Ex-VCU recruit Tevin Mack joining Shaka Smart in Texas
When Tevin Mack was granted a release from VCU in April, it seemed possible he would follow former Rams coach Shaka Smart to Texas. On Tuesday, one day before the end of the spring signing period, he made it official. Mack chose the Longhorns over finalists Georgia, Kansas and Clemson.
Mack was one of three players from the class of 2015 who asked to be released from Letters of Intent following Smart’s departure. Four-star small forward Kenny Williams recently picked North Carolina over Virginia and Michigan, among other programs, and three-star small forward Jordan Murphy committed to Minnesota.
Mack was the most highly touted of the three and, accordingly, was pursued by a number of programs after parting ways with VCU. At 6’6,’’ 190 pounds, Mack, a standout at Dreher High School in Columbia, S.C., is highly regarded for his athleticism, ability to attack the basket and knock down jump shots.
Mack told Scout.com that his decision to pick Texas was based, in part, on the relationship he has developed with Smart.
“We’ve grown close over the past couple months since the recruiting thing ended,” Mack said. “He came to my school a lot during the season. We used to talk or text everyday. He would always send me an inspiring quote in the morning just so I would have something to start my day off right. He’s a great guy, a great leader and a great mentor to look up to and I think that’s a great coach to play for.”
Mack joins fellow four-star prospects Eric Davis and Kerwin Roach in Texas’s 2015 recruiting class. Though the Longhorns lose center Myles Turner and forward Jonathan Holmes from last season, they won’t lack for depth on the perimeter. Guards Kendal Yancy, Isaiah Taylor, Javan Felix and Demarcus Holland, as well as wing Jordan Barnett, will all return.
The challenge for this group will be to improve offensively over last season—when they ranked seventh during Big 12 play in adjusted points per possession, according to Kenpom.com—while executing Shaka Smart’s “Havoc” press defense. Still, the addition of Mack will help prevent Texas from a major dropoff during the coaching transition.
With Mack off the board, there are only three players ranked in the top 100 of the Rivals 150 who have yet to give verbal commitments: Five-star center Thon Maker, four-star point guard Marcus LoVett and four-star forward Noah Dickerson.