The Texas Athletics Department issued an official release announcing that the Longhorn basketball program has received a signed Letter of Intent from four of its basketball commitments. Javan Felix was the first to sign on the first day of the Early Signing Period (Nov. 9), and Prince Ibeh and Ioannis Papapetrou followed later that day. The fourth recruit, Connor Lammert, signed on the following Monday
Per the release, here's Texas coach Rick Barnes talking about the signed members in the recruiting class of 2012.
Our entire staff is really excited about this class as they truly fill needs in our program. All are outstanding basketball players. More importantly, they are all outstanding people who come from solid families, high school coaches and AAU coaches. They all will be excellent student-athletes here at The University of Texas.
We again targeted the state of Texas first for its best players, and we found them with Prince and Connor, and our school's calling card also allowed us to recruit nationally and internationally with Javan and Papi. When you combine this year's group of current freshmen and add this class, we believe the pieces fit.
Another noteworthy mention from the release: we now know how to pronounce some names. Javan is pronounced jah-VAHN, Ibeh E-bay, and Papa yo-ON-nis pa-pa-PAY-troo. Good to know.
Of course, the real news is who didn't sign: Texas' lone five star recruit and centerpiece, Cameron Ridley. The scuttlebutt in the national media is that Ridley was considering reclassifying to the 2013 class, a rumor that's been mentioned by Evan Daniels (Scout) and Dave Telep (ESPNU).
However, Hookem247's Gerry Hamilton says that's bunk. Ridley attends Fort Bend Bush, which is led by former head coach Ronnie Courtney. Courtney is no stranger on how to qualify for D-I basketball, since he is perhaps better known as the former head coach of Texas Exes T.J. Ford and Kenny Taylor while the pair played at Willowridge. Hamilton has repeatedly mentioned that academics aren't a problem, and that Ridley genuinely wants to come to Texas. However, there may be outside factors at play that have thus far prevented Ridley from signing his LOI.
For what it's worth, Ridley's AAU coach Keith White previously said that Ridley is Texas-bound. He told Dave Telep, "He’s going to Texas. He’s getting his stuff together. [...] He’s got the Clearinghouse and things to take care of. He’s definitely going to Texas."
But Hamilton reported today that when White was asked via text message whether Ridley would be signing, White responded with a simple "no."
With the Early Signing Period ending today, it appears that the Ridley recruitment will continue until next spring. If Ridley doesn't sign today as expected, the next available time Texas can lock down Ridley is the first day of the Late Signing Period: April 11, 2012.
Looks like it's going to be a long winter for Texas roundball recruitniks.