James Banks, one of the top centers in the 2016 recruiting class, announced Thursday that he plans to play college basketball at Texas. The Longhorns beat out Vanderbilt to land the coveted post player.
Evan Daniels of Scout passed along comments from Banks about the decision. The Indiana native, who stars for the La Lumiere School, stated his budding connection with new Texas coach Shaka Smart was a crucial factor in the end.
"After and during the recruiting process you realize and learn what is real and what is fake," Banks said. "I really was able to establish a great relationship with coach Smart and coach [Mike] Morrell at Texas. They had a legitimate desire to coach me, get me better, develop me and help me become the best person and player I could be."
He also confirmed to Scout it was a close race between the Longhorns and the Commodores. In the end, he discussed the decision with his mom, and they came to the same conclusion: "We both agreed that Texas was the place for me."
Banks is a 4-star prospect who ranks as the No. 56 recruit in the country for the 2016 class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. He's rated as the No. 5 center and the No. 2 player coming out of the basketball-rich state of Indiana as well.
William Wilkerson of Horns Digest provided some further information about the fast-rising prospect:
What he lacks in polish he makes up for with a highly intriguing combination of size and athleticism. It's going to make him an ideal fit for the aggressive, up-tempo style that allowed Smart to enjoy so much success while coaching at VCU.
Exactly how much Banks develops over the next 13 months will dictate what type of initial impact he makes at Texas. He could start in a reserve role while he continues to work on his low-post offense, but his long-term outlook is undoubtedly promising.