McClellan has next. Basketball recruiting is a strange beast -- it's non-linear, as in the process doesn't operate from year to year, as Mack Brown prefers to do for football, but helter-skelter, one commitment from one year, another commitment from another, all with the added oddity of the coaches having few scholarships, but no guarantees how many they will have available in any given year.
But I digress. The point of this section is to introduce the newest member of the 2011 Longhorn basketball team ($) -- Houston Bellaire shooting guard Sheldon McClellan, a 6-5, 180-pounder who gave his commitment to Rick Barnes on Monday. McClellan joins St. Benedict's point guard Myck Kabongo in the class and becomes the latest in a line of tall guards recruited by Barnes, a priority starting with the 2009 class after suffering through two years with a zone defense featuring two sub six-foot guards at the top and a 6-2 guard on the baseline -- not exactly the recipe for an active, disruptive zone.
McClellan, not expected to make an early decision, did so after visiting Austin over the weekend for the third time this year. Already with a connection to the program from working out with John Lucas, the father of recent transfer Jai Lucas whom McClellan knows as a Bellaire alumnus, the young wing felt comfortable enough in Austin ($) and around the team that he pulled the trigger early:
I thought it was a very good time to commit to Texas. I liked the first two visits, but the third one was the one that led me to commit. The whole process of seeing the campus, talking to the academic people and speaking with the coaching staff put Texas over the top. I also felt like I'm cool with the players and that made me feel comfortable.
Angel Johnson, McClellan's mother, felt comfortable with her son attending Texas:
I'm excited. I'm so excited and happy. My heart has always been in it with Texas. I like the basketball and love the academics. Coach Barnes made us feel so comfortable. I don't think they understood how impressed we were with them. Sheldon told me in the car on the way home that he wanted to commit, so we talked about it and I'm excited he did. I watched Texas play all year long because they have some guys from the Houston area we know. I went to a couple of games and said to myself that I really like Texas. The tour and talks Saturday took us to another level and Sheldon knew Texas is where he wanted to be.
The Houston Bellaire product describes his game:
I don't mind playing the point guard but I want to play shooting guard. I think I bring energy to the team and just hard work. I'm improving on my ball handling and my shooting. It's just a lot of hard work.
Gerry Hamilton of BurntOrangeBeat has his take on the results of McClellan's hard work to date:
McClellan is a silky smooth 6-5 guard that possesses an advanced skill level off the bounce and a quickly improving three-point jumper. As a freshman, the long armed guard spent time at the point before moving to the wing for the most part as a sophomore. Right handed with an impressive pace, McClellan does a good job of changing speeds thus creating driving opportunities. He can finish in the paint or make plays for teammates.
As the sophomore gets stronger, his release will move up and he will be a more consistent long-range shooter. Because he has an impressive feel for the game and the ability to put the ball on the floor, he creates space for a mid-range or long-range jumper with ease.
McCoy fixing throwing motion. Acknowledging that his throwing motion changed during his junior season as a result of injury and fatigue, Case McCoy spoke candidly with Orangebloods ($) about working to stay consistent:
There's a couple of habits I had gotten into with my throwing motion from an ongoing season and different injuries that I had gotten that weren't bad but I kind of had to change my throwing motion a little bit.
McCoy doesn't specifically mention his release point, which tends to change from throw to throw, but the lack of consistency with his release is one of the most common complaints about him as a passer.
Continuing his candidness, McCoy says that some of his inconsistency at the Elite 11 camp was simply a lack of preparation, as he admits that he had not thrown the football much ($) in the days and week prior to the event:
That was kind of one of the first times I've picked up a ball and went, and I had a good first half of the workout with all the drills and just got my arm kind of worn out. I didn't feel like I wanted to in the second half with the one-on-ones and all that. It didn't quite go like I wanted it to.
They called and they want me to come to another camp to see me again. If we decide to make a trip out to California to make a trip out if it and do it, we will, but I'm not sure we're going to.
Besides general arm strength, McCoy's frame is the largest concern -- extremely lanky frame and lacking development because of his commitment to basketball and track at Graham, McCoy is finally getting a chance to work hard in the weight room (lifting five times a week) and is already heavier than Colt when he got to Texas. In fact, the younger McCoy is on the same weight training program Texas uses, as the Graham strength and conditioning coaches have made several trips down to Austin to visit with Mad Dog and McCoy says it is already making a difference. It would be excellent for the program if the S&C coaches for every team with a committed player would come down and learn from the Longhorn staff.
A trip to Austin is in the plans for Case during the summer, when he plans to work out with his older brother, but the Graham signal caller is not planning on attending camps this summer other than those at Texas, as the Longhorn coaches prefer commits not camp at other schools.
Wood still working Seastrunk. 2010 quarterback Connor Wood has maintained contact with Lache Seastrunk in an effort to lure him to Texas, while also working hard to increase his strength and speed ($) during the off season, increasing his weight to 212 with a target of 220 by the fall. Wood has also spent a lot of time in the film room, five or six hours a week by his estimates, in an effort to better understand defenses and where to go with the football.
On the radar: 2011 running back/safety Tyson Coleman. It's no secret that Mack Brown has a very strict set of criteria for any out-of-state recruits. Foremost among them is the potential recruit being pro-active about their interest, generally demonstrated by attending summer football camps. Lake Oswego's Tyson Coleman is just such an OOS player ($) -- he camped in Austin last summer and plans to make it down again from his home state of Oregon, expressing excitement about learning more from the Texas coaching staff.
A 6-2, 200-pounder blessed with a rare combination of size and speed, Coleman looks like the real deal, an excellent running back who may project as a safety at Texas because of the incredible in-state depth at the position in 2011. However, if the Longhorns choose to offer a large back and a smaller back, Coleman may get an offer as a running back, though that may depend somewhat on the level of interest from Malcolm Brown and the Texas' coaches evaluations of both players.
Already possessing verbal offers from Oregon and Washington, Coleman will be highly sought after, but currently has the Longhorns out in front, in fact, "pretty far out in front," with his parents already considering a move if he ends up committing to playing at Texas.
From the Land of Miscellany. Darius Terrell separated his shoulder ($) and suffered a ligament tear in practice last week diving to attempt a catch -- surgery may not be necessary...Still no word on J'Covan Brown, as the NCAA Clearinghouse drags their collective feet...Word is that 2012 forward Zach Peters still favors the Longhorns, but remains interested in North Carolina...Connor Atchley is reportedly back to his junior form and admits that his tongue injury in large part derailed his season.