Texas, Smart land top in-state SF

Gerald Liddell. (courtesy of HoopSeen.com)

Gerald Liddell. (courtesy of HoopSeen.com)

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AUSTIN — Just days after Texas Basketball landed its first verbal pledge for the Class of 2018, No. 2 dropped this evening.

Cibolo Steele 4-star small forward/wing Gerald Liddell committed to Shaka Smart and the Longhorns over offers from Arizona, UCLA, Kansas, Baylor, Cal, and SMU.

The 6-foot-6 SF adds an overall game that will fit with Smart’s schemes. He joins Austin Westlake’s Brock Cunningham in the 2018 class. Cunningham is another guard/swing forward. Both add tons to the offensive side of the basketball, something coach Smart and his squad sorely needs. They seem to be putting those pieces together and with the newest signees and experience returning, UT hoops should be trending up.

With the potential of Andrew Jones leaving for the NBA after next season also allows Liddell the opportunity to potentially play early. Take a look at the high-flyer’s game, summer tape.

Our Tim Preston with more on the newest Longhorn:

Time for Longhorn fans to get more than a Liddell excited.

Head Coach Shaka Smart and his program welcome their second big time commitment in as many weeks as 6-foot-6 wing Gerald Liddell has pledged to the Longhorns.

Liddell, a four-star from Cibolo Steele who has been one of the highest rated players in Texas all through his prep career, has gone through a difficult summer while dealing with an injury. This has been especially tough on his game as Gerald’s skill set and play is built heavily on his top-flight athleticism and movement.

Regardless, Liddell is a player Shaka has made a priority almost from the day he took the job at Texas and that faith has paid off.

Strengths:

Big time athlete in space and in transition
Comfortable with the ball as a playmaker
Makes good decisions with the ball
Can make plays going either direction and is comfortable handling the ball in traffic
Sees the floor very well as a rebounder/outlet passer
Intelligent around the rim (to go along with his length/explosiveness)
Progressing shooter with decent fundamentals (release point/hand placement)

Weaknesses:
Needs to become more complete as a scorer at the next level (lot of his points come at rim or in transition)
Good demeanor but will need to continue to mature as a leader
Is a good rebounder but needs to play stronger at that end given the likelihood he’ll play a combo forward type role
Can play out of control, but that comes with aggressive players

Fit:
Terrific player for Havoc/Two-Fist in his ability to lead the point of attack as the mad man
Also a great fit with his versatility as a ball handler for a taller wing
Will need to prove he can be a consistent shooter to get minutes as a true wing
If he can shoot at a respectable level, has the feel and athleticism to be a high impact player at Texas

The Endgame

Texas isn’t likely through, but they’ve already really solidified their wing future with Cunningham and Liddell, both of whom are guys who can do a little bit of everything with high ceilings (Liddell’s more so than Cunningham).

This commitment allows Shaka to continue to focus in on Keldon Johnson and then cherry pick on the interior or with a playmaking guard should the be able to land a difference maker.

Great pickup for UT and another well handled recruitment from a staff that is becoming known for just such that reason.