No NBA Yet For LaMarcus; Aldridge Texas-Bound

Finally, it may be safe to call UT's stellar recruiting class the Fab Five. <B>LaMarcus Aldridge</B>, who considered a high school-to-NBA jump, announced Friday his intention to instead join <B>Rick Barnes'</B> Texas hoops program for at least a year.

"I made a decision today and I’m going to school," Lamarcus Aldridge told IT. "I’m going to go to Texas and win a national championship."

Aldridge verbally committed to the Horns almost a year ago but did not sign an LOI in last fall's basketball signing period. He told Inside Texas today that he will make it official later this month during the spring signing period.

Aldridge was projected as a late first round pick in the Draft, but most scouts agreed that the 6-10, 215-pound forward needed some college seasoning before being ready to make an impact at the professional level.

Fellow McDonald's All-Americans Daniel Gibson and Mike Williams plus Texas high schoolers Connor Atchley and Dion Dowell are the other four members of incoming class that recruiting analysts have called one of, if not the, best class in the nation. All five class members are ranked by as among the top 100 prospects in the nation -- Seagoville's Aldridge (No. 6), 6-3, 180-pound Houston Jones PG Gibson (No. 15), 6-7, 215-pound Camden, AL PF Williams (No. 18), 6-7, 190-pound Texas City SF Dowell (No. 41) and 6-10, 220-pound Clear Lake C Atchley (No. 89).

"After hanging around with Daniel and Mike all weekend and hearing them say how we can win a championship, I talked to my mom about it and she said maybe I should be patient. She said I could go to the NBA now or win a national championship with Dion, Daniel, Connor and Mike and go later."

That decision, an extremely difficult one to make, has now been made. Can you now exhale?

"Yes, it’s was a lot of pressure and it feels good to get that off of me now."

The personable Aldridge said some have already shared their personal thoughts with him about his decision to forgo what was expected to be late first round money and everyone said he did the right thing. But did the Chris Bosh-like talent feel the same?

"Yeah, I do," Aldridge quipped. "Because I’m going to win a national championship and get stronger with Coach Barnes and Coach Todd Wright."

And folks, the Fab Five was born.

For exclusive interviews from Oklahoma City at the McDonald's All-American game with Aldridge, Gibson and Williams, see this week's Inside Texas Inside Scoop.

[Note: Clendon Ross contributed to this report.]

Horns Digest Top Stories