One of the secrets to the success of Rick Barnes’ Texas
teams has been outstanding point guard play, which hasn’t been there on a
consistent basis over the past two years. The Longhorns’ struggles may soon be
coming to an end with Friday afternoon’s news that Findlay Prep standout Cory
Joseph is set to be a Longhorn.
Joseph, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard rated as the
nation’s fourth best floor general by ESPN.com and the No. 16 overall prospect
in the 2010 ESPNU 100, gave the Texas basketball program a huge boost by
committing to Texas over Connecticut, Minnesota, UNLV and Villanova.
Since D.J. Augustin departed following the 2007-08 season
the Longhorns have tried a barrage of different players at the point guard
position with mixed results. Joseph is expected to give the Longhorns a point
guard who can not only push and control the tempo of a basketball game, but a
player who also excels in the half court offense.
Playing his prep ball in Nevada, having a brother at
Minnesota, having family on the East Coast and with Villanova needing a point
guard for next year, Joseph ultimately decided amidst all of those factors that
Texas was the best fit for him.
“I had a great relationship with coach Barnes and all the staff and
players,” Joseph said. “I feel that it’s the best fit for me
While the aforementioned connections to the other schools were important
factors, the relationship with Barnes was a factor along with his friendship
with Tristan Thompson. The 6-foot-9 power forward and the lone signee for the
Longhorns ‘ 2010 class played with Joseph at Findlay Prep while the two also
played on the same Grassroots Canada travel team, along with Texas 2011 point
guard commit Myck Kabongo.
Joseph and Thompson played together recently at both the McDonald’s
All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden last
weekend and Joseph is looking forward to teaming with Thompson in Austin.
“It’s good that we’ll be able to play together again,” Joseph
said. “We had a lot of success over the past two years. We won the
national championship twice. We’re going to have a great time.”
In helping lead Findlay Prep to a second straight
National High School Invitational title following a mythical national title in
2009, Joseph averaged 18.6 points and 5.1 assists per game. With Avery Bradley’s
college future uncertain as he has opted to test the waters of the NBA draft,
Joseph figures to be in line to be the starting point guard along while
returnees J’Covan Brown, Jai Lucas, Varez Ward, Shawn Williams and possibly Dogus Balbay
will round out the Longhorn backcourt as it stands right now.
At any rate, Joseph is hoping to have a major impact on
the Longhorns during the 2010-11 season.
“My goal is
to go in there and hopefully be an impact player,” Joseph said. “I want to play hard and I hope things
will work out for me. I want to get better every day … and be fully committed
to the team and basketball.”
ESPN.com Recruiting Writer Brendan Murphy
contributed to this report.