Only 10 schools remain in the mix with highly coveted LaPorte (Ind.) La Lumiere School center Isaiah Stewart and among them is Shaka Smart’s Texas Longhorns.
Georgetown, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Villanova, Michigan State, Duke, Indiana, Louisville, and Washington were also named as finalists for the five-star center, who excluded programs such as Maryland, UConn, Florida, Kansas, UCLA, and Virginia from his top 10.
“I chose these 10 schools because I felt they fit me the best and I can see myself there,” Stewart told Rivals’ Corey Evans. “After Peach Jam, USA Basketball is coming up so that’s my main focus besides the list as of right now. I’ll cut it again after July and start planning my officials.”
An imposing frontcourt talent who averaged 17.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game on the Nike EYBL circuit, Stewart excluded 31 other programs from his recruitment going forward, so the fact that Texas is still an option is a notable feat for Smart and his staff. However, as Stewart noted, he’s aiming to cut his list and plan his officials after July, and with Duke standing as a favorite with 82 percent of his Crystal Ball projections, Texas is quite likely tasked with competing with eight other programs for four available official visits. That said, there is reason to believe Texas has a bit more than a puncher’s chance in this recruitment, as seen with another one of his Crystal Ball picks favoring the ‘Horns.
A Rochester (N.Y.) native, Stewart’s high school career with conclude at La Lumiere School; the Indiana powerhouse from which Smart landed James Banks, and nearly landed five-star All-American wing Brian Bowen, whose recruitment took a sudden late turn in favor of Louisville, where he was ultimately was deemed ineligible.
With that in mind, Smart clearly has strong ties to the program and has established a recruiting pipeline, and Stewart is now the latest example of a prized La Lumiere prospect eyeing Texas.
Standing at 6-foot-8, 243 pounds, Stewart is ranked as the nation’s No. 3 center and the No. 8 player overall, per the 247Sports Composite.