Texas basketball has a long road back to the top of the Big 12, but the Longhorns just picked up an important passenger for their journey.
Four-star forward Jericho Sims announced his commitment to Texas on Tuesday according to NBC Sports.
The 6-foot-8 forward is a top 50 recruit according to Scout and a top 75 player in the 2017 recruiting class based on the rankings at ESPN and 247Sports. He played his high school basketball in Minnesota.
Also this offseason, Texas landed four-star and top 100 forward Royce Hamm from Houston. With these two commitments, 247Sports now ranks the Longhorns’ 2017 recruiting class the best overall in the Big 12 and the 14th-best in the entire country. There’s still obviously a lot of time until signing day in February, but it’s an excellent start for a program trying to rebuild under a new head coach.
In Shaka Smart’s first season, Texas went 20-13, including 11-7 in the Big 12. The Longhorns lost both their first game of the Big 12 conference tournament and the NCAA tournament.
Texas has advanced to the NCAA tournament six in the last seven years, but it’s been a long time since they were a national contender. The Longhorns were in the Sweet Sixteen five times and the Elite Eight on three occasions from 2002-2008. In 2003, Texas earned its first Final Four appearance in more than 50 years, but since 2010, the Longhorns are just 2-6 in the NCAA tournament and haven’t advanced past the Round of 32.
The Longhorns have also won more than 20 games in a season just once since 2012.