March 08, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Texas Longhorns head coach Rick Barnes reacts to play during the second half of the game against the Iowa State Cyclones in the quarterfinal round of the 2012 Big 12 Tournament at the Sprint Center. Texas won 71 - 65. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE
Barnes hooks a duo of bigs
Rick Barnes did what he does best yesterday; sign another big-time recruiting class. Barnes is often criticized for not being a great in-game coach, but he routinely brings in big-time talent, even from outside the state, like Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Tristan Thompson; this year is no different.
Overall the Longhorns freshman group ranks 4th on ESPN, 9th on MaxPreps, 6th on cbssports.com, and 7th on Scout. The Texas class has 3 players on CBS Sports Top 100 including one 5 star prospect. On Rivals, the Longhorns have two 4 star prospects and 3 players on their Top 150 list (29, 55, 110).
The jewel of the class is center Cameron Ridley from Fort Bend Bush High School in Richmond, Texas. The Longhorns lacked a legit big man last season but now have two of them with Ridley and fellow Longhorn commit Prince Ibeh from Garland, Texas. Both Ridley and Ibeh are 6-10 and should team together nicely as a duo along with returning perimeter players Myck Kabongo, Julien Lewis, and Sheldon McClellan. Rounding out the rest of the class are 3 star guard Javan Felix from New Orleans, 3 star guard DeMarcus Holland from Garland, 3 star power forward Connor Lammert, and 3 star small forward Ioannis Papapetrou from Florida.
Texas will have to rely on new starters this season; like they do every year. They lost seniors Clint Chapman and Alexis Wangmene, along with losing junior J'Covan Brown to the NBA draft and losing freshman guard Sterling Gibbs via transfer. They'll go into the 2012-2013 season with unknown talent, but this group has a lot of upside.