LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech men’s basketball head coach Tubby Smith has announced the signing of two new players in the early period, as Justin Gray and Zach Smith have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Red Raiders.
“We are excited about the signing of these young men to the Texas Tech Red Raider Basketball family,” said Smith. “Justin and Zach are talented basketball players and gifted students.”
Gray, a 6-5 senior guard at Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep, averaged 15 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 2.1 blocks, while leading the Berkeley Prep Buccaneers to a 22-8 record and the Class 4A regional final as a junior.
“We first saw Justin at an AAU tournament playing with the Florida Select team,” said Smith. “We were there watching another player on that team, but Justin stood out. Justin is a young man who understands how to play the game. Coach (Bobby) Reinhart and his staff have done a great job coaching him.
“Justin has a high basketball IQ. He is 6-5 but I can see him getting taller. He has excellent shooting range and is a good ball handler. He is a versatile player who fits our style of play.”
Gray, a three-star recruit who is rated the 20th best player in the state of Florida, chose Texas Tech over Harvard, Stanford, South Florida, VCU, Butler and Florida Gulf Coast.
Smith, a 6-8 senior forward at Plano (Texas) East Senior High School, earned honorable mention All-District 10-5A honors. On Tuesday, in the season opener for Plano East, Smith had 12 points and 13 rebounds.
“Zach is a 6-8 forward from Plano East and we are glad to have another Texas player. Texas is our home base in recruiting,” said Smith. “His brother, Xavier, plays at St. Bonaventure and his parents, Linda and Reggie, were both college athletes, so they understand college sports.
“Zach can play multiple positions. He received excellent coaching from coach Jeff Clarkson and his staff. He can blocks shots and defends well, both on the perimeter and in the paint. Our style of play suits him well. Zach adds a lot of depth to our team. His athleticism, combined with his all-around versatility –skilled passing, shooting and ball handling – is impressive.”
Smith, a Rivals.com three-star recruit who is rated the 25th best player in the state of Texas, chose Texas Tech over Marquette, Nebraska, Kansas State, TCU, UTEP and Washington State.
Guard / 6-5 / 185 / Tampa, Florida / Berkeley Prep
Justin Gray has earned three varsity letters at Tampa Berkeley Prep for head coach Bobby Reinhart … averaged 15 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 2.1 blocks while leading the Berkeley Prep Buccaneers to a 22-8 record and the Class 4A regional final as a junior … earned first team All-County honors as a junior … averaged 19.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks as a sophomore … averaged 8.5 points and 3.7 rebounds as a freshman … rated a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, ESPN.com and 247Sports … ranked the 21st best player in Florida by 247Sports and the 20th best player in Florida by ESPN.com … chose Texas Tech over Harvard, Stanford, South Florida, VCU, Butler and Florida Gulf Coast … plays AAU for Florida Select.
Forward / 6-8 / 205 / Plano, Texas / Plano East
Zach Smith is a two-year letterwinner for Jeff Clarkson at Plano East Senior High School … as a junior, averaged 5.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game on a team that had four NCAA Division I signees in the 2013 recruiting class … recorded 12 points and 13 rebounds in the season opener for Plano East on Tuesday night … earned honorable mention All-District 10-5A honors as a junior … rated a three-star recruit by Rivals.com … ranked the No. 25 player in the state of Texas by TexasHoops.com … chose Texas Tech over Marquette, Nebraska, Kansas State, TCU, UTEP and Washington State … plays AAU for Dallas Pro Skills 17U.