Will any of these elite Texas basketballers lace up the Burnt Orange and White?
The final Elite 24 rosters were announced this past week, and an astounding SIX players named (out of 24 overall, natch) play their high school ball in the great state of Texas. The Under Armour Elite 24, which will air live on ESPNU at 6:00 p.m. CDT on August 25, is generally considered the culmination of the summer AAU season, before the kids go back to school.
Four Texans are five-star recruits in the 2013 class: power forward Julius Randle (Plano Prestonwood Christian / Texas Titans), point guard Andrew Harrison (Fort Bend Travis / Houston Defenders), shooting guard (Fort Bend Travis / Houston Defenders), and shooting guard Keith Frazier (Dallas Kimball / Houston Hoops).
Two other Texans are five-star recruits in the 2014 class: point guard Emmanuel Mudiay (Arlington Grace Prep / Texas Select) and small forward Justise Winslow (Houston St. John's / Houston Hoops). Mudiay and Winslow are two of just four rising juniors named to the event.
I have talked at length about how Texas isn't just a football state nowadays. There is a TON of elite basketball talent in the Lone Star State, and it's drawing the attention of top coaches across the country. Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Arizona are the current blue blood programs making the most headway. Further, the Big 12 is extremely strong in basketball right now, as Kansas, Kansas St., Baylor and Oklahoma St. all appear likely to sustain future success (not to mention the strong program that incoming school West Virginia will bring).
The Longhorns have offered all six players listed, but Texas does not appear to have the traction needed to land these players. In the 2013 class, The Harrison twins have already eliminated Texas, while Frazier appears to be less and less likely by the day. Randle still remains a top Texas target, and likely will be until he signs, but it would be more shocking than not if he doesn't end up committing to a blue blood program like Duke or Kentucky.
Texas still remains in a favorable position with the 2014 studs Mudiay and Winslow (as well as fellow five-star Justin Jackson, who was not named to the Elite 24 game). Of course, we probably could have said the same about Randle and Frazier this time last year.
What does the future of Texas Longhorns basketball hold in store? That remains to be seen, but it would be awfully painful to see this "golden age" of Texas high school hoops come and go without any of its stars ending up in Burnt Orange.