In a bid to add a key roster for the upcoming season and kick off his third recruiting class with a bang, the Texas head coach Chris Beard welcomes a pair of elite rookies for official visits this weekend. McKinney Five Star Guard Ja’Kobe Walter, the 23rd overall 247Sports Composite prospect for 2023, began his official visit on Friday; when he wraps up his time on campus on Sunday, the Longhorns will host his high school and team Trae young AAU Teammate, 2022 Three-Star Forward Alex Anamekweon campus for an official visit scheduled until Monday.
Walter, a junior, and Anamekwe, a senior, led McKinney to a 35-3 record. The talented duo helped the Lions to a double overtime win over Austin Westlake in the Class 6A State Semifinals at the Alamodome in San Antonio on March 11 68-66, before falling to Duncanville in the game state championship the following night.
Even with the 2023 class brimming with elite talent within the Lone Star State, the 6-foot-5 Walter could be the top prospect on the roster for a Texas program looking to land the No. 1 verbal commitment in the cycle. . Walter is no stranger to the Forty Acres, making an unofficial visit in September before returning Jan. 29 to watch the Longhorns send Tennessee to Erwin Center in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, 52-51.
A versatile scorer, Walter has already made official visits to Alabama and Auburn. Baylor is also heavily in the mix, but he recently told Eric Bossi, the national director of basketball for 247Sports, that Texas worked hard to recruit him, which left a strong impression on the overall prospect No. 17 in the Top247.
“They come to my school all the time,” Walter said of a coaching staff who spent countless hours recruiting him through in-person visits and watching him on the pitch. “They came to my school the most of everyone. (Beard) says I’m the number one priority and he thinks I’m the best player in the country. They let me know whenever they can build around me.
Eight scholarship players – repatriated Timmy Allen, Christian bishop, Marcus Carr and Brock Cunningham; high school signatories Rowan Brumbaugh, Dillon Mitchell and Arterio Morris; New Mexico State Graduate Transfer Rice Sir’Jabari – are blocked for the 2022-23 season. Nonetheless, 6ft 6in Anamekwe, who was released from the National Letter of Intent he signed with SMU following the former head coach Tim Jankovitch retiring at the end of the season, is a target that can tick several boxes.
Immediately, Anamekwe can be a high energy contributor with the ability to defend multiple positions and help provide rim protection. In the long run, however, the Longhorns can let Anamekwe grow behind Bishop and a frontcourt that could include Dylan Dissu (if he withdraws his name out of consideration for the NBA draft and returns to school for another season) and likely an addition from the NCAA transfer portal (Texas missed Utah Valley game Fardaw Aimaqwho committed to Texas Tech on Friday, but Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Lofton Jr. remains a target with the Longhorns looking for a genuine rim protector and any other players who fit into what Beard and Co. are trying to build) and help him reach his ceiling as a player.
Texas finished Beard’s freshman season with a 22-12 record, earning the program’s first NCAA Tournament win since 2014 with an 81-73 victory over Virginia Tech in a first-round bout in Milwaukee. The Longhorns came in at No. 25 in the final Associated Press Top 25 in their last campaign playing at the Erwin Center with the program’s new arena, the Moody Center, open for business and ready to host the Longhorns for the 2022-23 season. season and beyond.