AUSTIN, Texas – Three high school basketball standouts have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball next season at The University of Texas, head coach Rick Barnes announced Thursday. Demarcus Croaker (Orlando, Fla.), Isaiah Taylor (Oakland, Calif.) and Kendal Yancy (Richardson, Texas) will join the Longhorns for the 2013-14 season.
“We are very excited to welcome Demarcus, Isaiah and Kendal to the Texas Basketball program,” said Texas coach Rick Barnes. “With the addition of these three players, we have made a significant improvement in terms of skill and athleticism in our backcourt.”
Croaker, a shooting guard from Jones High School who played under coach Jerry Howard, is ranked as the No. 105 prospect in the nation by Rivals.com. A two-time Florida Athletic Coaches Association Class 4A All-State honoree as a junior and senior, Croaker averaged a team-best 23.9 points per game for the Tigers and was a finalist for the Florida Class 4A Player of the Year award during his senior season.
“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. With continued work, he has the potential to become a complete player.”
Taylor is a point guard from The Village School in Houston who played under coach Don Harvey. The Oakland, Calif., native moved to Houston and enrolled at The Village School prior to his junior season. Taylor averaged a team-high 17.6 points, 10.0 assists and 6.0 steals per game and converted 62.2% from the floor while leading his team to a 23-5 mark as a senior. In his junior year, he averaged 15.6 points and 12.0 assists per game while helping his squad post a 29-4 mark.
“Isaiah is a true point guard with excellent court vision and the ability to make other players around him better,” 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, a combo guard from Berkner High School who played under coach Jason Petty, is ranked as the No. 87 prospect nationally in the ESPN 100 and the No. 107 prospect in the country by Rivals.com. He averaged 12.2 points, 7.8 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game during his senior year while leading the Rams to a 33-6 record and the Class 5A state semifinals. Yancy earned a spot on the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) Class 5A All-State team and the UIL State Class 5A All-Tournament team in his senior season.
“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.”