Quick Reaction: Texas Tech lands 5-star CG Nimari Burnett

For the first time in this program’s history, the Red Raiders have landed a consensus five start recruit. And for the third year in the row, they have landed their highest rated recruit in program history. Introducing, from Chi-Town, Nimari Burnett.

Here are the measurables for Burnett and what his recruitment has been like:

Nimari Burnett – Combo Guard (Prolific Prep, Chicago, Ill)

Height Weight
6’3″ 185 lbs

Ratings: 98 by 247sports (28th overall, 7th CG) / 91 by ESPN (19th overall, 5th CG) / Five-Star by Rivals (22nd overall, 8th CG) / 99.18 (22nd overall, 5th CG)

Interest: Alabama, Louisville, Michigan, Oregon, Texas Tech and 22 others.

This one was really came down to the wire, unlike several other top recruits. We’ve known Micah Peavy was a strong Tech lean for almost a year. We got a good idea that Jahmi’us Ramsey was probably coming to Tech a couple months prior to his commitment.

Burnett, we really didn’t have an idea. We thought Tech might land him after the Peavy commitment, but with Alabama (the likely runner-up) lurking, we really didn’t know. But now Burnett has committed to Texas Tech, and will sign on Wednesday.

And the guy we have to attribute this commitment to is newcomer Ulric Maligi. Since Maligi joined the staff in August, he’s been the guy for Burnett, having ties to the Chicago area. In fact, when he named his Top 5, he mentioned Maligi and the development of Zhaire Smith and Jarrett Culver as to reasons he was considering them.

Speaking on the Top 5, Burnett released the list in mid August, naming the Red Raiders along with Alabama, Louisville, Michigan and Oregon. Whenever Louisville dropped out, it peaked my interest. Basically it was a bunch of non-blue bloods competing for a Top 30 guy. Last time that happened to Tech, they got Ramsey.

Burnett visited Michigan first, followed by Alabama a few weeks later at the end of September. Since then, Roll Tide had been considered the favorite. He visited Texas Tech for the Iowa State game and then Oregon a week later.

What really changed the recruitment factor to swing towards Tech’s favor is the commitment of Peavy. Since then, every Crystal Ball and FutureCast prediction has swayed towards Texas Tech. Whenever Burnett announced he would decide last Friday, we thought the Red Raiders had a pretty good shot to land him.

As scouting goes, here is what 247sports wrote about Burnett:

A big-bodied guard who excels both on and off the ball. When he plays on the ball, he uses his frame with great length to overpower defenders and get to into the lane. Once there, Burnett shows solid floor vision and is good at finding shooters. When he plays off the ball, Burnett makes himself into a scorer who can get buckets by both attacking the basket and from deep. While he is a better athlete than most expect at first blush, he does need to continue to get into better shape – which should help all aspects of his game.

Before I give my thoughts, I thought it was funny his weakness it to get in better shape. It shouldn’t be problem with Beard, but I wonder why that’s his weakness. When I see that, it reminds me that some said that about Zion Williamson, and some called him fat. You can look like Gabriel Iglesias for all I care if you can do what Zion can do.

Anyway, the first thing that pops out to me is his wingspan. I can just imagine all the steals and tipped passes he could have. Also, that’s going to help him finish around the rim. The most notable attribute I saw was his ball handling. It’s controlled and low to the ground. His ability to get the ball to his teammates sticks out as well.

Apparently he has a good outside shot, and all these shots don’t seem to hitting the rim and going in smoothly, but his shot looks a little unorthodox. Almost a little bit like Kevin Martin when he played with the Rockets. Either way, Chris Beard has got himself another freakish athlete.

The Red Raiders will now have the 6th overall class according to 247sports, with four of the five teams above them having more commits. We thought last year’s class was crazy, this one might be even better:

Name (Position) Ratings (247composite) Measurables
Chibuzo Agbo Jr. (PF) 94.00 (4*, 120th HS in 2020) 6-7, 215 lbs
Micah Peavy (SF) 98.44 (4*, 43rd HS in 2020) 6-7, 185 lbs
Nimari Burnett (CG) 99.14 (5*, 22nd HS in 2020) 6-3, 185 lbs

Now technically, that’s all the scholarships the Red Raiders have. They have one open this year and two seniors, which makes three open slots. However, whenever Terrence Shannon committed last year, Texas Tech had zero scholarships left in 2019 and only one available in 2020. Obviously, that ended up not being the case.

Due to players going pro, decommitting, transferring out or leaving the program, Texas Tech ended up with five more commits that class and three spots open this class. So in other words, I’d probably expect another couple commits.

Perhaps one of these talent freshman becomes the second one-and-done in Tech history, or maybe Moretti decides to go back home, or maybe a player who doesn’t get much minutes transfers out. A lot could happen, but this likely isn’t the end of the class.

Get Your Guns Up, Nimari!!!

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