Chesterfield (Va.) Bird shooting guard Kenny Williams and San Antonio Brennan small forward Jordan Murphy received their own respective releases on Monday, while sophomore forward Justin Tillman also intends to leave the program.
Mack would be the biggest get of the three prep players because he's the most highly-rated and because he has the ideal length and athleticism to become a key piece of Shaka Smart's disruptive, high-pressure defense.
A consensus four-star prospect, Mack is a 6'6, 185-pounder who held 18 offers prior to signing with VCU and is currently seen as a slasher with good defensive ability who fits in the pressing defense Smart prefers to run. Future150.com believes that Mack needs to improve his shooting both from long distance and off the dribble, but he's not incapable in those areas, a key requirement for Smart when he assesses prospects.
His mother also told the Washington Post last week that he signed with VCU because of Smart, so the Longhorns should have a strong chance of landing him, an opinion shared by ESPN's Jeff Goodman. And other members of the industry, as all five 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions to come in for Mack since Smart left the Rams have been in favor of the Horns.
Since Smart places such a premium on shooters, it would make sense to pursue Williams, who is known as one of the best catch-and-shoot players in the entire 2015 class. However, there could be some serious competition for his services and he doesn't seem as likely to follow Smart as Mack. So far, the schools mentioned in association with him bear that out -- Scout reports that Georgetown, North Carolina, Michigan, and Virginia are currently the contenders, with no mention of Texas. The Tar Heels were considered the favorite when he originally committed to and signed with the Rams last fall.
As for Murphy, his mother told Burnt Orange Nation over the weekend that Gonzaga, Indiana, Miami, Oregon, SMU, and UCLA all expressed interest in the 6'7 wing through his high school or AAU coaches. Of those schools, the Ducks were the only one to offer Murphy during his original recruitment. He still has three official visits remaining, but has not yet heard from Texas. If the Longhorns were to reach out him, his mother said that he would have interest in signing with Texas.
Tillman was a consensus three-star prospect and didn't play much at the end of the season, so it seems unlikely that Smart would essentially waste a scholarship in 2015-16 just to bring in a player he didn't consider a contributor on his team just a few weeks ago.
If point guard Isaiah Taylor elects to return for his junior season, Texas would have two scholarships available for Washington point guard transfer Nigel Williams-Goss and/or 2015 prospects like Mack.
With a need on the wing since sophomore Jordan Barnett barely played and could be another year away from contributing, Mack looks like the most likely addition from this group. And he would certainly be an important one, regardless of Taylor's decision.