April 17, 2012

Coach says Tech got good one

Northwest Florida State College basketball coach Steve Forbes has a good relationship with Texas Tech head coach Billy Gillispie stemming back to their days at Texas A&M but that's not how the Red Raiders landed Trency Jackson.

It was just that recruiting diligence Gillispie promised he would come with when he signed on to be the Red Raiders' coach in 2011.

"Coach came out in the fall and tracked a couple of our guys all year long," Forbes said. "They came and watched us play in the (NJCAA) regional tournament and then the national tournament. I have a longstanding relationship with coach Gillispie because I was one of his assistants at Texas A&M so they had a pretty good feel for our program all year.

I think Coach Gillispie and Coach (Jeff) Kidder have a strong junior college background and they're going to know the best junior college players every year. I don't think it had anything to do with my relationship with Billy, I think they just knew what a good player I had. I didn't use my relationship to try to recruit Trency to Tech. It was totally Trency's decision and I thought it worked out really well. Those guys did a good job recruiting Trency and his mother. (Billy and I) talked more about basketball and our family than we did recruiting."

Forbes said Jackson, a lefty, knows what he's getting into by choosing to join the Red Raiders because Forbes has styled his practices and a lot of his philosophy after Gillispie's.

" I would consider coach Gillispie to be one of my mentors," Forbes said. "He's someone I have the utmost respect for. If you came out and watched us practice, you'd probably see a lot of the same things Coach does I do . I think Trency's style of play will be a good fit for him because we do a lot of the same things they're doing out in Lubbock."

As far as the player, Forbes said Jackson will be a solid player for the Red Raiders.

"Trency is an outstanding first," Forbes said. "He's one of the best I've coached in my 23 years. He can really guard the ball, he can guard off the ball. He can guard the one, the two and the three positions. He's just a really good defender. He's made himself into a very accomplished catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter.

"On a team that was very balanced this year and went 32-2 and got to the National Championship game, he shot 38 percent from the 3-point line and made close to 50 3-pointers. He's very athletic, he can get through the traffic and finish."

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