Slowly but surely, the pieces have been falling into place for the recruiting class of 2016.
One by one, the top recruits in the country have made their final decision on where they will play their collegiate basketball next season. Some schools, like the Kentucky Wildcats or the Duke Blue Devils, have their fair share of top-tier recruits. Others, however, were hoping to land that one impact recruit that could change their season for the better.
On Friday, the Texas Longhorns landed their impact recruit.
Center Jarrett Allen was the last five-star prospect on the board who hadn’t chose his collegiate home. He is ranked as the top center in the Class of 2016 by ESPN.
He was relatively quiet during his recruiting process, although it was a well-known fact that there was an instate battle for the Austin, TX native between the Longhorns and the Houston Cougars.
In the end, Allen committed to Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns, and could have very well turned them into an NCAA Tournament team in doing so.
The 6’10”, 220-pound center from Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School is the second McDonald’s All-American recruit to commit to Texas, joining guard Andrew Jones.
He is a long and mobile center who can get up and down the floor rather well for a player of his size. Allen can score in the low post with either hand, and has shown flashes of shooting range out to the three point line with needed time and space.
In addition to his wide range scoring abilities, Allen is a strong ball distributor and ball handler. He has good coordination for his position, and has the ability to make the players around him better. If he can work on maintaining his aggressiveness over the course of the entire game, he can be a force in the Big 12 next season.
The addition of Allen, alongside fellow top 100 center James Banks, will certainly bolster the front line for Smart and the Longhorns next season. Adding a player of Allen’s calibre could be the difference in Texas being a top-half Big 12 team this season, and whether or not they make it back to the NCAA Tournament.
– T. Bennett