New Mexico transfer JT Toppin signs with Texas Tech


New Mexico transfer JT Toppin, the Mountain West Freshman of the Year, has signed with Texas Tech, the school announced Tuesday.

Toppin had also entered the NBA draft and attended the combine, but he will now withdraw and head to Lubbock to play for Grant McCasland.

"I can't wait to show Red Raider Nation the energy and hard work I bring to every game," Toppin said. "I look forward to getting to Lubbock and helping the team win."

The 6-foot-9 forward from Dallas made a huge impact as a freshman, averaging 12.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks en route to second-team All-Mountain West honors as well as the league's Freshman of the Year award. He also shot 62.3% from the field, ranking 11th nationally in that category.

Toppin came out of the gates with two double-doubles in the first four games of his career, including 27 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Toledo in November. He tallied eight double-doubles in Mountain West play, highlighted by 25 points and 13 boards against Air Force and 17 points and 16 rebounds against San Diego State.

He also helped lead New Mexico to the Mountain West Conference tournament title, averaging 10.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in three games -- notching a double-double against San Diego State in the title game, his third double-double against the Aztecs last season.

Toppin is ranked No. 12 in ESPN's transfer rankings and was the third-best transfer still available.

He's the fourth incoming transfer for McCasland and the Red Raiders this spring, following Elijah Hawkins (Minnesota), Kevin Overton (Drake) and Federiko Federiko (Pitt). They also bring back four of their top seven scorers from a team that went 23-11 and earned a 6-seed in the NCAA tournament in McCasland's first year at the helm.