Texas Tech basketball: Red Raiders land first 2021 commit

Jaylon Tyson, a 4-star recruit from the Metroplex, has become the first Texas Tech basketball commit of the 2021 recruiting cycle.

Tuesday, Jaylon Tyson became the first 2021 recruit to commit to the Texas Tech basketball program.  The 6-foot-6, 180-pound native of Plano, Texas announced his intention to become a Red Raider on Twitter.

A four-star prospect, he’s the No. 75 player in the nation and the No. 5 player in Texas according to 247Sports.com.  He picked the Red Raiders over offers from A&M, TCU, Oklahoma, Creighton, Houston, and others.

Tyson is close friends with Jerand Bradley, a 4-star wide receiver who also attend John Paul II High School and who is committed to playing for Matt Wells’ Texas Tech football program in 2021 as well.  It’s believed that relationship played a significant role in Tyson’s commitment.

His size fits the mold of a positionless player, which Chris Beard covets.  He’s essentially the same build as Kevin McCullar Jr., who proved to be one of the best defensive players on the Red Raider roster this past season and if Tyson can mold himself after the sophomore-to-be, he will be a valuable addition to the program.

Tyson is a dynamic scorer who averaged over 23 points per game this past season in leading his team to the TAPPS state title.  In addition, he contributed 5.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 2019-20.

“The coaching staff, coach (Chris) Beard and coach (Ulric) Maligi both like how I can make plays that win games,” Tyson told Carlos Silva Jr. of the Avalanche-Journal. “I just really built a great relationship with both of them and felt Texas Tech’s style of play could work for me.

“I also like how they focus on development. It’s something I know my game needs for me to get better.”

Over the last two recruiting cycles, Beard has turned Texas Tech into a powerhouse when it comes to landing blue-chip prospects.  The 2019 class that featured McCullar, Jahmi’us Ramsey, and Terrence Shannon Jr. among others was ranked No. 16 in the nation, and the 2020 class currently sits at No. 9 in the nation.

Thus, the 2021 recruiting haul has some large shoes to fill.  In fact, we might be wise to expect less from the next signing class Beard brings in from a national ranking perspective.  That’s because the class might be somewhat smaller given that Tech has already added undergraduate transfer, Jamarius Burton, from Wichita State to take one of the spots that might typically go to a high school prospect.  Most recruiting services don’t factor in transfers when compiling recruiting rankings so we might not see a top-10 class next year.

But that doesn’t mean we won’t see another impressive influx of talent.  Beard has become adept at mining every possible resource to upgrade his roster and he’s been at the forefront of the grad transfer revolution, which has changed the face of college basketball recruiting.

The success he had with grad transfers Matt Mooney and Tariq Owens in 2018-19 opened the eyes of the nation to what is possible with one-year transfers and now every program in the nation is fishing in that pool, even the blue-bloods like Duke, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

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However, Beard is also going to keep targeting the top high school players in the nation as well and in landing Tyson, he has secured a top-75 talent before the 2021 recruiting cycle even kicks into full swing.  It’s just another day in the alternative universe that is the current state of the Texas Tech basketball program.

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