by Tobias Bass for Inside the Red Raiders
Chris Beard and Texas Tech’s men basketball have been on fire as of late in the recruiting and transfer business.
Beard is becoming one of the best closers in college basketball, meaning when he has his eye on a prospect you can pretty much call it a done deal that he will be a Red Raider in the fall.
This coming fall Texas Tech will feature its highest-rated freshman recruiting class in school history that is currently ranked first in the Big-12 and ninth nationally according to 247Sports Composite rankings. I spoke to arguably their most underrated recruit in Chibuzo Agbo Jr, who has skyrocketed up the national recruiting rankings the past few months and is a monster in the weight room.ADVERTISING
I caught up with Agbo for his thoughts on the Texas Tech basketball program, his game, his prowess in the weight room and why he chose to become a Red Raider.
Tobias Bass: Why did you choose to come to Texas Tech over West Coast schools?
Chibuzo Agbo: It was definitely the coaching staff. I felt that they would get the best out of me in Coach Beard, (Brian) Burg, and Ulric (Maligi). Fit as they play a lot of positionless basketball. Also, John Reilly was a big part of it for me. Talking to him in the weight room and seeing all the work they put in, so I felt it was a place I felt I could develop as a player and person.
Bass: Talk about the incoming recruiting class that will be joining you in Lubbock.
Agbo: It will be fun coming in with Nimari and Micah, they are great players. I haven’t played against them yet, but they are great guys. Texted them a little bit. It will be fun competing in practice pushing each other to get better.
Bass: Talk about the scope of the Big 12 conference next year, as it could be the best conference in the country.
Agbo: You always have to love the competition aspect and trying to step up to the challenge. You know iron sharpens iron. So when it’s time to get to the tournament it will pay off.
Bass: Talk about developing your game from a tweener forward to an actual wing. Improving your three-point shooting.
Agbo: I started off as a post-player growing up in AAU and when I got to high school I started working on my jump shot and handles a lot. (This past year) it really all came together. My jump shot got better and my handles. It’s going to make a big difference to the next level. There was never anyone that I modeled my game after. I just want to be able to do everything on the floor and, with any situation on the floor, I want to be able to handle it.
Bass: What about your game do you think will translate best and what do you need to work on?
Agbo: I think my catch and shoot ability. It’s something that has always come naturally. I feel like going to learn to play great defense. Just do the dirty work, rebound, and get on the floor. I think that’s a mindset I’ve always had, so I think that will be a big part of it too. Getting more comfortable handling the ball, higher IQ. Those are the two things I’ve been working on during this quarantine.
Bass: Why do you love the weight room? (Agbo as a senior squatted 435 pounds and deadlifted 315 pounds 42 times nonstop.)
Agbo: My dad is a big gym guy. He always wakes up at 5 a.m. and goes to the gym every day. So I guess I started lifting with him and I got some of the genetics from him. In high school, our coach was very prominent about us staying in the weight room. We would lift three to four times a week. So even now, during this quarantine, I’ve been doing bench workouts, pushups, or anything I can do.
Bass: Who are the best three players you have played against and why?
Agbo: One for sure is Bol Bol. He was freakishly athletic and he was crazy my freshmen year. This year who gave us the most problems was Devin Askew. When we played him this year he killed us. Who also killed us this year was Jaden Hardy. I see he’s on Tech’s recruiting list. It would be cool to play with him.
Bass: What are your thoughts on the G-League Pro Program and did you have the opportunity to do the same thing?
Agbo: I didn’t have the opportunity to do the same thing, but good for them in whatever they choose to do. The NCAA had to compete with that, so I think it opens up a lot more lanes. I think it’s a good thing to happen all around.
Bass: Talk about moving up the rankings from the beginning of the year is in the early 100’s to now being a top 70 recruit.
Agbo: It’s cool to get recognition. I was never a really highly ranked player in middle and early high school. It’s cool, but I have to stay on my game because when the time comes you have to back it up.