Carlos Silva Jr, email@example.com
Published 8:25 p.m. ET April 11, 2020 | Updated 8:55 p.m. ET April 11, 2020
The Texas Tech men’s basketball coaching staff added size to its roster Saturday.
Esahia Nyiwe, a 6-foot-10, 210-pound power forward prospect from Clarendon Co, verbally committed to play for the Red Raiders. He chose Texas Tech over offers from Tulsa, Wichita State, VCU and interest from more than 35 others.
“First off I want to thank my family, friends, and teammates for all the support during my journey,” Nyiwe wrote in a Tweet he wrote Saturday. “Next I wanted to thank all of the coaches that have recruited and offered me. Last I wanted to thank coach (Mark) Adams and coach (Chris) Beard for giving me the opportunity to play at the next level.
“With that being said I am excited to announce that I will be continuing my academic and basketball career at Texas Tech University.”
Nyiwe, a Class of 2020 prospect, was named honorable mention on the All-Western Junior College Athletic Conference Team. The Bulldogs post played with former Monterey Plainsmen standout Russell Harrison, who announced his verbal pledge Thursday to play for the University of Louisiana Monroe.
As a sophomore, Nyiwe averaged 8.1 points, eight rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 1.2 assists per game at Clarendon College. The bulldogs finished with a 29-3 overall and 14-2 WJCAC mark before earning a No. 3 seed for the NJCAA Tournament which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Coach Chris Beard trusted his eyes and the people from West Texas who were giving him good word of mouth about Zaye,” Clarendon College men’s basketball coach Isaac Fontenot-Amedee said. “And coach (Mark) Adams was crucial, too, since he saw Zaye a few times when we played against his son, Luke, and New Mexico Junior College.
“Both coach Beard and coach Adams were just so prepared and laid out the plan for Zaye. It’s like they’d been at our practices and showed Zaye how he could be used liek Tariq Owens was a few years ago.”
Prior to transferring to Clarendon College, he began his collegiate journey by averaging 2.7 points and 3.7 rebounds at Iowa Western for the 2018-19 campaign.
Nyiwe played high school ball at Omaha (Nebraska) Northwest in 2016-17 before a electing to play a year of prep ball. At The Skills Factory in Atlanta, Georgia in 2017-18, Nyiwe netted tallied 15 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks per contest.
Nyiwe joins an incoming 2020 class which includes Nimari Burnett, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard from Napa (Calif.) Prolific Prep Academy; Micah Peavy, a 6-7, 185-pound forward from Duncanville; and Chibuzo Agbo, a 6-7, 215-pound forward from San Diego St. Augustine.
Currently, Texas Tech is scheduled to return Davide Moretti, Kyler Edwards, Avery Benson, Clarence Nadolney, Terrence Shannon Jr., Jahmi’us Ramsey, Andre Savrasov, Kevin McCullar, Russel Tchewa, Joel Ntambwe and Tyreek Smith who are all on scholarship.
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Division I individual institutions can have a maximum of 13 scholarships for men’s basketball. The current Red Raider roster has 15.
Ramsey has been included in NBA mock drafts, ranging from a mid-first to second-round pick.
Another big man?
Also on Saturday, Purdue transfer Matt Haarms included Texas Tech on his top 10 list of finalist destinations.
Haarms, a 7-foot-3 center, average 8.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and two blocks per game last season for the Boilermakers.
The Red Raiders faced off against Haarms, who finished with four points and three rebounds in 23 minutes as then No. 11 Purdue suffered a 78-65 setback back on March 23, 2018.
Texas Tech advanced to the program’s first NCAA Elite Eight with the victory.