CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Clovis junior Jaye Crockett, who led the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding, has verbally committed to play basketball for Texas Tech. The 6-foot-5, 185-pound post averaged 20.9 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer
Clovis’ top returning player is no longer next year’s hottest recruit.
Junior Jaye Crockett verbally committed Monday night to play basketball at Texas Tech University following his high school career.
“It takes a lot of pressure off me,” said Crockett, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound post. “Now I can just concentrate on next year.”
After averaging a team-high 20.9 points and 10.4 rebounds to help Clovis go 29-2 and finish as the Class 5A runner-up, there was little doubt Crockett would get attention from Division-I colleges next season. But Clovis coach J.D. Isler said the Red Raiders were already convinced Crockett could help them.
“I think they see a huge upside to him being able to face the basket,” Isler said, noting Crockett is still 16 and may not be done growing. “They think his skills are far enough along. I think they really like his length. They’re going to play some zone and they’re going to press some.”
Plus, the school fits Crockett because it’s less than two hours from Clovis and he gets to work with Red Raiders assistant Bubba Jennings, Clovis’ career scoring leader.
“It was close, so I could have more Clovis people going there,” Crockett said. “I like the coaching staff, I like the atmosphere. They play similar to the way Coach Isler plays us.”
A verbal commitment is non-binding. Crockett can sign a binding national letter of intent during the early signing period in November.
Texas Tech coaches cannot comment on unsigned recruits. The Red Raiders finished 16-15 last season.
Without having to worry about what college he’ll attend, Crockett —a one-sport athlete at Clovis — can focus on getting the Wildcats back to the state title game and winning it.
“We have a great team, we have great coaches,” Crockett said. “With Coach Isler, it shouldn’t be that hard.”
Crockett will likely play more of a guard-forward role for the Red Raiders, and has played those roles from time to time for the Wildcats.
“I’d dribble the ball here and there,” Crockett said, “I’d penetrate and show people I had a little bit of an outside game.”