Division I schools pursuing Bunton

Clovis senior post Tigg Bunton is averaging 21 points and eight rebounds through the first 16 games. (CNJ staff photo)

By John Eisel: CNJ sports writer

Clovis senior post Tigg Bunton has come through plenty of times for the Wildcats this season. If he can come through on his ACT or SAT, he’ll likely be playing basketball at a Division I school next year.

The athletic 6-foot-8 post and leading scorer and rebounder for the top-ranked Wildcats has drawn the interest of New Mexico, Texas Tech, New Mexico State, Arizona State and Arizona.

“He’s legitimately being recruited,” Clovis coach J.D. Isler said. “He’s not just on a list.

However, he has not secured an SAT or ACT score high enough to be cleared to play as a freshman by the NCAA.

Bunton took the ACT in December and Clovis High School officials are currently sorting out the results. The SAT or ACT qualifying score an incoming freshman needs depends on grade-point average.

Bunton said he thought he fared pretty well on the test.
Coaches from New Mexico and New Mexico state have already seen Bunton play, while coaches from Texas Tech and Arizona are planning to do so in the near future.

Bunton said although it would be nice to stay close to Clovis, he had no real preference at this point.

“He’s stronger than a typical high school post player,” Isler said. “They (college coaches) feel his athletic ability and body are going to let him play earlier than a typical college freshman.”

If Bunton doesn’t qualify with December’s ACT test, Isler said he can still take the ACT or SAT before the school year ends. If that doesn’t pan out, Bunton would likely go to a junior college for a year or two and then transfer to a Division I program.

“His ultimate goal is to play Division I basketball,” Isler said.

Bunton’s fellow senior post Dominique Easterlin is getting looked at by West Texas A&M, Cochise Junior College in Sierra Vista, Ariz., and Eastern Arizona College, a two-year school in Thatcher. Easterlin said he liked Cochise because of their up-tempo style. Sierra Vista and Thatcher are in southwest Arizona.

NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from talking about recruits before they sign with an institution.