For fans of Texas Longhorns basketball, here are a few quick recruiting notes with the Late Signing Period coming up on April 11.
- The most noteworthy new of the moment concerns Naaman Forest combo guard DeMarcus Holland. Holland, who is high school teammates with future Longhorn Prince Ibeh, decommitted from South Florida in late February and is currently considering just Texas and USF. Per Hookem247's Blake Munroe ($), Holland has a committable offer from Texas, presumably the scholarship vacated when J'Covan Brown decided to take his talents to the professional ranks. Holland is taking his official visit to Texas this weekend, and an imminent commitment would be unsurprising.
- The other name that has surfaced is current Tulsa guard Jordan Clarkson. Clarkson, who played high school ball at San Antonio Wagner, averaged 16.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 2.5 APG in an All-Conference sophomore year. Clarkson has yet to officially announce his intent to transfer, and is likely getting an impassioned pitch from new head coach Danny Manning to stay. If Clarkson were to decide to transfer, there is a lot of positive buzz surrounding him and Texas. Clarkson would have to sit out the 2012-13 season, and would have two years of eligibility remaining starting in fall 2013.
- After a solid performance at the McDonald's All-American game, Longhorns commitment Cameron Ridley put together an outstanding performance at the All-American Championships, played in New Orleans prior to the NCAA Men's Championship game. Ridley scored 16 points and took home MVP honors for his West squad. According to Ridley, he plans to sign with Texas in the Late Signing Period. Which starts April 11, for those sweating bullets.
- If Ridley and Holland sign, and Clarkson decides to transfer to Texas, that puts the Longhorns at 13 scholarship players for the 2012-13 season. Where does that leave five-star target Devonta Pollard? Right now, Pollard is considering Texas along with Alabama, Georgetown, and Missouri. Pollard recently cut Kentucky and Mississippi St. from his list, the latter being the most surprising. Prior to head coach Rick Stansbury's resignation, many recruitniks felt that the Bulldogs led for the in-state prospect. Pollard has not completely cut MSU from his list, only stating that it was hard to list a school that didn't have a head coach.
- The Bulldogs recently hired Clemson assistant Rick Ray, who will undoubtedly reach out to Pollard. However, Pollard doesn't have an existing relationship with Ray, making a commitment to MSU unlikely. Right now, Pollard plans to visit Alabama this weekend and Georgetown next weekend, before deciding in mid-to-late April. But it's entirely possible that the Longhorns could be full on scholarships by then.
- The last time Texas had this problem was the 2009-10 season. With 14 scholarship players, Texas got Jai Lucas, son of former NBA player John Lucas, to pay his own way for a year. That seems unlikely to happen with the 2012-13 Longhorns. There is a lot of unfounded speculation that such a situation may lead to a transfer, with a lot of eyes on Sterling Gibbs. So far, there is no truth to any of those rumors, but it is a situation worth monitoring.
- As the 2012 recruiting period wraps up, it is interesting to wonder how the coaching staff's decisions this year will affect the 2013 class. Scholarships are at a premium right now: there are no seniors on next year's team, and Myck Kabongo and Ridley are the only probable NBA early entry candidates. Right now, Texas has prioritized in-state five-star recruits Julius Randle (a power forward from Prestonwood Christian) and Keith Frazier (a shooting guard from Dallas Kimball). How the remaining spots in this year's class fill up may well determine how ably Texas can recruit Randle and Frazier going into the fall.
- Finally, it's worth noting that Texas assistant coach Russ Springmann, who led the Kevin Durant recruitment, may be a candidate for the TCU head coaching position.