Recruiting has never been an issue for Rick Barnes and he did it a high level again in 2012.
The five-man class is headlined by five-star Richmond (Texas) George Bush center Cameron Ridley, who Scout.com ranks as its 6th ranked prospect in the 2012 class. The big, physical center looks like a power player and while he has that in his game, he also has soft touch around the hoop and can step out and knock down the midrange jumper.
With Ridley's size, strength and skill level at his age, look for him to come in and make a big impact early into his Texas career.
One of the nation's quickest risers this summer was New Orleans St. Augustine point guard Javan Felix, who Scout.com ranks as its 65th overall prospect in 2012. Felix took July by storm with his high basketball IQ, strong frame and very good shooting ability.
Felix isn't necessarily a great athlete, but it's tough to nitpick too much further than that. He can shoot the ball, create for his teammates and appears to be a good leader at the point guard position.
Texas was able to stay in-state for a couple centers, the first of which was Garland Naaman Forest's Prince Ibeh, Scout.com's 54th ranked 2012 prospect. Ibeh isn't too skilled right now, but he's all potential. The center is long, athletic, has a good motor and plays tough defense.
While Ridley gives Texas a big, physical center and Ibeh is all size and athleticism, San Antonio (Texas) Churchill center Connor Lammert gives Texas a little more skill in its front court. The lefty can step out and shoot it and is also a very good passer.
Wrapping up the class is a bit of an unknown in Melbourne (Fla.) Florida Air Academy small forward Ioannis Papapetrou, a native of Greece. Since he didn't play much AAU ball, Papapetrou hasn't been seen by many but brings the intrigue of the unknown that usually comes with the signing of an international prospect.
Although Texas brought in the top class, Baylor has plenty to be happy about.
Baylor landed one of the nation's top prospects in Arlington (Texas) Grace Prep center Isaiah Austin. The tremendously skilled center needs to become a little better of a competitor on the court, but his ceiling is extremely high due to his size, length, versatility, shot blocking and shooting.
Look for point guard L.J. Rose to also make an impact for Baylor. Coming from Houston (Texas) Second Baptist, Rose’s passing and shooting will be very helpful for head coach Scott Drew. Baylor also brings in Chad Rykhoek, a center from Fort Worth (Texas) Christian.
Oklahoma State’s three-man class is headlined by Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus shooting guard Marcus Smart, who has proven himself as a winner at the high school level. The strong guard can get to the basket and lock up defenders.
The Cowboys picked up Smart’s high school teammate in point guard Phil Forte, who is one of the nation’s top shooters. Oklahoma State also landed 6-foot-8 forward Kamari Murphy from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, a player who really came on strong in July.
Texas A&M’s solid two-man class is led by J-Mychal Reese, a guard from Bryan (Texas). Reese’s strength is definitely his scoring, as his quickness and shooting ability make him a tough player to handle at the high school level.
The Aggies also scored one of the highest basketball IQ prospects in the country in Alex Caruso, a versatile wing from College Station (Texas) A&M Consolidated. Caruso will be able to contribute at all three perimeter positions and the local product should definitely be a fan favorite for four seasons at Texas A&M.
Iowa State also put together a nice class, led by Tilton (N.H.) power forward Georges Niang. The productive scorer gets it done with his work ethic in the post, but also has good hands and respectable post moves.
The Cyclones also secured commitments from a pair of shooting guards in Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep’s Nazareth Long and Detroit Pershing’s Sherron Dorsey-Walker, to go with Bronx (N.Y.) St. Raymond small forward Nkereuwem Okoro.
How did the Big 12 stack up?
Led by Texas’ impressive haul, the Big 12 as a conference currently has accumulated the fifth best class.
|Top Big 12 Prospects|
|Top Prospect:||Isaiah Austin, Baylor|
|Best Scorer:||Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State|
|Best Passer:||L.J. Rose, Baylor|
|Best Shot Blocker:||Isaiah Austin, Baylor|
|Best Floor General:||Javan Felix, Texas|
|Best Post Player:||Cameron Ridley, Texas|
|Best Shooter:||Phil Forte, Oklahoma State|
|Best Rebounder:|| Cameron Ridley, Texas|
|Best Athlete:||Prince Ibeh, Texas|
Cameron Ridley, Isaiah Austin and Marcus Smart make up the Big 12’s group of five-stars, but the conference is the home of commitments from ten Top 100 prospects.
Scout: Signing Day - Big 12