Basketball Recruiting Roundup

Nobody can be blamed for struggling to keep up with Texas basketball recruiting. After all, the Longhorns are still making waves with the 2011 class while looking at a potentially great 2012 haul.

* First, a quick rundown of the impact of the Kevin Thomas commitment

With Tristan Thompson's announcement that he'll be returning to the Longhorns in 2011-2012, Thomas's commitment means that the Longhorns will have five scholarship big men for next season. Thompson and Alexis Wangmene will be the returnees from this season, and to that duo the Longhorns add Clint Chapman, who has added nearly 10 pounds since last year thanks to extensive work with Todd Wright.

Thomas joins skilled forward Jonathan Holmes, a 6-foot-8 player from San Antonian Prep, in the 2011 class. Holmes is more ready now, and could easily step in for the departed Gary Johnson. analysts have rated Thomas as a mid-major-plus, which means that he has the ability to excel at the mid-major level, but also has traits that, with seasoning, could mean that he could be an effective player at a high-major level.

Thomas is an active and athletic four who can run and shoot. He could use some polish, but Ro Russell, Thomas's AAU coach, compared him to a Lamar Odom type because of the way he did a little bit of everything for Grassroots Canada.

He's not somebody that will come in and dominate the way Thompson did, or the type who will leave after two years. But Thomas does have the athleticism and tools to build on an become a highly effective player.

* DeAndre Daniels update

In short, there isn't much new with the four-star forward who ranks as one of the top uncommitted prospects in 2011. People close to Daniels' recruitment have said that he's still primarily looking at Kansas and Texas, with the Jayhawks having an edge.

According to sources, Daniels attempted to join the Jayhawks in January, but Kansas — which was without an open scholarship — wasn't able to free up room.

That won't be an issue for either school next fall, as both have plenty of open space.

* Reese says three stick out

J-Mychal Reese ranks as one of the top point guards in the class of 2012 (No. 4 according to Scout) and he's the second-best point guard in the state, only to L.J. Rose.

Reese is a fantastic scorer with deep range, and has earned interest from a number of schools. But he said three are recruiting him the hardest: Baylor, Kansas and Texas.

Reese has already visited Baylor and Texas and doesn't have a timetable for his decision. But the Bryan (TX) product is one to keep an eye on in the future.

* Smart taking his time

Marcus Smart ranks as one of the top Longhorn targets in the Class of 2012. He's a powerful player who excels on defense and displays plenty of toughness and versatility.

It makes sense, then, that the Flower Mound native is a target for some of basketball's blue bloods, with both Kansas and North Carolina serving as potential suitors.

Smart said that he isn't focused on recruiting right now, but added that Texas and North Carolina were recruiting him the hardest. He also said that Kansas had backed off its recruitment somewhat. Don't expect that to remain the case.

Smart has been offered by pretty much the whole Big 12, and this one could come down to the league's top two schools — Texas and Kansas. Stay tuned.

* Longhorns Top 5 classes in 2012?

It's early, but the Longhorns made a huge coup in landing Cameron Ridley, and Texas sits well with a number of highly ranked prospects.

The short list includes: Rose, Reese, Smart, Shaquille Cleare and Winston Shepard. With Texas looking to add at least four and potentially five or six prospects with the class, Texas could find itself in the race for the country's top class.

A large part of that comes from a particularly stacked class of Texans. Ridley, Rose, Reese, Smart and Cleare are all from the Lone Star State, while Shepard has family ties to the 40 Acres.

The Longhorns made plenty of noise with their top-five class in 2011, but it looks like the 2012 group could be even better.

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