Vic Schaefer couldn’t contain his enthusiasm Wednesday after signing three of the nation’s top-20 prospects in his inaugural 2021 recruiting class, which currently ranks No. 4 in the nation.
The new women’s basketball head coach signed the No. 3 overall prospect, forward Aaliyah Moore, the No. 6 overall prospect, point guard Rori Harmon, and the No. 18 overall prospect, two-guard Kyndall Hunter. Moore currently plays at Moore High School in Moore, Oklahoma, while Harmon and Hunter both start for Cypress Creek High School in Houston, Texas.
“Rori (Harmon), Kyndall (Hunter) and Aaliyah (Moore) are all top-20 kids nationally, and they are all impact players,” Schaefer said in a Wednesday teleconference. “I think that’s the biggest thing we felt like we had to have. We had to have difference-makers that could come in as freshmen and hit the ground running and play for us right away.”
Both Harmon and Hunter averaged over 15 points per game in their junior season as teammates. Schaefer said the style of play that Cypress Creek employs will allow for both of them to transition quickly to the college game.
“Kyndall and Rori, that’s the best backcourt in the country,” Schaefer said. “If you look at their stats they just jump out at you … the biggest thing that nobody notices is that they play exactly like we play from a standpoint of pressing for the entire game. They are going to have an easy transition coming to Texas.”
The two in-state Houston products were a huge get in Schaefer’s first recruiting class at Texas. It’s a trend that the program needs to continue, Schaefer said.
“We’ve got to keep the best players in our state at Texas,” Schaefer said. “Period. Even when I was at my previous institution, I remember I recruited Texas hard. … We not only have to fight the in-state schools — everybody and their dog comes from out of state to recruit this state.”
Moore, the 2020 Gatorade Oklahoma Girls Basketball Player of the Year, plays with an energy and tenacity that is contagious, Schaefer said.
“You talk about an incredible young lady and a tremendous basketball player,” Schaefer said. “Her motor reminds me of a couple of kids that I have had in the past — it’s constantly going. She’s going to constantly be competing and rebounding.”
The three recruits will be expected to contribute from the moment they step on campus. Texas currently has five freshmen on its roster for the 2020 season, and as of now it will only have six upperclassmen when the Longhorns start play in 2021.
“They are here to play, they are here to compete right away and they are here to make an impact,” Schaefer said. “Quite frankly, I’ve recruited them to be an impact. I will be very disappointed if all three of those are not impact players from Day One here at Texas because they are here to compete and win championships.”