2013 wing Brandon Austin from Philadelphia (Penn.) Imhotep Charter committed to the Providence Friars today, choosing Providence over the Texas Longhorns and the Connecticut Huskies. Austin announced his decision via Twitter, and will sign with Providence this fall.
Austin is just the latest in a string of recruiting misses for the Longhorns. Texas had targeted quite a few prospects that the coaching staff was hoping to sign in the fall. However, all of them chose other schools, most notably center Joel Embiid (Kansas) and wing Ishmail Wainright (Baylor).
With Austin, proximity was likely the determining factor. Though Austin reportedly greatly enjoyed his official visit to Texas, many close to his recruitment noted that he was likely to stay close to his hometown. Austin had originally committed to Penn St., but reopened his recruitment last July, which is when Texas jumped into the mix.
The Longhorns--currently comprised of all underclassmen--are expected to return 10 scholarship players next year, meaning scarce playing time for potential new freshmen. However, Austin will face a similar predicament at Providence. The Friars should return their starting backcourt of Bryce Cotton and Josh Fortune, and will add five-star talents in Ricky Ledo and Kris Dunn. Both Ledo and Dunn are members of the 2012 class, but are sitting out the year due to academics and injury, respectively.
As for Texas, it's back to the drawing board. The Longhorns likely will not sign anyone this fall, leaving at least two openings going into the spring. Texas still has five-star power forward Julius Randle at the top of its list, and is recruiting two shooting guards in Keith Frazier and DeMarcus Croaker. Expect other names to surface as the season goes on, but if Texas ends up loss out on Randle, it probably won't be a fun signing day in Austin next spring.