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Saturday, March 30, 2013
ESPN 100 PG Yancy-Harris picks Texas

By Max Olson

Right after he wrapped up his official visit on Saturday, Kendal Yancy-Harris (Richardson, Texas/Berkner) made the decision he’d known he was making all along.

Kendal Harris
Point guard Kendal Yancy-Harris, a former USC signee, committed to the Longhorns on Saturday.
The ESPN 100 point guard committed to Texas on Saturday afternoon, becoming the third pledge for the Longhorns’ 2013 recruiting class. Yancy-Harris announced the commitment on his Twitter account and confirmed his decision in a text message.

"Going into the visit, I was about 99 percent. I knew I was going to go there," Yancy-Harris said. "I liked the atmosphere and everything. I like how the fans treat you and the coaching staff and how cool they are, and how close of a bond we had during the three-day official visit."

Texas was the only school the 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard seriously considering after USC granted him a release from his letter of intent in January.

That move came after the Trojans fired coach Kevin O’Neill. When Yancy-Harris reopened his recruitment, Texas quickly emerged as his new destination.

A four-star prospect ranked No. 87 in the nation and No. 8 among in-state recruits, Yancy-Harris averaged 12.2 points, 8 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game in his senior season for Berkner and led the Rams to the Class 5A state semifinals.

While at state in Austin, Yancy-Harris said he was hoping to schedule a visit to Texas soon. He followed through on those plans this week, arriving on campus Thursday and leaving early Saturday.

The one percent Yancy-Harris was unsure about going into his visit was simple: He didn't know much about the Longhorn players or how they'd treat him. That question got answered quickly.

"I thought they were real cool, they're some real nice guys," he said. "They've got their heads on straight. The freshman group was telling me how the season went and how young they are. They didn’t have anyone to lead them the right way and push them. Next year, they’ll be older and they will look out for the freshmen."

His commitment comes at a particularly critical time for the Longhorns. Sophomore guard Sheldon McClellan, the team’s second-leading scorer in 2012-13, announced Wednesday he’s planning to transfer.

There’s also a strong chance point guard Myck Kabongo will enter the NBA draft, so finding a guard capable of contributing immediately was a must for Texas.

"Coach [Rick] Barnes definitely expects me to be a game-changer and change the season," Yancy-Harris said. "He doesn’t expect me to be just another freshman. He expects me to help them out and turn things around."

Yancy-Harris embraces those expectations, and by the time he left town he was confident the program has the players necessary to get back into the NCAA tournament next season.

"I’ll have a lot of help," he said. "They've got a lot of talent on this team."

Texas also has verbal commitments from three-star guards Demarcus Croaker (Orlando, Fla./Jones) and Isaiah Taylor (Houston/The Village School) for its 2013 class.