By Joe Yeager for Inside the Red Raiders
All of Mark Adams’ assistant coaches have struck paydirt on the recruiting trail. The most recent to do so is also the most recent hire, Talvin Hester. He was instrumental in landing Texas Tech’s most recent basketball recruit, Mylik Wilson, a guard who is transferring in from the University of Louisiana.
Wilson, who played his high school ball in Rayville in northeastern Louisiana, was offered by Louisiana Tech while Hester coached in Ruston. Wilson, who was either a three- or a four-star prospect, depending upon who you listen to, was also recruited by Iowa State and Rutgers among others. In order to land Wilson as a transfer, Texas Tech bested the likes of Georgia, Vanderbilt, Wichita State, Marquette, Creighton, Iowa State, and Oklahoma.
Wilson had quite a high school career. During his junior and senior seasons, Rayville went a combined 70-6, including an undefeated campaign when Wilson was a junior. As a senior, Rayville averaged 107 points per contest. Clearly, Wilson will have no problem playing at the faster pace Texas Tech is expected to employ under Adams.
Wilson arrived in Lafayette, Louisiana with a bang, earning Kyle Macy Freshman All-America honors. And, as a sophomore on a team that went 17-9, Wilson averaged 13 points, six rebounds, 3.2 assists and two steals per contest. He also blocked 25 shots in 26 games. He shot 44 percent from the floor, 25 percent from the 3-point line, and 73 percent from the charity stripe. Wilson averaged the most minutes per game of any Ragin’ Cajun. He was also the team’s second leading scorer, shot blocker and rebounder, and led the squad in assists and steals.
While at Texas Tech, Wilson will not be expected to score a great deal. If Mac McClung returns to Tech rather than goes pro, he will obviously be the team’s primary offensive option. But if not, then the Red Raiders will boast an extremely balanced attack, and it is unlikely any single player will average more than 13 points per game. Wilson will be one of many players expected to chip in points here and there on nights when he’s feeling it. Otherwise, Adams will be looking for Wilson to contribute in other areas, something he is more than capable of doing.
The most unusual feature of Wilson’s game is his rebounding. As noted above, he averaged six boards per contest, but at 6-foot-3, 175, he is obviously not outmuscling the big fellas for caroms down in the paint. Rather, it is clear that Wilson has a knack for tracking down long rebounds. That is a useful skill.
Wilson is also a top-flight on-ball defender, and a quality distributor. In Wilson, Chandler Jacobs, Adonis Arms and Davion Warren, Texas Tech has stockpiled an array of perimeter stoppers, to go along with tough defenders such as Kevin McCullar and Clarence Nadolny who are already on the squad. It looks like Mark Adams is dead set on returning Texas Tech to the top of the defensive mountain, a summit they occupied in 2019, but lost in 2020 and 2021.
Incidentally, Wilson will wear the number 13 at Texas Tech, the number also sported by former Tech great Sean Gay who played at Tech in the second half of the eighties. Wilson and Gay have identical builds, and both made their names on defense. Purely coincidence, I’m sure, but a nice one for Texas Tech.