After salvaging the 2015 Texas Longhorns basketball recruiting class, new head coach Shaka Smart signed his second and third recruits on Wednesday when Houston Yates point guard Jacob Young and La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere center James Banks both signed their National Letters of Intent during the early period.
"We are very excited about the foundation we are laying for the future of Texas basketball," Smart said in a release. "Our program centers around competitiveness and enthusiasm, and both James Banks and Jacob Young embody those traits."
The 6'10, 235-pound Banks is a consensus four-star prospect ranked as the No. 56 player overall, the No. 6 center, and the No. 2 player in the 247Sports Composite rankings. He held more than 20 offers prior to his commitment, with Vanderbilt representing the most serious competition for Texas.
As a good athlete capable of running the floor, Banks fits Smart's preferred style of play and also possesses solid touch on his jumpshot. With some natural strength and a projectable frame, he is a physical presence around the rim who can block or alter shots. However, he doesn't have much of a post-up game and isn't an explosive finisher.
Since Banks is still relatively new to the game, there's some significant upside left for him as he continues to add refinement to his game.
"James is a terrific frontcourt prospect who possesses size, touch and an innate ability to rebound and block shots," Smart said. "His strong work ethic and desire to be great will help him become a major force in our program."
The 6'0, 165-pound Young is also a consensus four-star prospect, the No 97 player nationally, the No. 19 point guard, and the No. 10 player in Texas. He held four offers as a relatively under-the-radar prospect at the time of his late June pledge -- Baylor, Duquesne, and Memphis.
The younger brother of former Oregon star and current Indiana Pacers guard Joseph Young, Jacob is undersized at 6'0 and will need to spend some time in the weight room to add strength, but he makes up for his lack of size and mass with the ability to score from the mid range and distance because of his strong shooting mechanics. While his defense needs some work, in part due to his lack of strength, he has the intangibles and understanding of the game that Smart demands in his players.
"Jacob is an explosive combo guard with major shot-making ability," Smart said. "His work ethic, competitiveness and passion for the game will fit extremely well in our program."
The class ranks as the No. 25 recruiting class overall and the No. 2 class in the Big 12, according to the 247Sports Composite team rankings. With limited frontcourt depth available for 2016-17 at this time, local five-star center Jarrett Allen remains a critical target for the Horns.