Texas is closing in on hoops signing day haul

With the basketball signing day right around the corner, the Texas Longhorn basketball program is on the verge of inking one of the nation's top classes, and one of the program's greatest classes. Burnt Orange Beat spoke with Scout.com's Dave Telep to get his thoughts on the trio of Avery Bradley, Jordan Hamilton, and Shawn Williams, and the possibility of a late addition to this stellar class.

The Texas basketball recruiting class is shaping up like a class that wants to challenge recent classes as the program's greatest signing day haul. Scout.com rated the 2006 class as the #3 overall class in the nation when Coach Rick Barnes brought in Kevin Durant, DJ Augustin, Damion James, Matt Hill, Justin Mason, Dexter Pittman, and Harrison Smith. That class may never be duplicated for shear star power and depth. The 2004 top five class featured Seagoville's Lamarcus Aldridge, Daniel Gibson, Mike Williams, Dion Dowell, and Connor Atchley. This class will be the third top five class since 2004.

Scout.com's National Recruiting Director for Basketball Dave Telep says the Longhorns will likely sign a very impressive class on November 12 which includes SG Avery Bradley (ranked #10 in the senior class), SF Jordan Hamilton (ranked #13) and SF Shawn Williams (#44 overall).

"It's going to be a Top Five class nationally," Telep said. "I could tell you exactly where but why ruin the suspense! Anytime you acquire the type of talent and different types of players that UT has, you get rewarded. The best part of this class is each guy brings something different to the table,"

The highest ranked recruit in the class is Avery Bradley (6-2, 165) who checks in at #10 overall and the number three shooting guard in the country. The Tacoma, Washington product now at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada was courted by many of the biggest and best programs in the country, but eventually decided on the Longhorns over UCLA in September. Telep thinks Bradley is one of the nation's premiere defenders.

"Defensive minded scorer. Bruce Bowen is the best defensive wing in Texas. Avery Bradley will be No. 2. People think you can't make an impact on the national scene on defense? Wrong. Bradley was the best wing defender on the circuit last summer and because of it, he'll be an All-American. However, he's a great athlete on offense and a legit big time scorer and that is something he doesn't get enough credit for. Plenty of bounce and determination, he starts from day one," Telep said.

The most recent commitment in this class came from Compton, California small forward Jordan Hamilton (Scout's #2 SF) October 9, Hamilton confirmed his commitment to Texas by saying, "I wanted to play for a coach that was going to let his wings get off."

Telep loves Hamilton's scoring instincts.

"Slice him open and out spills the DNA of a scorer. He's got size and a nose for the bottom of the cup. Everyone has their role and you recruit a guy like this to unleash him going to the basket. Like him a lot from mid-range as well," Telep said.

The third member of this star studded class, Shawn Williams (#44 overall senior and #10 SF) hails from one of the nation's top ranked high school teams, Duncanville, TX, who features at least four future Big 12 players this year. Williams committed to Texas on August 8.

"[Shawn] used to be labeled a shooter and that was accurate. He heard the criticisms and expanded his game. More than anything he became a tougher guy inside, one that willing to rebound and affect games around the rim. Now he's a guy who can move inside and play behind the line so in essence he's become a dual threat. Great kid, good college hoops player. More important than anything is his resume and background that is grounded in winning on the high school level!" Telep said.

A signing day class which includes those three Top 50 national players would be enough for most programs, but Coach Barnes is still in the hunt for another elite prospect. Racine, WI power forward Jamil Wilson visited Texas on October 18 and still has Texas in his final four. Most observers believe that Wilson, who has already visited Michigan State, is a Spartan lean, but it would be foolish to count out a team on this kind of roll. Wilson will take a final visit to Oregon next weekend, and then make a decision before the fall signing period. Telep says Wilson is a prospect with loads of potential.

"Wilson left a lot of low hanging fruit on the vine this summer. I believe he's one of the 10 most naturally gifted players in the country. Having said that, he didn't convince anyone last summer that he's ready to be mentioned in those terms. My point is this: the kid can be Marvin Williams if he wants to be. A true combo forward with the ability to rise and dunk with the best of them plus make jumpers, the sky is the limit if he wants it bad enough. Always been a fan of his now it's time to find out how bad he wants to play this game for pay one day." Telep said.

National signing day begins November 12 and runs through November 19.

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