Longhorns sign four
AUSTIN, Texas -- Rick Barnes and the Texas Longhorns announced the signing of four recruits to the Class of 2012 on Wednesday.
Point guard Javan Felix (New Orleans/St. Augustine), center Prince Ibeh (Garland, Texas/Naaman Forest), power forward Connor Lammert (San Antonio/Churchill) and small forward Ioannis Papapetrou (Melbourne, Fla./Florida Air Academy) all signed their Letters of Intent within the last two weeks.
"Our entire staff is really excited about this class as they truly fill needs in our program," Barnes said. "All are outstanding basketball players. More importantly, they are all outstanding people who come from solid families, high school coaches and AAU coaches. They all will be excellent student-athletes here at The University of Texas."
One player notably absent from this list is the Fort Bend (Texas) Bush center Cameron Ridley, a five-star recruit who is rated as the No. 8 player overall in 2012 by ESPNU. Bush coach Ronnie Courtney told HornsNation recently that Ridley would sign sometime in April.
With Ridley on board Texas' class would consist of three players 6-foot-10 or taller. He's 6-10, as is Lammert. Ibeh is 6-11. The Longhorns current roster includes just one player taller than 6-foot-7 in senior Clint Chapman (6-10).
"That's what we have been talking about. What would it be like for a 2-3 defense," Lammert said. "That would be pretty unstoppable with three 6-10 guys. Cameron is 6-10, maybe 6-11. Prince is huge. With that lineup, I could play the three. It could be a national championship caliber lineup."
Lammert, a four-star recruit, is rated as the No. 24 power forward and No. 14 player in the state. He is a stretch-four post player who feels just as comfortable on the perimeter as he does in the paint. He considers his passing abilities as one of his strongest attributes. A left-handed jump shooter, Lammert averaged 10 points, six rebounds, two blocks and two assists per game while leading Churchill to a 31-6 record as a junior. He converted 41 percent (14-of-34) of his three-point attempts.
Ibeh, is the No. 14 center and No. 79 player overall in 2012. He's very much a defensive minded player, which he proved by averaging 5.2 blocks per game last season. But he fully expects to be a more dominant force offensively and score more than the 6.5 points per game he averaged as a junior.
"They know me as a defensive player but I have a lot of offense to my game," Ibeh said. "I'm going to show that this year."
Felix, who stands 5-foot-11, is the No. 70 prospect overall and the No. 9 point guard. He was named the Louisiana 5A Player of the Year after averaging 13.5 points, five assists and three steals while leading St. Augustine to a state title.
"I'm a point guard that likes to control the game and get my teammates the ball," Felix said. "I want to get it to them in the right spots. Coach Barnes also labeled me as a pretty good pick-and-roll guy, a shooter. That's really what Longhorns fans will get next year."
Papapetroue, a 6-foot-8 native of Greece, is a two-star recruit. He averaged 22 points per game last season.
"We again targeted the state of Texas first for its best players, and we found them with Prince and Connor," Barnes said. "And our school's calling card also allowed us to recruit nationally and internationally with Javan and Papi."
Texas is ranked No. 6 in the latest ESPNU Class Rankings, and that's with Ridley included. The Longhorns are listed below top ranked Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Michigan State and North Carolina.
This should be a class that makes an immediate impact much like last seasons is doing now. Texas had six freshmen play in Tuesday's 100-90 win over Rhode Island. They accounted for 56 points.
"When you combine this year's group of current freshmen and add this class, we believe the pieces fit," Barnes said.
William Wilkerson covers University of Texas sports and recruiting for HornsNation Follow HornsNation's coverage on Twitter: @ESPNHornsNation