Men’s basketball signs Demarcus Croaker, Isaiah Taylor and Kendal Yancy

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Guards Demarcus Croaker, Isaiah Taylor and Kendal Yancy signed letters of intent on Thursday to play at Texas next season. Yancy and Croaker are four-star prospects, according to rivals.com, with Taylor checking in as a three-star prospect.

For the second straight year, the Longhorns failed to sign a big-time, blue-chip prospect like Myck Kabongo in 2011, Tristan Thompson in 2010 and Avery Bradley and Jordan Hamilton in 2009. The Longhorns were one of four finalists for Plano product and five-star prospect Julius Randle but he committed to Kentucky.

Croaker, who decommitted from Murray State in Feburary, was a Class 4A Player of the Year finalist after averaging 23.9 points per game for Jones (Orlando, Fla.) High School.

“Demarcus is a player who possesses the rare combination of high-level athleticism, ball skills and shooting touch,” Barnes said. “Like most freshmen, the challenge for Demarcus will be adapting to the rigors of our level.” 

Taylor was the first to verbally commit to Texas when he pledged to play for the Longhorns in January. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Houston product averaged 17.6 points, 10.0 assists and 6.0 steals per game while shooting 62.2 percent from the floor as a senior last year.

“Isaiah is a true point guard with excellent court vision and the ability to make other players around him better,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “He has terrific speed and quickness to go with exceptional ball-handling ability. Once he learns our system, he will bring tremendous value to our backcourt.” 

Yancy was released from his letter of intent from USC in February and verbally committed to Texas last month, turning down offers from Baylor, Gonzaga, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Virginia, among more than a dozen others. He earned 5A all-state honors after averaging 12.2 points, 7.8 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game last season, when he led Berkner High School in Richardson to the state semifinals.

“Kendal is a tough, physical guard who has excellent ball skills and a good basketball IQ,” Barnes said. “He has the versatility to play all three guard positions, and he brings a winning mentality to our program.” 

The Longhorns lost three players from the 16-18 team that fell in the first round of the CBI last month. Sophomores Sheldon McClellan and Jaylen Bond both elected to transfer while sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo announced his decision to declare for the NBA draft last Friday. Fellow sophomore Julien Lewis, who teammates have said isn’t working out with the team full-time, has yet to decide whether he will transfer.