Hoops Recruiting: Horns Land Four LOIs

For now, the Longhorns' Fab Five recruiting class will officially be only four.

Texas received signed letters of intent today, the first day of the fall signing period, from high school standouts Daniel Gibson, Mike Williams, Dion Dowell and Connor Atchley, but No. 5 will have to wait.

NBA early entry candidate Lamarcus Aldridge remains committed to UT but has decided to wait until spring to sign with the Horns, according to TheInsiders.com's hoops recruiting analyst Dave Telep. As we reported in the Aug. 29 edition of the Inside Scoop, though, even an LOI next spring may not lead the nation's third-ranked power forward and sixth-ranked player overall to Austin. The 6-11, 225-pound Aldridge told IT, "If I get the chance to go to the NBA, I'm going to the NBA."

Even without Aldridge, the class of three Texans and Alabaman Williams is a great one, and still one of the top early groups in the nation. Gibson (No.15) and Williams (No. 18) are national top 20 prospects while Dowell (No. 41) and Atchley (No. 89) are solid top 100-level talents.

"Our first priority always is to do well in the state of Texas, and we obviously feel like we accomplished that goal with the addition of Connor, Dion and Daniel," Texas coach Rick Barnes said Wednesday. "With Mike Williams, we went out and got one of the top players nationally who can help fill the void with the loss of Brian Boddicker and James Thomas after this season."

The 6-2, 190-pound Gibson is a combo guard from Houston Jones who averaged 25 points, four assists and four rebounds per game, earning first-team TABC all-state honors as a junior while leading his team to the Class 4A regional quarterfinals. (For more on Gibson, click here.)

The 6-7, 225-pound Williams is a power forward from Camden, Alabama Wilcox Central who averaged 26 points and 14 rebounds per game during his junior season.

The 6-7, 190-pound Dowell is a swingman from Texas City High who averaged 19.6 points and 13.5 rebounds per game in his junior campaign while earning first-team TABC all-state and District 23-4A MVP honors.

The 6-10, 220-pound Atchley is a center from Clear Lake High who averaged 8.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game during his junior season.

"This recruiting class shows the level to which our program has risen," Barnes added. "We've never been a staff that puts a lot of stock in recruiting rankings. Truth be known, we're more excited that this group has such quality people and quality players."

For more on the Horns' class, see:

Tale of The Tape: Texas vs. Indiana
2004 Fall Class Rankings


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