Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
By JACOB POLACHECKGerald Liddell, the 6-foot-6 small forward from Byron P. Steele LI (TX) High School, announced his commitment to Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns on Thursday via Twitter. His commitment comes one day after taking an unofficial to Texas.
“It just feels like home out there in Austin,” Liddell told Scout. “It’s 45 minutes away from my house. My whole family can come and enjoy seeing me play. That was ultimately a big deciding factor.”
According to 247Sports, Liddell is ranked as the No. 40 overall player in the Class of 2018 and the No. 2 player from the state of Texas. He joins Brock Cunningham as the second commit in the Longhorn’s 2018 class.
Liddell, who cut his list to seven in May, chose the Longhorns over Baylor, Arizona, California, UCLA, Oregon, and SMU.
“Also the coaching staff up there, Shaka [Smart] and his staff really get after it for his players,” Liddell said. “He goes to war for his players, just like we are supposed to go to war for him.”
Liddell did not take any official visits before his commitment but did take multiple unofficial visits to Texas, including his visit on Wednesday.
“I went up there and got down to the nitty gritty with coach Shaka,” he said. “We talked about everything and not just about basketball and how he’s going to make me better as a player, but also as a person. He told me about his coaching style and I got to see that at practice. He told me he could make me better and he would be hard on me and that’s what I wanted.”
Liddell’s commitment gives Texas the No. 40 ranked recruiting class in 2018 and the No. 4 ranked class in the Big-12.
“I see myself fitting in really well,” Liddell said when asked about Texas’ style of play. “He’s getting into the mode where he’s pressing and moving fast paced and that translates best to my game.”
“Anybody that gets a rebound can push it and that’s a key component of my game,” he added. “They care about the defensive end and that’s a great thing. In the level above college and in college, you have to be able to play defense. I see that in their practices, they work on that in practices and that’s the part of my game I need to get better at.”
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