The Texas Tech basketball program has extended a scholarship offer to 2022 point guard Jaden Bradley.
We can never say that Chris Beard doesn’t always have one eye towards the future. That was evident this week as the Texas Tech basketball program extended an offer to Jaden Bradley, a top point guard in the class of 2022.
The sophomore from North Carolina reported the offer on his Twitter feed on July 7th. But the Red Raiders are far from the first major program to begin their pursuit of this 6-foot-2, 160-pound prospect.
In addition to Tech, Bradley holds offers from Auburn, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Florida, and Florida State. What’s more, Wake Forest and Auburn actually offered Bradley prior to his freshman year of high school. And being as he is a North Carolina product, there’s no doubt schools like North Carolina, Duke, and N.C. State will certainly be keeping an eye on his maturation.
Currently, there are no major recruiting sites with class ratings for the 2022 recruiting cycle. But there’s no doubt that Bradley will be one of the top targets in his class.
The site Future150.com has Bradley listed as the No. 14 overall player in his class and the No. 1 player in his state. The site says that his strengths include ballhandling, size, playmaking ability and feel for the game among other attributes. It says that he needs to improve his athleticism, upper body strength, and 3-point shooting.
Playing AAU ball for B. Maze Elite, the youngster averaged 4.88 points and 1.5 assists per game in eight contests. Those numbers are encouraging when you consider that he was playing against players as much as three years older than he is.
Given his size and the fact that he is likely to grow quite a bit more before he arrives on campus, he could become a very large guard. In fact, he already has the height of some of the better guards to ever play for the Red Raiders.
Keenan Evans, a 2017-18 second-team All-American, is 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, 2005 first-team All-Big 12 honoree Ronald Ross played at 6-foot-2, 185-pounds, and current Red Raider guard Davide Moretti is 6-foot-2, 175 pounds.
Assuming Bradley eventually winds up at 6-foot-4 or taller by the time he is in college, he could be the prototypical guard to play in Beard’s “positionless” system. Craving versatility on his roster so that he can implement to perfection his motion offense and even more so his defense that switches every ball screen, Tech’s head coach has been assembling a stable of guards with the size needed to guard multiple positions on the court.
In 2018-19, he played six players considered to be guards or small forwards and all were between 6-foot-2 and 6-foot-6. His 2019-20 team will be similar with Moretti, Kyler Edwards, Chris Clarke, Kevin McCullar, Jahmius Ramsey, Terence Shannon, and Clarence Nadolny all between 6-foot-2 and 6-foot-6.
It seems a bit odd for college programs to be recruiting such young players but that is what is required when trying to land the top players in the nation; especially for programs that are not considered blue-bloods. The Texas Tech football team took a similar route in February when 2022 linebacker Kobie McKinzie from Lubbock Cooper (one of the top defensive players in Texas) committed to Matt Wells and his new staff three years before he is set to graduate.
As long as Texas Tech is recruiting at the highest levels of the game, we will likely see them jump on top prospects as early as possible. And as long as Chris Beard is running the show, Texas Tech basketball will always be looking as far down the road as is possible in order to secure the future of the program.