5 Things to Know About Texas Tech’s Newest Basketball Recruit Niem Stevenson
With his first signee, new Texas Tech men's basketball head coach Chris Beard has brought on two-time NJCAA All-American as part of the spring NCAA signing period.
"I feel like I have a great connection with Coach Beard and Red Raider Nation has opened their arms for me ever since I have been on their radar," Stevenson said. "I can't wait to start my next journey in Lubbock in front of the greatest fans in the country."
The national pundits familiar with him are very high on Stevenson.
"Niem is one of the top athletic wing scorers in the nation," junior college analyst Jerry Mullen said. "He is high character person and a great get for Coach Beard and Texas Tech."
Here are five things you need to know about Stevenson moving into the 2016-17 season.
[Source: Texas Tech]
Stevenson was a 3rd team All-American in 2014 and a 1st team All-American in 2016.
His 2016 line was great: 24.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game while connected on 51 percent from the floor.
The points are a plus, but the nearly 7 rebounds a game show he's more than just a hired gun.
Stevenson dropped 20-plus 24 times last season. He also dropped 30-point plateau seven times.
The man can score. Consistently.
Here's what Stevenson's NJCAA coach had to say:
"Having coached at the collegiate level for over 20 years now, I have had the opportunity to coach a lot of different players and I can tell you that Niem is one of, if not the best, that I have ever been privileged to coach," Seward County Coach Bryan Zollinger said. "He is a genuine person and is a nose to the grindstone worker. He is very coachable and isn't afraid to listen despite his immense talents... Knowing him as a person, Niem will do the same thing at Texas Tech and continue to be successful and an important part of the team there in Lubbock."
That's high praise.
As great as all the guys on the roster are right now, they will forever be labeled as Tubby's guys. Not in a negative way; it's just how it works when coaches leave.
When Tubby Smith won his National Championship, he won it with Rick Pitino's guys. Barry Switzer won with Jimmy Johnson's guys.
No matter the success (and there will be success), Chris Beard will be discounted when it's Tubby's guys doing the winning.
Niem Stevenson is the first of Beard's Guys.
If everyone on the roster stays at Texas Tech, the biggest Red Raider need is the Scoring Guard hole left by Toddrick Gotcher and Devaugntah Williams.
A starting lineup might be Keenan Evans at the point, with Justin Gray and Stevenson on the wings with Zach Smith and Norense Odiase.
Aaron Ross is the early leader for the 2017 Big 12 6th Man of the Year.