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Saturday Spotlight: Texas

In this new weekly feature, we will be taking a look at various recruiting classes in the class of 2011 and analyze each player and the impact the prospects will have on their collegiate team. In this edition of “Saturday Spotlight,” we break down the Texas recruiting class which is highlighted by point guard Myck Kabongo (#9), marking the third straight year head coach Rick Barnes picked up a big-time guard prospect from Findlay Prep.

Introduction

Barnes reeled in the number four recruiting class in the country this year that is dominated by guards such as Kabongo and point guard Sterling Gibbs and shooting guards Sheldon McClellan and Julien Lewis. The Longhorns also have small forward Kevin Thomas and power forward Jonathon Holmes coming in as three 2011 first round NBA draft picks exit in point guard Cory Joseph, small forward Jordan Hamilton and power forward Tristan Thompson. Although this class will have a tough time helping Texas continue their dominance on the glass, they are very capable of improving their assists per game stat which is down there with the likes of Hofstra, Princeton and Murray State.

A Quick Look

Prospects

Rank

Pos. Rank

Quick Analysis

Myck Kabongo

#9

PG (#2)

Kabongo is a very good ball handler and creates shots for himself and scoring opportunities for his teammates. He is also very quick and athletic and makes good decisions. Kabongo  can hit the three and penetrates easily too. He puts a lot of pressure on opposing point guards as well when he’s on defense by playing relentless, in-your-face defense.

Sheldon McLellan

NR

SG (NR)

McLellan is a very good athlete who has a good frame for a shooting guard and excels in transition. He is a great slasher who can hit the three with needed time and space and can handle the ball well.

Jonathon Holmes

NR

PF (NR)

Holmes is a versatile big man who can score in a variety of ways whether it’s by using a post move or knocking down a perimeter jump shot. He’s a good rebounder and shot-blocker and can handle the ball well. He’s also a good athlete and has the potential to develop into an impact starter for the Longhorns.

Julien Lewis

NR

SG (NR)

Lewis has a good mid-range game and loves to get to the bucket where he uses his strength to power through defenders. He is a good defender too and can guard either wing position since he is able to keep his opponents in front of him.

Sterling Gibbs

NR

PG (NR)

Gibbs is a prolific scorer with good court vision and passing skills. Like Kabongo, he is able to create scoring opportunities for both himself and his teammates. He also does a good job of keeping his opponents in front of him because of his lateral quickness.

Kevin Thomas

NR

SF (NR)

Thomas has ideal physical qualities for a big man because he is long, athletic and strong. He has a nose for putting the ball in the bucket and is solid defensively since he is a capable rebounder and good shot-blocker.

Evaluation

For the third straight year in a row, Rick Barnes has picked up a big-time guard prospect from Findlay Prep. Point guard Myck Kabongo (#9) is the second best floor general in the class and may be the best pure point guard due to his intelligence and leadership skills. He has a great combination of ball-handling skills and passing ability and is extremely quick and a good shooter. He is also a very good defender and will be a starter for the Longhorns from day one. Texas also got commitments from another point guard in Sterling Gibbs who is a quality combo guard, shooting guards Sheldon McClellan and Julien Lewis, and power forward Jonathan Holmes, who are all (except for Gibbs) just out of the top 50. McClellan and Lewis are both big, athletic wings, and Holmes is a versatile post-player who will excel in transition and fast-tempo games. Barnes’ collection of guards should definitely help the Longhorn’s dismal assist per game average last year which ranked 129 in the country.

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