There were a couple newsworthy items published yesterday about Texas Longhorns basketball. In case you missed it, here's a repost.
Who's ready for hoops in 2018? ESPN reported that Texas would join the Michigan St. Spartans, Florida Gators, and North Carolina Tar Heels in a four-team "barnstorming event." The teams would play each other in three different cities: New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. For players actually on the team, the downtime in all three cities sounds extremely fun.
The teams will arrive in New York City on Dec. 14, 2018, on their own. The first doubleheader, with matchups and times to be announced at a later date, will be at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 15. On Sunday, Dec. 16, the four teams will tour the Freedom Tower at the 9/11 memorial and also visit Wall Street. They will then see Motown the musical on Broadway, assuming it is still running.
The teams will then travel together to Chicago later that night. They will go to a Chicago pizza dinner on Monday, Dec. 17, followed by a Second City comedy show. The second doubleheader on the trip will be Dec. 18 at the United Center.
The teams will then fly to Los Angeles on Dec. 19. Once in L.A., the teams will head to Disneyland and a dinner. The teams will then tour Warner Brothers Studio and the Grammy Museum on Friday, Dec. 21.
The third and final doubleheader will be Dec. 22 at Staples Center.
This event, the brainchild of Michigan St. AD Mark Hollis, comes a year after the theoretical "Battle Royale" in 2017. At this point, the events are more of a "soft commit," though it'd be pretty cool for both to come to fruition. The events figure to be plus recruiting bullets for Texas in future classes.
As for 2014 recruiting, five-star big man Myles Turner from Euless Trinity chatted with Jason King of Bleacher Report in a very open interview. If you like overanalyzing, Texas came first when King listed possible schools. Here's what Turner had to say about the Longhorns:
Texas is the hometown team. I’ve been a fan of the Longhorns since I was a kid. KD is my favorite all-time player. I’ve always gone to their camps. I get a good vibe from Texas.
Last year, Julius Randle echoed similar sentiments before a clusterflux of a season torpedoed Texas' chances of landing the talented forward from Plano. Texas has pleasantly surprised this year, a good omen considering Turner's comments.
Turner has yet to take an official visit to Texas. He had tentatively scheduled such a visit last fall that never happened. Turner has taken official visits to the Ohio St. Buckeyes and Oklahoma St. Cowboys. His other finalists include the Arizona Wildcats, Duke Blue Devils, Kansas Jayhawks, and Kentucky Wildcats. The SMU Mustangs are also rumored to be in the mix, as Turner's close friend Emmanuel Mudiay has signed with Larry Brown's team.
With just three visits left, it's possible that Turner never takes an official visit to Texas. He has already visited Austin multiple times on unofficial visits, and it would be easy enough for him to take an unofficial any time he wants. Because of that, Turner may opt to save his officials to farther destinations.
Regardless of whether Turner takes an official visit or not, expect the Longhorns to be under consideration through the regular signing period in April. While Texas expects to return its entire roster next fall, Turner would make a huge impact and could be the difference between simply competing for the Big 12 title and being considered the conference favorite.