Taylor Eldridge goes over Wichita State’s recruiting day on Wednesday’s National Signing Day. teldridge@wichitaeagle.com
Taylor Eldridge goes over Wichita State’s recruiting day on Wednesday’s National Signing Day. teldridge@wichitaeagle.com

Wichita State Shockers

Walking in Memphis: Wichita State nabs 4-star guard Alex Lomax

By Taylor Eldridge

teldridge@wichitaeagle.com

November 08, 2017 08:43 PM

UPDATED November 08, 2017 09:00 PM

There was Fred Van Vleet, then Markis McDuffie, then Landry Shamet.

Add Alex Lomax to the list.

NEW JOURNEY #DOIT4GMASHAW #DOIT4DEZ pic.twitter.com/IHC3TANQd3

— Alex ✨Alo✨ Lomax (@iamalo02) November 9, 2017

Lomax gave Gregg Marshall his latest four-star commitment when the senior point guard at Memphis East chose the Shockers over Memphis, Florida, Mississippi, Vanderbilt, and Missouri Wednesday night. Lomax made the announcement via his Twitter account. ESPN rates Lomax as the second-best player in Tennessee, the No. 27 point guard in the Class of 2018, and a top-150 player in the country.

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“After countless hours of deliberation with my family, we chose the college that is going to be the best fit for me as a student-athlete,” Lomax wrote on his Twitter. “This university has a great coaching staff and academic reputation.

“With a prayer and careful consideration, I have decided to take my talents to Wichita. Go Shockers!!!”

Lomax is the sixth commitment to the Shockers on Wednesday and the highest-rated, as he rounds out what recruiting analysts are already calling Marshall’s best recruiting class.

“Lomax is the gem of the class,” Rivals analyst Corey Evans said.

“It gives them that leader to build around,” said Eric Bossi, another Rivals analyst. “Lomax is one of those guys who isn’t the quickest and he doesn’t jump through the roof and he doesn’t have the prettiest stats, but bottom-line his teams win. His teammates will run through a wall for him. When it’s time to make a big shot, he’s going to hit it. He just has a way about him of elevating the play of the guys around him.”

With six seniors on this season’s team — all with prominent roles — Marshall faced the most questions he’s had to answer in a single recruiting class.

He addressed the need to replenish the frontcourt with the signings of Isaiah Poor Bear Chandler, Morris Udeze, and junior-college transfer Jaime Echenique, then added two high-ceiling wings with the signing of Erik Stevenson and the oral commitment of Chance Moore.

The last piece was finding the program’s future at point guard. Lomax answered the last question.

“You never know what’s going to happen with Landry Shamet, so Lomax is priority 1, 2, and 3 for them,” Evans said before Lomax announced his decision. “They definitely need a point guard, there’s no doubt about that. Getting a guy like him would be a giant boon for the program.”

Not only does Lomax solve Wichita State’s future at point guard, but he represents a shift in the Shockers’ ability to recruit. He a four-star prospect, and he was a coveted recruit in the backyard of one of WSU’s new AAC foes.

“Being able to go into the city of Memphis, a city they’re not playing out of in the American, and grab the top one or two kid from the city is huge,” Evans said.

“I think they’ve pretty clearly raised the level of their recruiting,” Bossi added. “I think Marshall can recruit well no matter what, but he’s stepped up a level in competition and he’s made sure he’s getting really, really good players.”

Taylor Eldridge: 316-268-6270, @tayloreldridge