Texas head coach Shaka Smart, left, sings the "Eyes of Texas" with his team after defeating West Virginia 87-79 in an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

BEVO BEAT Men's Basketball

2019 Texas basketball recruiting: Names to know as summer season begins

Posted May 29th, 2018

Advertisement

Summer is approaching which means it’s soon going to be time for some of basketball’s best 2019 recruits to showcase themselves in front of Texas and other college basketball coaching staffs at high-level events such as July’s EYBL Finals at Peach Jam.

Currently in a NCAA  “quiet period,” which began on Saturday, means coaches can only meet with recruits and family members while on campus– in some cases players can take unofficial visits during this time and coaches can still contact recruits, they just can’t go see them off campus. In July, specifically July 11, beings three sets of evaluation periods, which allow coaches to watch recruits play at various events.

After landing three top-10 ranked classes in a row, Texas coach Shaka Smart and his staff have yet to land a commitment to the 2019 class, but that is likely to change between now and the Fall signing period in November, and work done in the summer will be a big reason why.

Advertisement

Who are some names to watch for this summer? According to multiple reports, Texas has extended dozens of scholarships to 2019 recruits, ranging from some of the best players in the class, like No.1 prospect James Wiseman, to a handful of 3-star prospects. However, several of the players they’ve offered, like Wiseman, are being slated to head elsewhere already, though many are still uncommitted. In Wiseman’s case, he may have many offers, but Memphis just hired his high school coach, Penny Hardaway, as head coach, and Kentucky has been one of the favorites since the start of his commitment, making those schools the heavy favorite.

Here are some names to watch this summer:

Will Baker, Austin Westlake, 6-9, center

This is no surprise as Baker lives a few minutes from campus. He’s talked about his Texas recruitment before and with Texas’ run of successful big men, don’t be surprised if the Longhorns become an ideal landing spot of the all the obvious reasons. The problem with Baker’s recruitment is that, as a 5-star recruit and the No. 5-ranked center, many of the top programs are also recruiting him including powerhouses North Carolina, Kansas and UCLA. The Tarheels are currently the favorite in 247 Sports’ Crystal Ball predictions, followed by UCLA then Texas.

Samuel Williamson, Rockwall, 6-6, guard/forward

Williamson has drawn interest from just about every program in the Big 12. He told Rivals last month: “I really like coach Shaka (Smart). They have a lot of really good guards and I like their system.” However, the deck may be stacked against Texas and the Big 12 as Williamson, who has taken unofficial visits to a number of schools already, comes from a family of Jayhawks. His mother is reportedly a Kansas graduate as his brother. Still, one of those unofficial visits the guard, who averaged 19.5 points in a recent tournament, took was to Texas.

Cassius Stanley, Studio City, Calif., 5-5, guard

Stanley narrowed his recruiting suitors to six last week and he included the Longhorns. While 247 Sports predicts USC as the favorite to keep him close to home, Texas has a better chance than most to land the No.18-ranked prospect and No.2 California prospect.

Isaiah Stewart, La Lumiere School via Rochester, NY., 6-8, center

Stewart spoke about his relationship with Smart in April, saying “Coach (Shaka) Smart and I are tight; we talk a lot. He FaceTimes me a lot and we just have a great relationship. He is great and Texas is a great school. …” The big man is a 5-star prospect and the No.3-center in the class. Smart is certainly familiar with the high school program, as La Lumiere is the same prep program that produced former Longhorn James Banks.

Malik Hall, Wichita, Kan., 6-7, power forward

According to reports, Texas extended an offer to Hall on May 4, and in fact, Hall has received gobs of offers since late April. He has a reported 25 offers ranging from defending national champion Villanova to Oregon. It’s not surprising that Kansas is viewed as the favorite to land Hall given the location.

Jalen Lecque, Arden, N.C., 6-4, guard

Lecque, the No. 11-ranked prospect in his class, but may not be in that class. Lecque told USA Today in April that he was “50-50” on reclassifying. The 5-star recruit may be a longshot for Texas. He has nearly 40 offers that include pretty much every major college basketball program in the country. The Crystal Ball predictions have him choosing either North Carolina — a school that is suddenly back to its recruiting power it lived at for decades before the “sham class” investigation — and Oregon. Texas offered him last September and about a week later he made a visit to the campus. If he does reclassify to join this season, the question will be if Texas has the scholarship for him. With the signing of Courtney Ramey, Texas doesn’t currently have any available scholarships.

 Jaden McDaniels, Federal Way, Wash., 6-8, forward

The No. 28-ranked player in the class, 247 Sports recruiting writer Kevin Flaherty writes that McDaniels is one of the Longhorns’ top recruiting targets. The athletic 6-foot-9, 175 pound forward is the top prospect in Washington and could continue to rise up the ranks as he starts to get more offers. Already a reported target for Texas, Oklahoma, San Diego State and in-state Washington, Kansas offered him last week. McDaniels has the profile Smart and his staff have loved since they arrived in Austin — it’s not a stretch to look at McDaniels and be reminded of Jericho Sims and other forwards Texas has successfully recruited.

Other names to be on the lookout for: Omar Payne (Kissimmee, Fla.), Drew Timme (Richardson), Jared Garcia (Katy), Max Agbonkpolo (Santa Margarita, Calif.), Jaelyn Withers (Huntersville, N.C.), Greg Gantt (Fayetteville, N.C.), Isaac Okoro (Powder Springs, Ga.), Keon Brooks (Fort Wayne, Ind.)

News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of Hookem.com is included with an Austin American-Statesman subscription in addition to Statesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe today at statesman.com/subscribe.

Comments