After five years of relentless recruiting, Shaka Smart finally has his man: point guard Matt Coleman is a Texas Longhorn.
On Monday morning at the Hoophall Classic game before his Oak Hill Academy club was set to square off with Nathan Hall (Wash.), Coleman’s recruitment finally came to a conclusion, as the four-star floor general announced his commitment to Texas over Duke.
4-star PG Matt Coleman on why he picked Texas over Duke. pic.twitter.com/QvVPUg5KgR— Cody Daniel (@CodyDanielSBN) January 16, 2017
A true point guard, Coleman was the can’t-miss target for Smart and Texas during the 2017 cycle, which explains why the ‘Horns put all their eggs into Coleman’s basket from the moment Smart arrived in Austin. For Smart, his recruiting efforts date back to Coleman’s time as an eighth-grader, in which Smart was a head coach in Coleman’s home state at VCU.
Mike Krzyzewski and Duke, on the other hand, jumped into Coleman’s recruitment late with a September offer and were tasked to play catchup to Smart, who had spent the previous four-and-a-half years cultivating a relationship with the flashy floor general. Obviously, Duke still managed to become a legitimate threat to Smart and the ‘Horns because, well ... it’s Duke.
Fortunately for Texas, the late push wasn’t enough, which was only aided by reports that the Blue Devils have recently begun focusing on five-star point guard Trevon Duval, and Smart landed the talent he considers to be the ‘missing piece’ for Texas basketball going forward.
Coleman echoed Smart’s sentiments and touched on what he’ll bring to the 40 Acres next season:
With the addition of Coleman, Texas’ 2017 class now includes four four-star talents, including wings Royce Hamm and Jase Febres, as well as hyper-athletic power forward Jericho Sims. Coleman’s commitment pushes Texas’ 2017 class from No. 12 to No. 6, behind Kentucky, UCLA, Arizona, Washington and Alabama, per 247Sports Composite.
At 6’2, 175 pounds, Coleman ranks as the nation’s No. 8 point guard and the No. 31 player overall, per 247Sports Composite. He’s ranked as high as No. 26 overall and as the No. 4 point guard by ESPN.