and that has proven to be an issue. last season, so it can be assumed that the same struggles could arise in 2023-24.
Still, Tech needs to add players who are natural goalscorers to their squad and Toussaint certainly is that. So his presence on the team could be welcome despite his lack of elite stature.
What’s more, this will be an interesting recruiting battle between McCasland, who has secured commitments from every player he’s convinced to visit Lubbock thus far, and Jerome Tang, the extremely popular and personable second-year Kansas State coach who remembers many from college. basketball version of Texas Tech football coach Joey McGuire when it comes to charisma and charm.
What we do know is that McCasland is not happy with the position of his roster at the moment, as the search for immediate impact players remains a priority. So keep an eye out for Toussaint news this week, because he looks set to be a factor in the Big 12 again next season, whether it’s for the Red Raiders or not.
- Published on 6/26/2023 at 10:04 pm
- Last updated on 6/26/2023 at 10:04 PM