Rick Barnes has been tearing up the recruiting trail and the people placing bets in Las Vegas have taken noticed. Sportsbook.com has Barnes’ Longhorns at 10-1 odds to take home the 2009-10 college basketball national championship next March.
The Horns are right behind the two big favorites [tag]Kansas[/tag] and [tag]Kentucky[/tag] and will have as much experience and talent as any team in the country. Joining Damion James and big man Dexter Pittman are two of the most talented freshmen in the entire country in Avery Bradley and Jordan Hamilton. If Pittman continues to improve and the young guys hit the ground running this team could certainly be one of the last teams standing at the end of the season.
(via The Dagger)
Future Longhorn [tag]Avery Bradley[/tag] has been all over the country and all over your television the last few weeks during the McDonald’s All-American Game, slam dunk contest and leading his team to the NHSI tourney victory. He didn’t fail to impress, playing very well in practice and the Mickey D’s game and taking home the NHSI tournament MVP. The experts at ESPNU/Scouts Inc. certainly noticed, they’ve made Bradley their number one overall player.
ESPNU’s analysis of Bradley’s ascension to the top of the rankings is below:
In our eyes, explosive athlete Avery Bradley has emerged as the No. 1 player in the land. He was named the MVP of the National High School Invitational in Washington, D.C. He guided Findlay to victories over Mountain State Academy, No. 8 Montrose Christian and No. 1 Oak Hill Academy. In each of those games, it was evident that Bradley was the difference.
Bradley is the most complete player in the class and is a difference-maker both offensively and defensively, which is rare. This young man has steadily risen up the rankings since last season. Initially it was his defensive play that propelled him. Bradley plays with great intensity each and every possession, and from a defensive standpoint he is an absolute lockup on-the-ball defender, the best in his class. He uses his length with superior quickness and intelligence to force the offensive player into bad situations. He is committed to keeping his man out of the lane, chasing him off screens and contesting jump shots.
While Bradley built his reputation as a defender, the strides he made on offense are what enabled him to ascend to the top of our rankings. He excels in the open floor, often grabbing a rebound, running with it and finishing with a dunk. In the half court, he works hard to get open and takes what is given without hunting down shots. His midrange game is outstanding, both off the dribble and off the catch. Of late, he has hit the 3-point shot with regularity, which would make him hard to guard with an already strong dribble drive and pull-up jumper. This young man scores, defends and makes everyone around him better. He leads his team to wins and, more importantly, championships.
Bradley may already be one of my favorite Longhorns and he’s not even on campus yet. He’s an incredible athlete who loves the game and it shows in his effort on both ends of the court. Having a star player who is also a leader and an excellent defender instantly will make the Horns a 2009-2010 title contender.
The three Texas 2009 signees are listed below:
|Avery Bradley||SG||1||6-3||175||Henderson, NV|
|Jordan Hamilton||SF||8||6-7||210||Los Angeles, CA|
|Shawn Williams||SF||53||6-7||215||Duncanville, TX|
The 2008-09 basketball season isn’t over yet but Texas fans can get started being excited for next year already. The 6-foot-3 guard had a great week at the McDonald’s All-American basketball game including showing great things in practice, 15 points in the game, and a slam dunk contest win. Check out high quality video of the dunk contest win below:
Bradley is 6’2″, but his long arms and tremendous athleticism makes him the premier perimeter defender in high school basketball. His size and defense will make him an instant impact player when he gets on campus. He’s not a polished outside shooter however his midrange game gives him the potential to be an elite scorer at shooting guard.
Rivals.com expert Jerry Meyer gives the following scouting report on Bradley:
“There might not be a better midrange scorer in the class nor a better on the ball defender than Bradley. He does have room for improvement as a rebounder and passer, but his niche as a scorer and defender make him one of the top shooting guards in the country. His wing span and heart allow him to play bigger than his height.”
Bradley is the second commit in the 2009 class, joining four-star small forward [tag]Shawn Williams[/tag] out of Duncanville who committed back in early August. Add the commitment of arguably the top player in the 2010 class in [tag]Tristan Thompson[/tag] and Longhorn hoops has a great future.
The fact that Bradley will play for the Horns may not even the best part of the deal, Bradley’s good friend, and top 5 player in the 2009 class [tag]Jordan Hamilton[/tag] was already a Texas lead and the two have expressed desire to play at the same school. With Bradley, Hamilton, Williams, and Thompson on the same team, Texas should become a fixture at the top of college basketball.
Check out a video clip of Bradley below:
Rick Barnes is blazing the 2009 recruiting trail and is a player or the possible leader for several top national recruits. Two players rumored to be leaning to playing for the Horns are small forward [tag]Jordan Hamilton[/tag] and guard [tag]Avery Bradley[/tag].
Both players are incredible five-star prospects and they showed everybody why against FMP-Serbia this weekend. The 6-foot-7 Hamilton uses his quickhands to poke the ball use and then after leading the break dishes back to the 6-foot-3 Bradley for the facial on the Serbian player. Check out the video below:
Both guys look incredible and are reportedly Texas’ to lose. If Barnes can pull them both in they’ll team with recent commit [tag]Shawn Williams[/tag] to possibly make a deep tourney run in 2009-2010. I’m excited already.