Before he was named head coach of the Texas Tech basketball program in April, we all knew Mark Adams could coach X’s and O’s. After all, he was the architect of the much-copied defensive scheme that helped carry the Red Raiders to the 2019 National Championship Game.
But as soon as he was handed the keys to the castle in Lubbock, questions began to arise about whether or not Adams would be able to recruit well enough to keep the program relevant on a national scale. And more specifically, many openly wondered if the 65-year-old would be able to connect with high school recruits. Well, on Thursday, we got another indication that Adams is more than capable of bringing top prep talent into the fold.
That’s because 6-foot-7 forward Robert Jennings verbally committed to play for the Red Raiders giving Adams his second big-time high school recruit in the span of just a few weeks.
Jennings is rated as a 3-star prospect and the No. 199 overall player in the class of 2022. Also rated the No. 16 player in Texas, the De Soto product picked Tech over offers from Missouri, SMU, De Paul, Houston, LSU, Ole Miss, Penn State, TCU, A&M, Virginia Tech, and others.
Brandon Jenkins of 247Sports has the following scouting report on Jennings: “Jennings is a strong and athletic four-man who is at his best when he plays with a great motor and looks to make plays at the rim. He sprints the floor and finishes with power and flare above the rim. He understands the value of playing hard on a consistent basis but needs to consistently stay motored up in all showings. He also becomes infatuated with the three-point shot at times and while he is an average and capable shooter from distance, he is more effective operating inside the arc. Jennings has great upside and has a chance at being a no-brainer high major prospect with continued skill development.”
Jennings joins point guard Richard “Pop” Isaacs in the 2022 Red Raider recruiting class. Isaacs is a 4-star player and the No. 9 point guard in the nation who, on September 3rd, also committed to play for Adams.
Together, they give the Red Raiders a solid start to the current recruiting class and a pair of high school building blocks to help secure the future of the program. It’s an impressive haul given that Adams didn’t have his full staff in place until May but it’s likely that Adams isn’t done adding high school pieces to the mix.
In August, 3-star guard Lamar Washington took an official visit to Texas Tech and many consider the Red Raiders among the leaders for his services, if not the outright favorites.
But what’s most important is that Adams and his staff are proving that they can still deliver high-end talent to Lubbock. And not just through the transfer portal.
While adding transfers will likely always be a key aspect of talent acquisition for Tech moving forward, high school players remain a critical component of the program as they often form the pillars of the program.
For instance, in the upcoming season, two players that Tech recruited out of high school, Kevin McCullar Jr. and Terrence Shannon Jr. are expected to be the foundational pieces of a roster that will feature seven transfers.
So it will be imperative that Adams continues to add quality high school pieces to his program. And if he’s proving capable of doing that after just five months on the job, there’s every reason to believe that he will have even greater success on the recruiting trail in the future.