Ridley and Holland sign with Texas

Sameer Bhuchar

Texas took a step back, then two steps forward.

After announcing that guard Sterling Gibbs planned to transfer following the spring semester, the Longhorns inked two big names in high school basketball for the 2013 season.

The addition of guard Demarcus Holland and center Cameron Ridley gives the Longhorns a six-man recruiting class that includes guard Javan Felix, forwards Connor Lammert and Ioannis Papapetrou and center Prince Ibeh.

At 6-foot-10, Ridley is the source of much excitement for Texas fans because he was a high school standout. He brings size to a Texas team short on shot blockers and power players and is ranked as the No. 8 overall recruit in the nation by ESPNU. The Richmond, Texas native averaged 21.5 points, 15.2 rebounds and 5.3 blocks per game while helping Bush to a 25-5 record his senior year.

Holland, a guard from Garland, Texas averaged a team-best 11.3 points to go along with 4.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and two steals per game as a senior. He was teammates with Ibeh, already a Texas signee, at Naaman Forest High School. Holland helped pace his team to a 29-8 record and advance to the Class 5A state semifinals in 2011.

Head coach Rick Barnes loves the versatility the incoming players bring to the table and sees Texas being successful in the long term with the addition.

“We’re so excited as a staff when you look at our returning players from this past year and combine them with the four players we signed in the fall and the addition of Demarcus and Cameron,” Barnes said. “All these guys come from winning programs and backgrounds, and they all want to win a championship at Texas. When we look at our roster, we see skill, character and work ethic, and we’re excited to have them get on the floor together this summer and get to work.”

Published on Thursday April, 12, 2012 as: Ridley, Holland add needed depth to squad