A recruitment that for months favored the Texas Longhorns didn’t end in the same fashion, as elite Lewisville iSchool shooting guard Keyonte George announced his commitment to the Baylor Bears on Sunday afternoon, per ESPN.
George sided with the Bears over a top five that also featured Kansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State, in addition to the Longhorns.
Breaking: Keyonte George, a top 5 ESPN prospect in the class of 2022 has committed to @BaylorMBB, according to @PaulBiancardi. @Keyontekg1— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 8, 2021
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“The reason for me picking Baylor was that it just felt like home,” George told 247Sports Brandon Jenkins. “The way they are so locked into the game of basketball stood out even more. The coaching staff really cares to develop their guys to reach the goal they want to reach and that really stood out.”
The news serve as a significant blow to the Longhorns, not only in that they’ll now be tasked with slowing the the nation’s No. 2 overall player and No. 1 shooting guard, per the 247Sports Composite, but in that they were recently the overwhelming favorite to earn his commitment.
George had been a priority for the Texas program dating back to Shaka Smart’s tenure when the Horns were among the first to offer him in 2019. Meanwhile, Chris Beard’s staff in Lubbock prioritized George, as well, and that pursuit only intensified when Beard and Ulric Maligi left Lubbock for Austin.
Those efforts helped Texas emerge as a clear frontrunner for George throughout the spring and summer, and when George’s friend and soon-to-be-high school teammate, four-star point guard Arterio Morris, committed to Texas in July, the stars were seemingly aligned for Beard to secure an elite backcourt to build his first class around.
Shortly thereafter Morris’ commitment, though, the tide turned and that expectation changed to uncertainty and ultimately, an unlikely outcome as momentum swung in Baylor’s favor.
Now, George is a Baylor Bear, leaving Beard and the Longhorns looking elsewhere after missing on their top overall target.