"This class fills the needs of our program," Barnes said. "We've always said that we will target the state of Texas first for the best players, and that is certainly the case when you look at Jonathan Holmes, Julien Lewis and Sheldon McClellan. We also feel like our program has grown to the point where we can go out and recruit nationally and even out of the country when needed, and that obviously was the case with Myck Kabongo."
All four signees are ranked among the top 25 nationally at their position.
But the gem of the class is Kabongo, who ranks as both the highest-rated player in the Longhorns' group as well as their most-needed player. With point guards Dogus Balbay and Jai Lucas set to graduate after this season, Texas was desperate to add a high-impact point to pair with Cory Joseph. The Longhorns got that in the 6-foot-2 Kabongo, a point guard from Findlay College Prep (Henderson, Nev.).
Scout's No. 2 point guard, Kabongo averaged 18 points and six assists per game while leading St. Benedict's Prep School (Newark, N.J.) to a 20-1 record his junior year. This summer, the five-star prospect averaged 19.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game in five games while leading Canada to a bronze medal at the FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship.
If Kabongo, who recently decommitted, then recommitted to the Longhorns, was Texas's most key recruit, then forward Jonathan Holmes (6-8 230) was next on the list. Holmes doesn't play his college ball far away, suiting up for Antonian College Prep in San Antonio, Tex. But he was still a major steal for the Longhorns, who swiped him away from the favored Texas A&M Aggies.
Texas loses most of its post threats next year, including two of its top three big men in Gary Johnson and Matt Hill. So Holmes, who averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks per game, quickly became a priority recruit. Scout has him rated as the No. 16 power forward in the Class of 2011.
With the potential departure of Jordan Hamilton, the Longhorns needed to grab a wing or two in the class, and they did so by snagging Sheldon McClellan (6-5 190 and Julien Lewis (6-3 190).
McClellan is rated as the No. 12 shooting guard in the country. A guard from Bellaire (Tex.) High School, McClellan averaged 20 points per game while leading Bellaire to a 35-2 record and a spot in the Class 5A regional finals last year. McClellan is an excellent shooter with a smooth game.
A La Marque (Tex) product, Julien Lewis was tapped as the No. 23 shooting guard in the country after averaging 19.8 points and three steals per game. He earned District 24-4A Player of the Year honors in both his sophomore and junior seasons and impressed the Longhorn staff at the Texas Elite camp.
"As a staff, we thoroughly enjoyed the recruiting process for each of these four young men," Barnes continued. "We have really had fun in building a relationship and trust with each of them and their families, high school coaches and AAU coaches. From our end, it has been a very rewarding experience and we're looking forward to each of them joining our program."
But the Longhorns likely aren't finished with this class.
Expect Texas to push hard for another big in the class, with 6-foot-9 DeAndre Daniels serving as the primary prospect. Daniels was a Texas commit at one time, but has reopened his recruitment and won't decide until the spring signing period.