Shaka Smart has prioritized elite out-of-state talent throughout his tenure at Texas, and once again, those efforts are evident.
On Monday evening, five-star Sierra Canyon (Calif.) shooting guard Cassius Stanley announced his top six schools and the Texas Longhorns are among the finalists, along with Oregon, USC, Arizona, UCLA and Kansas.
The top-ranked talent in California, as well as the top-ranked 2019 shooting guard with a Texas offer, Stanley is yet to visit the Forty Acres, but the work Smart and his staff have put forth behind the scenes has proven to be enough to this point. Going forward, however, the Longhorns have their work cut out. Widely projected to remain in the Los Angeles area, four of Stanley’s five Crystal Ball projections favor USC, with the other projecting UCLA.
That said, there’s little public information regarding Stanley’s recruitment at this stage, so there’s certainly no reason to write Texas, and even Arizona, Kansas, and Oregon off as nothing more than top schools playing catch-up to local programs. Stanley has been on campus at USC and UCLA multiple times, but that’s to be expected considering his proximity to each.
When he begins setting up out-of-state tours, look for the Longhorns to ultimately earn one of Stanley’s official visits.
247Sports detailed what makes Stanley such a prized prospect:
“Athletically, Stanley is elite, as he’s a very impressive leaper that moves fluidly and well laterally. Stanley excels in transition and on the defensive end, where he has a chance to be a very good perimeter defender. Stanley’s shot mechanics and form look good and he’s at the least an average long range shot at this point and there’s reason to believe he’ll turn into a pretty good one with time and work.”
At 6-foot-5, 180 pounds, Stanley is ranked as the No. 15 player and the No. 2 shooting guard in the nation, per the 247Sports Composite.