Barking Carnival, For Texas and NCAA football news
Stay connected for news and updates Follow @BarkingCarnival
Like us to subscribe
Uber-prospect Andrew Wiggins committed to Kansas today. That's both bad and good for the Big 12.
A late recruit comes on board from Detroit (MI) Pershing.
According to multiple sources, 2013 wing guard Martez Walker from Detroit (MI) Pershing received an offer after he officially visited Texas.
Two of the three committed hoops seniors have sent in their LOIs, while the third is expected to sign a financial aid agreement.
The combo guard from Richardson (Tex.) Berkner committed after taking his official visit to Texas.
The Top 100 combo guard from Richardson (Tex.) Berkner will visit Austin on March 28.
The 5* forward from Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood Christian picked Kentucky over Texas along with Kansas and Florida.
The versatile shooting guard from Orlando (Fla.) Jones high school has officially picked Texas.
The McDonald's All-American wasn't expected to pick the Longhorns anyway.
The 5* forward from Texas will pick from Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Florida, N.C. State & Oklahoma on March 20.
The 4* SG from Orlando will be in town this weekend.
Texas recruiting target Kendal Yancy-Harris is officially back on the recruiting market.
Awesome and unique insight to committed PG Isaiah Taylor's first look at the University of Texas.
The Longhorns' only committed prospect was in town for the Kansas game.
The 5* prospect from Dallas Kimball will be in Austin this weekend.
Because recruiting still matters.
There was a surprise offer extended by the Texas Longhorns coaching staff this past weekend. According to Houston-based sources, 2013 point guard Isaiah Taylor from Houston (Tex.) The Village now possesses an offer. The news was broken by Jim Hicks of RCS Sports.
Hicks runs a website dedicated to Houston area high school basketball. He ranks Taylor as the 9th best prospect in the greater Houston area. Nationally, Taylor is not highly regarded by the major recruiting services. According to the 247 Composite rankings, he's just a 2-star recruit and ranks outside the top 300.
Taylor is from Northern California originally, and moved to Texas to gain more exposure to major colleges. The move appears to have paid off. Following strong summer league play, he picked up offers from teams like the Penn St. Nittany Lions and Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Texas offer is his most significant to date.
Taylor currently plays for The Village, a private school in Houston, alongside senior forward Dylan Jones. Jones was originally committed to Pepperdine, but reopened his recruitment and subsequently committed to Penn. The Village plays a freelance schedule and does not compete in UIL or TAPPS.
On the AAU circuit, Taylor runs with Texas PRO, the occasional home of five-star PG Emmanuel Mudiay, a top Texas target in the 2014 class. Texas PRO's Twitter account also confirmed that Taylor has an offer, and notes that Taylor will attend Texas' game against North Carolina this week.
On the surface, the offer is a bit of a head-scratcher. Many fans were calling for head coach Rick Barnes to recruit a point guard, particularly since Myck Kabongo is unlikely to be around for his junior season. However, those calls were more so for an elite player like Kentucky-bound Andrew Harrison, someone who could immediately step in and provide championship-level leadership.
With Kabongo sitting on the sidelines, freshman Javan Felix has been thrust into a starring role. Felix has had his ups and downs, but appears to be on track to becoming a solid multi-year starter for the Longhorns. Further, fellow freshman DeMarcus Holland has drawn early praise and looks like a capable backup behind Felix. As such, there does not appear to be any immediate playing time available for a developmental project like Taylor.
According to multiple sources, the Texas Longhorns have extended a new offer in the 2013 recruiting class. Power forward Demetrius Henry from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Faith Baptist Christian is the recipient. The news was broken by he Twitter feed of his AAU squad, Team Breakdown.
Breakdown Demetrius Henry was offered by Texas tonight. He is averaging 21pts, 12 rebs, n 3 blocks for Faith Baptist twitter.com/TeamBreakdown/…— Team Breakdown(@TeamBreakdown) December 14, 2012
Henry is ranked 102nd nationally in the 247 Composite rankings. He has officially visited the Illinois Fighting Illini, Clemson Tigers, and Rutgers Scarlet Knights. According to Will Gunter of 247 Sports, Henry's favorites are Rutgers and Clemson along with the Miami Hurricanes, South Carolina Gamecocks, and South Florida Bulls.
The offer to Henry looks like a long shot for Texas, given how far Henry has already pursued his recruitment. More concerning is the assumption that Texas may be looking to hedge its recruitment of five-star forward Julius Randle. Though the Longhorns are arguably the public favorite for Randle, there is speculation that a continuation of Texas' disappointing season will drop the Longhorns in Randle's eyes.
As for Henry, his scouting report lists his strengths as a high-energy rebounder and capable spot shooter. In that vein, he sounds like an asset in the mold of Jonathan Holmes, though certainly not the program-changer that a player like Randle would be. For now, we'll keep monitoring Henry's recruitment.
In his latest blog entry for USA Today, 2013 power forward Julius Randle announced his final three official visit dates. Randle, from Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood Christian, will visit the Texas Longhorns on February 9. The Longhorns are set to take on the Oklahoma St. Cowboys in an early afternoon game.
Randle will get a second opportunity to see Texas when he travels to Lawrence on February 16. The Longhorns will be in town to face the Kansas Jayhawks. Randle's remaining visit is on January 26, to visit the N.C. State Wolfpack.
The Texas and Kansas visit dates differ from an earlier report by Adam Zagoria. Soon after that report, Randle did have surgery on a fracture in his foot, which may have altered his visit timeline.
Randle previously took official visits to see the Kentucky Wildcats and Florida Gators this past fall. His remaining finalist, the Oklahoma Sooners, will not get an official visit. However, Randle did take an unofficial visit to Norman in the fall and was at the Notre Dame-Oklahoma football game.
2013 power forward Julius Randle, the top recruiting target on the Texas Longhorns 2013 big board, will be sidelined three months after breaking his foot over the weekend. He was injured participating in Dallas' Thanksgiving Hoopfest, a basketball event bringing together most of the top teams in the region.
Randle, who plays from Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood Christian, will miss most, if not all, of his high school team's basketball season. It's another blow for the Titans, who won the TAPPS 5A State Championship last year. Prestonwood Christian lost star forward Mickey Mitchell, a five-star recruit in the 2015 class, when Mitchell tore his ACL playing quarterback. Mitchell's older brother is, a well-regarded linebacker in the 2013 class.
Right now, Randle is targeting a return for the playoffs, though that remains uncertain. He should be fine by the time the post-season all-star circuit comes around, as Randle is a McDonald's All-American lock.
According to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, 2013 power forward Julius Randle from Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood Christian has tentatively scheduled his remaining official visits. Per Randle's mother, Randle will visit the Texas Longhorns on the weekend of December 15, followed by the Kansas Jayhawks the weekend of December 28 and the N.C. State Wolfpack the weekend of January 25.
Randle previously took official visits to the Kentucky Wildcats and Florida Gators this past fall. He will not take an official visit to his remaining finalist, the Oklahoma Sooners, although Randle did unofficially visit Norman the weekend of October 27.
There is a lot of chatter that Texas leads for the five-star prospect. For example, that sentiment was voiced by Rivals.com's Eric Bossi, who watched Randle and his high school team this past weekend at Dallas' Thanksgiving Hoopfest event.
The stance of Texas recruitniks is appropriately pragmatic. Despite early season struggles, the hope is that the Longhorns will go on to have a promising season this year. This would hopefully prove to Randle that he is the "missing piece" to help lead the Longhorns to a championship run in the 2013-14 season.
Presumably, the early season visit is not good news for Texas, who would rather get him on campus for a more raucous, hoops-oriented atmosphere. On December 15, the Longhorns will take on mighty Texas St., and with the student body entrenched in finals week, the Erwin Center will surely be about as loud as its derisive nickname, "The Library." That said, even if Randle makes that scheduled trip his official visit weekend, there is still plenty of opportunity for him to revisit Austin in the spring before he makes his final decision.
Longhorns hoops miss out on another recruiting target.
The top center target on the Longhorns recruiting big board picked the rival Jayhawks.
2013 center Joel Embiid from Gainesville (Fla.) The Rock has narrowed down his list of finalists to three schools. The raw but talented big man will choose from the Florida Gators, Kansas Jayhawks, and Texas Longhorns. Coaches from all three schools had in-home visits with Embiid yesterday. He is expected to announce his decision next week.
The Longhorns are likely third in this race, as both Florida and Kansas are considered the co-favorites ahead of the Longhorns. The Jayhawks will have an opening at center after the departure of senior center Jeff Withey. Meanwhile, Florida has the "hometown" advantage and holds the popular vote of most recruitniks. The Gators could also lose current center Patric Young to the NBA Draft. With the Longhorns expecting the return of current freshmen Cameron Ridley and Prince Ibeh at center next year, the immediate playing time that Embiid is seeking may be hard to come by in Austin.
That said, it's commendable that the Longhorns coaching staff, particularly ex-Florida assistant Rob Lanier, identified Embiid early and stayed on him as his stock soared this summer. Embiid is expected to sign in the Early Signing Period, which starts on November 14.
After a few false starts--DeMarcus Croaker, Texas Longhorns will finally host a 2013 wing player on an official visit. According to Adam Zagoria, 2013 small forward Brandon Austin from Philadelphia (Penn.) Imhotep Charter is set to fly to Austin tonight., and Ishmail Wainright--the
Former Penn State commit Brandon Austin leaves tonight for his official visit to Texas. Coming off UConn & Providence visits.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) October 25, 2012
The Longhorns are looking for one wing player that can handle and score to sign early in the 2013 class. It's been a tough road to hoe. With current Longhorns Sheldon McClellan, Julien Lewis, Ioannis Papapetrou, and DeMarcus Holland all set to have two or three more years of eligibility left starting next year, early playing time may be difficult to come by for any non-elite freshman.
As a result, recruits like JaJuan Johnson and Ishmail Wainright decided to look elsewhere, choosing to never take their scheduled official visits to Texas. Meanwhile, presumed top target DeMarcus Croaker from Orlando (Fla.) Jones has had issues with achieving a high enough SAT score to qualify. With his academic eligibility in question, Brandon Austin has become a higher priority target for the Longhorns.
Austin decommitted from the Penn St. Nittany Lions in July. He has already taken two official visits, to see the Providence Friars and Connecticut Huskies. After Texas, Austin will have two official visits remaining, which are tentatively bookmarked for the UCLA Bruins and Georgetown Hoyas. He is also considering the Syracuse Orange, Florida Gators, Xavier Musketeers, and Temple Owls for his two remaining visits.
Texas is pushing for a fall decision, but Austin has not set a commitment timetable. Along with Austin and Croaker, the only other prospects the Longhorns are actively pursuing at this time at center Joel Embiid from Gainesville (Fla.) The Rock and power forward Julius Randle from Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood Christian.
Embiid took an official visit to Texas earlier this month and is on target for a fall decision, with the Longhorns in the mix along with the Florida Gators, Kansas Jayhawks, Virginia Cavaliers and other schools. Randle just took an unofficial visit to Texas this past weekend and will make a spring decision. Currently, Florida and Texas are considered his two favorites.
"The Texas staff and I decided that it was best thing for me and the program," Johnson said.
Asked if the Longhorns were at all an option for him right now, Johnson responded, "At this time, no."
The Longhorns coaching staff is still pursuing shooting guard DeMarcus Croaker from Orlando (Fla.) Jones, though qualification issues are a concern. Additionally, Texas has ratcheted up interest with two other wing players, Ishmail Wainwright and Brandon Austin. Wainright is expected to visit Texas later this month. Meanwhile, Austin recently decommitted from Penn State and is reopening up his recruitment.
One of the top prospects in the 2013 class, Julius Randle keeps Texas on his list of finalists along with Kentucky, NC State, Florida, Kansas and Oklahoma.
In the latest Joel Embiid update ($), ESPN's Dave Telep gets a choice quote from Embiid's high school coach, Justin Harden. Embiid plans to take an official visit to Austin this weekend and will presumably attend the Texas Longhorns-West Virginia Mountaineers football game.
According to his high school coach Justin Harden, Embiid will visit Texas this weekend. “He’s been saying it’s a top choice and Texas was holding out a (visit) date,” Harden said.
Per Harden, Embiid will make trips each of the subsequent two weekends. He plans to officially visit the Kansas Jayhawks for Midnight Madness (weekend of October 12) and the Virginia Cavaliers the weekend of October 19.
Embiid will have two official visits remaining, though it is possible he won't take all his visits if he makes a fall decision. The Marquette Golden Eagles and Florida Gators are the two other teams mentioned by Telep as "in the mix."
Per Adam Zagoria, 2013 small forward Ishmail Wainright from Rockville (Md.) Montrose Christian will start taking his official visits. Wainright plans to visit Ohio State first, followed by St. John's.
6-6 SF Ish Wainright of Montrose Christian will visit Ohio State this wknd & #stjbb later this month. Also looking at Texas & Baylor.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) October 2, 2012
Last week, Wainright narrowed his list of schools down to four ($). He is considering the Ohio St. Buckeyes, St. John's Red Storm, Baylor Bears, and Texas Longhorns. Seeing Texas on the list was somewhat a surprise. After showing some initial interest, the Longhorns have hardly been linked with the top 100 small forward.
Wainright, a Missouri native, committed to his hometown Missouri Tigers in May 2011 but decommitted just a month later. He is no longer considering the Tigers. Wainright subsequently transferred to powerhouse basketball program Montrose Christian. You may be familiar with the school: it's the alma mater of one Kevin Durant.
With approximately a month to go in the Early Signing Period, it remains to be seen how much interest Texas has in Wainright. If things progress to the point of an official visit later this month, we'll revisit the recruitment.
According to ESPN's William Wilkerson, 2013 shooting guard DeMarcus Croaker from Orlando (Fla.) Jones likely will not make it down to Austin this weekend ($). Croaker had scheduled an official visit to Texas, one of three schools--along with Florida State and Murray State--that he is still considering.
The reason given is that Croaker received his ACT scores, and they were not as high as Croaker was expecting. That does not necessarily preclude Croaker from taking official visits. According to NCAA regulations, high school athletes need only submit official standardized test scores in order to be eligible to take official visits. There is no prerequisite that the score has to be high enough for NCAA eligibility qualification.
However, Croaker plans to retake the ACT the last weekend of October 27. As such, it probably behooves him to use his remaining free time studying for a better score.
Croaker's inability to visit Austin puts his recruitment in flux. Texas still plans on hosting fellow shooting guard JaJuan Johnson this weekend. While Texas is not considered the favorite to land Johnson, it would be interesting to see what happens if Johnson is blown away by his visit. The Longhorns intend to sign a shooting guard in the early signing period, which starts November 9. Both Johnson and Croaker appear to be on track to make fall decisions, but the fact that Johnson will be wrapping up his official visits at the same time that Croaker starts his makes for a couple interesting recruitments.
According to ESPN's Dave Telep, 2013 center Joel Embiid from Gainesville (Fla.) The Rock will be in Austin this weekend for an official visit. Telep received word from Embiid's high school coach, Justin Harden, and tweeted the news earlier today.
Joel Embiid, per his HS coach Justin Harden, will visit the Texas Longhorns this weekend.— Dave Telep (@DaveTelep) October 2, 2012
Telep was in the Sunshine State this past weekend at the Nike Team Florida Workout ($), and was impressed with Embiid's rapidly improving skill level.
This is the fastest rising big man in the senior class and arguably the most improved interior player since the end of the high school season. Embiid has all the physical attributes – length, size, and athleticism – to go with an aggressive streak. He doesn’t have a year of organized basketball under his belt but he's got the look of an elite big man prospect and he could be six months away from cementing himself as one of the premier centers in the country.
Embiid has seen a spike in high major interest recently, and lists schools like UCLA, Kansas, Louisville, and Virginia. He had originally planned to cut his list this fall but has yet to do so. Nevertheless, it bodes well for Texas that they are set to host Embiid's first official visit.
Speculation is that Texas would love it if Embiid committed to the Horns in the fall, leaving the coaching staff free to pursue top target Julius Randle, a five-star power forward from Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood Christian, in the spring. However, given the surge in interest and the elongated timeline, it's possible Embiid does not make a decision until the spring.
Per Hookem's Gerry Hamilton, 2013 shooting guard plans to take an official visit to Texas this weekend ($). Johnson is targeting a fall decision and has Texas in his top five along with Alabama, Miami, Marquette, and Arkansas. He took his first and second official visits, to Miami and Alabama, respectively, on September 14 and September 28.from Memphis (Tenn.) Southwind
It remains unclear just how much interest Texas has in Johnson. The Longhorns are said to be high on combo guard DeMarcus Croaker, also expected to be in town for an official visit this weekend. Like Johnson, Croaker currently plans to decide in the fall. With both prospects soon off the board, it makes sense for the Longhorns to hedge and see if either prospect has an overwhelming amount of interest in coming to Austin.
Johnson is also high school and AAU teammates with Johnathan Williams III, a top 50 power forward that lists Texas amongst his finalists. Williams is tentatively set to visit Texas on the weekend of October 15.
Per Hookem's Gerry Hamilton, 2013 shooting guard DeMarcus Croaker from Orlando (Fla.) Jones plans to take an official visit to Texas this weekend ($). Earlier reports by Hookem stated that Croaker was interested coming to visit Austin with his mother. Croaker originally wanted to come at the end of August, but his mother could not make the trip.
Last week, ESPN's William Wilkerson reported that Croaker might try to come down the prior weekend (September 29) but was awaiting his standardized test score results before making the trip ($). Once again, he was unable to make the trip, this time because his scores did not arrive in time. If he does receive his scores as expected, Croaker should be in town just in time to see the football team take on West Virginia.
Croaker is down to Texas, Florida State, and Murray State. He will likely make a fall decision, and his recruitment with Florida State could hinge on the decision of Xavier Rathan-Mayes. Currently, Rathan-Mayes plans to announce his decision on October 13, and is down to Florida State, Connecticut, and Illinois.