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Texas signee Brock Cunningham impressed in Cypress Invitational

The local product continues to demonstrate why he’s such a good fit in Shaka Smart’s system.

Brock Cunningham
Adidas via 247Sports

After averaging 14.7 points and 11.3 rebounds per game last season and signing with the Texas Longhorns last month, Westlake forward Brock Cunningham is off to a hot start as a senior, including a big-time performance in the Cypress Invitational, according to Texas Top 100:

Brock Cunningham had the crowd buzzing all tournament. You can count on him to play hard the full 32 minutes of a game. He was easily one of the best players at the Cypress Hoops Invitational. The number three player in the state scored 20 plus points in each game he played. He played hard each minute he was on the court; grabbing most of Westlake’s team rebounds each game, diving for loose balls, and playing great defense on and off the ball. Offensively, the Texas commit is hard to stop in one-on-one isolation situations. He has deep range and is comfortable hitting tough off-balance jumpers from the mid-range. Throughout the tournament, he displayed his great touch in the paint. He finished with either hand, used his go-to turnaround jump shot, and displayed a newly developed running hook shot. He is always aggressive and lives at the free throw line. Brock averaged 25 points per game throughout the tournament.

"Brock is a very skilled and hard-playing forward who has been a fan of The University of Texas since he was a young boy," head coach Shaka Smart said when Cunningham signed. "He is a culture-building guy who loves everything about UT, and we're excited to be part of his continued development."

Good wing players with size are difficult to come by in college basketball — Texas hasn’t had one since Tevin Mack was suspended and then transferred last year — so the steady improvement of Cunningham is important news for the ‘Horns.

Smart is adamant about how much more he would like to press opponents, but his team is still developing the necessary mindset to do so. When Cunningham arrives next summer, all reports indicate that he will already have it.

In addition to currently playing at a college level in terms of his defensive effort, Cunningham also brings the ability to space the court and knock down shots from deep — he’ll be able to capitalize on drive-and-dish efforts by Matt Coleman and Kerwin Roach, assuming that both players return next season.

His NCSA profile also indicates that he shoots 76 percent from the free-throw line, though it’s not clear when that stat was last updated.

Calling Cunningham a glue guy dismisses his all-around game, but as a likely four-year player, he is exactly what the ‘Horns need in a number of different facets. The rankings are sleeping on him, considering him the No. 199 player nationally, but Texas fans shouldn’t.