According to Evan Daniels of Scout.com, Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns just picked up a massive 2016 commitment from 5-star point guard Andrew Jones.
The commitment was announced on Twitter via Daniels, and Scout.com was also able to land some quotes from Jones explaining the reasoning behind his commitment to the Texas basketball program.
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) December 14, 2015
“Over the past couple months, since the end of July, I’ve built a strong relationship with coach Smart,” Jones said via Daniels. “It was to the point where we were texting every morning. He was sending me motivational quotes about how to be a leader and how to stay positive. We would also exchange diagramed plays and would send me plays that we could potentially run next year and how I could easily score. We just become very close on a personal level.”
Half the time in recruiting, it’s not just the success or status of a program that matters, but rather a coach’s ability to create a connection to players. Keep in mind, not only are these players committing to a school and program, but they’re also committing to play for a coach, and his assistants. Good recruiters understand that it’s more than just winning games and X’s and O’s, it’s about establishing a connection with a recruit.
Smart seems to have that part of the game locked down, and success at Texas should follow as a result.
Texas now has three 2016 commitments, as Jones joins 4-star Jacob Young and 4-star James Banks.