The Longhorns picked up an absolutely huge commitment earlier this morning from four-star center James Banks (La Porte, IN/La Lumiere).
He has been one of the top targets of Shaka Smart’s staff since the crew took over in early April.
Now that Banks’ commitment is public knowledge, let’s take a look at what Texas’ roster could look like in 2016. This should give you a good indication of where the Longhorns might choose to press for future commitments.
Texas figures to take no fewer than five commitments in 2016, which would be the largest class ever signed by Smart and his staff.
The Longhorns will have to replace several key contributors after this season, which could include junior point guard Isaiah Taylor, who flirted with the NBA Draft after last season.
Texas will definitely be without seniors Demarcus Holland, Javan Felix, Connor Lammert, Prince Ibeh, and Cameron Ridley barring unforeseen circumstances.
With all that in mind, here is a look at what Texas’ roster will likely look like in 2016 while still needing to add at least three more commitments:
Guard: Jacob Young – One of the purest all-around scorers in the entire country, Young [No. 85 player overall] committed to Texas on June 30 and could play a huge factor in getting other scorers to Austin. He’s the younger brother of former Oregon standout and Indiana Pacers’ 2015 second round draft pick Joseph Young.
Center: James Banks – No. 45 player overall, who has only been playing basketball for a few years, has a 7-foot-6 wingspan. He’s going to take a little time to fine-tune but the end result should be an elite rim protector with a more-than-capable inside-out game.
Guard/forward: Tevin Mack – Should contribute right away on a team that needs his blend of athleticism and size. Former VCU commitment followed Smart to UT.
Guard: Eric Davis Jr. – Needs to get bigger, like most freshmen, but has a great pull-up jumper and a willingness to learn. Will be a standout player for UT for many years.
Guard: Kerwin Roach – One of the best all-around scorers in 2015. Texas could look back in a few years and consider themselves to be extremely lucky to have gotten Roach when they did, and that Smart and his staff were able to keep him on board. Roach recently became a national hit when a video of him jumping incredibly high caught on around the country.
Forward: Jordan Barnett – Barnett struggled to find his offense as a freshman. If he can tap into that this season and use his size to his advantage on defense, he could end up being one of the best players on Texas’ roster by 2016. He’s got all the physical tools. He just needs to trust his abilities and trust Smart’s system. If he does he’ll be just fine.
Guard: Kendal Yancy – Really advanced his play and his notoriety last season when he filled in, quite admirably, for an injured Isaiah Taylor. He’s got some of that bulldog in him that could endear him to this staff.
Forward: Shaquille Cleare – Will be very interesting to see how the staff utilizes Cleare. If they find a way to utilize his size and strength the right way – Cameron Ridley told me that Shaq was by far the strongest player on the team last season – then he could do some serious damage, especially by this time next year.