April 13, 2011
Nash excited about signing
Tyler (Texas) J.C. small forward Jaron Nash and his teammate Kader Tapsoba will officially sign with Texas Tech today as part of the Red Raiders' 2011 class. The duo committed to head coach Billy Gillispie two weeks ago during a visit to campus that included taking in the Red Raider football spring game. Nash indicated that he was comfortable with the thought of playing for Coach Gillispie from the beginning of their relationship.
"First time I talked to him was a while back," Nash said. "He came out to see us in Tyler and spent some time talking with myself and Kader. He just felt us out a little bit about our interest and he kind of gave us an idea of what he wanted to get going at Texas Tech, which he was really excited about. He just talked a lot about how bad he wanted us to be a part of his program. We were pretty much comfortable with him from the start."
Nash wasn't all that familiar with the Red Raiders' basketball program when the process began. It wasn't until his visit two weeks ago that he really had a feel for the university, the program, and the community as a whole.
"When I took the visit during the weekend of their spring football game was when I got really excited about playing there. Once I got a feel for the town and the environment I really felt like it was a place that would be great for me." he said. "The city was really nice and had a laid back feel. All of the facilities were really nice too. Everything was about as good as it gets."
"The people we got to meet around town and at the school were all really welcoming and made us feel comfortable. The coaches we got to meet were great too. They just had a really big family kind of environment going on. It felt like somewhere that I could call home for the next few years."
The 6-foot-7, 175-pounder was quick to identify what he feels like he and Tapsoba can bring to the table for the Red Raiders next season.
"I feel like Kader and I can bring instant length and athleticism. We know the fans are going to be excited to see Coach Gillispie out there next year and I think we can bring some new enthusiasm and excitement to the program as well," he said. "It should be a great opportunity for us to start off on the right foot and keep people excited about basketball."
With those expectations come a certain amount of pressure as well. Nash believes the maturity gained in the past two years in Tyler should allow him to avoid buckling under the weight of it all.
"I know Coach Gillispie is expecting a lot out of me. I think the past two seasons have taught me a lot that will help me out when I get there. He's been on me to keep working hard and come in prepared because he wants me to be a versatile guy that can help out from the one spot, to the four," Nash said. "He's going to be a very demanding coach and someone is going to have to set the tone for whether or not we're going to meet those demands. I know that they're expecting me to come in and play a big role, so I'm looking forward to facing that challenge."
Nash and Tapsoba will bring the Red Raiders' commitments to a total of seven so far for the 2011 class. More names could potentially be added before the end of the late signing period on May 18th.
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