Heading into an important year, Texas head coach Shaka Smart was looking for additional guard help in the wake of Eric Davis and Jacob Young’s departure. Courtney Ramey is that help and completes a class that now ranks in the composite top ten.
The 6-foot-3 guard from St. Louis (MO) Webster Groves is another case of Smart being able to recruit against other strong college basketball programs. Ramey was originally committed to Louisville but decommitted in the wake of the federal college basketball investigation.
His recruitment became hotly contested down the stretch with Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma State, and Texas being the main contenders. For a while, Louisville was out of the race and new Cardinals head coach Chris Mack even mentioned Ramey by name, justifying it by saying they were no longer recruiting him.
Then, suddenly, they were and Ramey visited Louisville once again. That visit, however, was not enough to overcome Shaka Smart and the Longhorns.
Our Tim Preston on the commitment:
A Texas Longhorn basketball program with more questions than answers took a big step in the right direction today as St. Louis (MO) Webster Groves point guard Courtney Ramey committed to Shaka Smart and the Longhorns.
The 6-foot-3 playmaker, ranked as the No. 40 prospect in the country (and No. 8 point guard), chose the Longhorns over offers from some of the biggest programs in the country after initially selecting the Louisville Cardinals before then-coach Rick Pitino was summarily dismissed after a federal investigation alleged wrongdoing and a connection to Adidas money used inappropriately.
The Cardinals’ loss will be the Longhorns’ gain as Ramey looks to slot in to a backcourt that has undergone the loss (and perhaps return) of Andrew Jones, the uncertain future of Kerwin Roach, the loss of Jacob Young and the recruitment of Albany grad transfer Joe Cremo (more on him in a bit).
- Speed, both with the ball in his hands and in the open floor
- Ability to change pace with the ball
- Ability to create quality shot attempts off the bounce
- Has a solid one bounce jumper from deep
- Has worked to be a better spot up shooter from deep
- Solid decision maker as a passer
- Has a knack for creating something out of nothing as a penetrator
- Solid defender as a quick twitch athlete
- Can progress even more as a shooter, mechanically
- More of a “right pass” kind of passer than an ultra-creative one
- Will need to prove he can finish at the rim against physicality and length at the next level
- Needs to progress, physically
What This Means
At the risk of overstating Ramey’s impact, Courtney is as close to an ideal fit as Shaka could look for in a guard. He’s super fast. He’s got the ability to be a competent/capable point guard. He’s got the scoring ability to play off the ball. He can score in bunches. He can fly in the open court. He’s a likely 3-4 year player.
What’s not to like?
His role this year is a bit of a different question. He’s not the pure shooter Febres is, nor has he proven himself like Roach (I know…) or Jones (I know…), so figuring out how he fits in comparison to a guy like Long or Cremo (give me a second, dude…gosh) will be key for Shaka.
But there’s no doubt Ramey is more than just a take, he’s arguably the best player in his incoming class and a huge get at a position of need.
As for Cremo, if this impacts him, I haven’t heard that as of yet. More likely, I still expect Roach’s ultimate decision to dictate what Cremo does. If Kerwin takes off, Cremo makes a ton of sense for both parties. If Kerwin returns, the addition of Ramey makes the backcourt pretty full for a grad transfer who wants to show he can play big minutes at a Power Five program.
Ramey becomes the fifth member of the 2018 class joining F Brock Cunningham (Austin Westlake), F Jaxson Hayes (Archbishop Moeller – Ohio), F Kamaka Hepa (Portland Jefferson – Oregon), and F Gerald Liddell (Cibolo Steele).