Needing to add some size to the roster, Texas Tech basketball head coach Grant McCasland and his staff have set their sights on an interesting player who is in the Hub City this weekend. Former Washington State center Dishon Jackson is reportedly in the middle of an official visit with the Red Raiders according to multiple local media sources including Austin Massey of 247Sports.com.
Tech could certainly use a player of Jackson’s size (6-foot-10, 245 pounds) and experience (he’s already played 49 games at the college level). However, there is a legitimate concern about his health that is a factor in any recruitment effort.
After missing a total of 15 games in his first two college seasons, he would then sit out the entirety of 2022-23 after an undisclosed medical issue that required surgery last October. However, the Red Raiders’ need for another big man to pair with Arizona State transfer Warren Washington might make any risk taken on Jackson worthwhile.
Currently, Washington and sophomore Robert Jennings are the only post players that the roster boasts with the former being the only player in the program over 6-foot-9. That’s not ideal in the Big 12.
For example, we saw just last season that even having two legitimate 7-footers often isn’t enough. Tech planned on running out Daniel Batcho and Fardaws Aimaq together but a preseason foot injury caused Aimaq to miss over half the season and various injuries including an illness, a sprained ankle, and a thumb injury forced Batcho out of action for significant stretches and rendered him a shell of himself when he did play.
So even if Jackson joins the program, Tech will need to benefit from a season’s worth of health from its big men in 2023-24 to compete. Still, it would feel far more reassuring to head into McCasland’s debut season with Jackson ready to team with Warren to assure that Tech has the potential to have legitimate size on the floor at virtually any moment of a game.
For his career, Jackson has averaged 6.6 points and 4.3 boards per game. He’s also averaged just over a block per game.
With 19 starts to his name, he’s got plenty of experience and he was expected to be a key starter for Washington State in 2022-23. What’s more, the Oakland, California native earned All-Pac 12 freshman honorable mention recognition in 2022-21.
That he played during that COVID-19-impacted season is also important to note. Because players were not charged a year of eligibility for that season and because he redshirted this most recent season, Jackson still has three years of eligibility remaining despite already being three years into in college basketball career.
That must be appealing to McCasland who has repeatedly stated that he values age and experience on his roster. Jackson could immediately add both to the equation while also being part of McCasland’s long-term plan.
This offseason, the new Texas Tech basketball head coach has prioritized adding transfers with multiple years of eligibility left. Grand Canyon transfer Chance McMillian still has two years to play, while Nevada transfer guard Darrion Williams will be just a sophomore in 2023-24.
Add that group to sophomore KyeRon Lindsay, set to be a sophomore this season after transferring in from Georgia in January, and sophomores Pop Isaacs, Lamar Washington, and Jennings, and Tech’s roster looks to be one that could potentially stay in place for a few years (though the inevitable movement that comes int he era of the portal means some changes will be on the horizon every offseason).
That roster would take a huge step forward if Jackson decides he wants to join the ranks. So keep an eye out for some potential news out of the Texas Tech basketball program this weekend because McCasland has already proven to be rather effective at sealing the deal when he’s been able to get a player on campus.