Texas basketball head coach Rick Barnes has plenty of options when it
comes to recruiting for the class of 2012. He and his staff are
currently recruiting all over the country and have made plenty of stops
in the past two weeks alone. One prospect they’ve been taking a
serious look at is Mitch McGary, a 6-foot-11, 250-pound center from
Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
The Brewster product has heard from many schools lately, including the Longhorns. His recent performances on the hardwood have made his recruiting stock rise and Texas is taking notice of his talents.“Coach Ogden stopped by my school last week,” said McGary. “He said he loved the way I played and how hard I hustled after the ball. I was a little tired when he saw me though, as I had the Pittsburgh Jam Fest that weekend before. I feel like he didn’t see me play up to my potential, but I did pretty well. I thought my effort could have been better. I was just so tired.”On Monday he learned that the Texas staff extended an offer to him.“Last week my coach told me they were supposed to offer soon,” McGary told Inside Texas. “When I talked to my dad on Monday he said that Texas did offer. He said that Coach Barnes really wanted me to commit because I really like Texas, then he started joking around with me after telling me that and he was trying to get me to commit right then.”McGary says he’s extremely happy that there’s interest being shown from the Lone Star State. Texas is a school he grew up rooting for and former Longhorn Kevin Durant is his favorite player.“I’m not really sure how my interest in Texas started to be honest,” he said. “When I was a little kid I always liked Texas and they were my favorite school. I mean I don’t know really how it began. Just growing up and watching Coach Barnes and I just always liked him as a coach. And of course watching guys like Kevin Durant helped too. He’s pretty much my favorite player ever and I try to model my game after him. I can’t really play like him but I definitely try!”Besides his long time interest, McGary said Barnes’ style of coaching is something that draws him to Austin.“Coach Barnes has been there for awhile and I really like him as a coach and really like the way he coaches. He’s one of the best. The style of play they had this year was impressive. They were a young team this year, but had some size and length. That made them tough to guard this past season. I think I can help them out with that since I’m pretty long and tall. I like the way they get up and down the court. If their current transition isn’t working, they know how to play and how to setup the offense.”With Texas being a long way from home, one might expect him to try and stay closer. McGary says that isn’t the case with him.“My sister actually moved down to Texas a couple of years ago and she’s a big Longhorn fan as well,” said McGary. “I also have some other family down there too. So to me location wouldn’t really be a factor. I don’t get homesick or anything like that, so it wouldn’t bother me. In fact, my parents are actually 18 hours away from me right now as it is. I think Texas would be even closer to them than what I am now. Plus my coach was telling me that Texas now has their own network with ESPN, so they could basically see me on TV every night too. The basketball standout isn’t ready to commit just yet, however. He wants to take some visits and make sure he gets a good feel for whichever school he’ll be playing ball at.“I hope to make it down to Austin soon,” he said. “I don’t know when exactly it would be and I don’t have anything planned yet. I think it will most likely be when I go this summer to visit my sister. Then I’ll for sure go to Austin and check it out. Besides Texas I’m most interested in Arizona, Duke, Florida, UConn, West Virginia, Marquette and Maryland. I have ten official visits since I’m a senior this year. I’m just doing post graduate next year. So at the moment I’m planning to use all of them, starting later this spring.”While waiting for those visits to happen, he says he’s just trying to fine tune his game as much as possible.“I would call myself a blue-collar worker type player,” McGary said. “I try to play hard, get those tough rebounds, dive for those loose balls and hustle up and down the court every play. I like to run the floor a lot and in transition is where I get most of my easy buckets. I think I also do good taking people off the dribble and have been working on that a lot. I just want to continue to get to the level of playing that I know I can play at. I know I need to work on my mid-range jumper a little bit more and my back to the basket skills as well.”McGary, who came off the bench as a sixth man for his team this past season, averaged around 12 points, ten rebounds and a four blocked shots a game. He’s currently rated No. 79 overall in the latest ESPNU 100. With his recent performances, however, expect him to shoot up in the rankings.