Texas Basketball: A Quick Look at the Longhorns' 2012 Recruiting Class
Texas Longhorns basketball had an up-and-down season this past year.
Finishing in sixth place in the Big 12, head coach Rick Barnes managed to lead his team to a 20-14 record. It seemed as though the Longhorns could never quite get over the hump during conference play, losing all six games to the top three teams in the Big 12.
After an early exit from the NCAA Tournament, the team learned that leading scorer J’Covan Brown would be entering the NBA draft.
Texas fans should not worry too much, however, as Barnes has, once again, managed to build one of the nation's top recruiting classes.
The following is a break down of the Longhorns’ 2012 recruiting class.
Note: All ratings come from ESPN Recruiting National Basketball.
DeMarcus Holland, Shooting Guard
Weight: 165 pounds
Ratings: 2 stars, No. 83 at position
Other Notable Schools Interested: South Florida
Analysis: Many scouts have DeMarcus Holland pegged as a mid-major player, not quite ready to play amongst the elite teams.
This is because Holland is not the most gifted athlete in this guard class. He is not very strong and does not have great height to make up for that weakness on defense or his limited ability to create shots off of his defenders.
In the end, however, Holland is a very good scorer. When he is open and can set his feet, he is very consistent from beyond the arc and has good range in terms of his other shots.
Ioannis Papapetrou, Small Forward
Weight: 220 pounds
Ratings: 3 stars, No. 43 at position
Other Notable Schools Interested: Florida and Kansas
Analysis: Ioannis Papapetrou hails from Florida, but is originally from Greece. As such, there is not a whole lot of information regarding this young man.
Overall, he has a good amount of strength for his frame, but could look to add some muscle in order to battle in the trenches and get the ball up more. He is already very good at driving the lane, but he is not afraid to pass the ball out when he doesn't feel comfortable in the paint.
Some scouts noted that Papapetrou had a difficult time keeping up with the speed and tempo of AAU basketball, which could be a sign of things to come in terms of playing for a major school like Texas.
Connor Lammert, Power Forward
Weight: 220 pounds
Ratings: 4 stars, No. 19 at position
Other Notable Schools Interested: Baylor
Analysis: Connor Lammert is a very gifted shooter with a good range, and he can even hit from the three-point line. In terms of post play, Lammert does need to develop his set of post moves to be more effective in the paint, but he can most certainly shoot over defenders because of his height.
One of the biggest concerns about Lammert is his ability to grab rebounds, which he can most certainly develop by packing on some muscle. This will also help his defense get better.
In the end, Lammert is a very promising prospect that brings a high basketball IQ, good court vision and a great passing skill to the court.
Javan Felix, Point Guard
Weight: 190 pounds
Ratings: 4 stars, No. 10 at position
Other Notable Schools Interested: Baylor
Analysis: Javan Felix may not be the tallest of point guards, but the league has seen shorter men be successful at the position. His build is very similar of Big 12 rival Pierre Jackson, the starting point guard for Baylor.
Felix is a true point guard. He is not the best shooter, but does his job of passing to open teammates and rolling in the assists quite well. He is a fantastic leader on top of that and has shown that he refuses to allow himself or his team to fail.
One of the most interesting aspects of Felix is his rebounding ability. For being one of the smaller players on the court, Felix collects a good number of balls off of the glass.
There is little doubt that Felix will be a good point guard at the next level, but it remains to be seen if his shooting will stand in his way of becoming one of the flashiest.
Prince Ibeh, Center
Weight: 225 pounds
Ratings: 4 stars, No. 14 at position
Other Notable Schools Interested: Florida, Maryland, Vanderbilt, Baylor and Arkansas
Analysis: Few players have developed their game offensively over the years like Prince Ibeh has.
He has a good set of post moves and shows the potential to be a complete force in the paint. However, he is more likely to play face-up to the basket and his defender, and simply shoot over him. He has range topping out around 15 feet.
On the defensive side of the ball, Ibeh is fantastic. He is a very skilled shot-blocker that forces the shooter to take bad shots. Very few players will be able to effectively and consistently play against Ibeh back-to-the-basket or in the low post.
With a year or two under his belt, Ibeh can grow into one of the most dominant centers in the league, so long as he can continue to develop his offensive skill set like he has these past couple of years.
Cameron Ridley, Center
Weight: 230 pounds
Ratings: 5 stars, No. 5 at position
Other Notable Schools Interested: Arizona and North Carolina
Analysis: Cameron Ridley is one of the most exciting players in this class.
He is a true center that has a great motor and ability to get to the ball and score with it. There is little doubt that he has some of the best hands in the game for a man his size, rarely turning the ball over or making his team suffer from bad ball-handling.
His motor allows him to crash the boards and pull the ball down at a consistent rate. This could also become a force in his defensive game if he can continue to hone his shot-block timing.
The biggest problem with Ridley is his conditioning. He has most certainly cut some fat off and packed on muscle, but it remains to be seen if he can develop into a strong, athletic center not hampered by extra weight.
Overall, Ridley is going to be a fun player to watch and should be stacking the stat line very soon.
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