On a Friday in April, the 2010 Texas Longhorn basketball team just got a lot better.
Cory Joseph committed to Texas on Friday.
Five-star point guard Cory Joseph, a player that's kept basketball recruiting fans on the edge of their seats for the past few months, committed to Texas on Friday....[details]
2010 (Senior):HEADER AVERY ANTONIO BRADLEY, Jr. Point/Shooting Guard University of Texas Longhorns #0 6:02.0-180 Tacoma, Washington Findlay College Preparatory School
OVERVIEW While his jersey number might say zero, Bradley was the Longhorns' prized rookie last season, giving the team a viable scoring option to work in tandem with All-American Damion James. The freshman sensation would start 32 of 34 games for UT, ranking second on the team in scoring, averaging 11.6 points per game at the two-guard position.
NBA scouts regard Bradley as one of the draft's elite combo guards, feeling that he is skilled enough as a ball handler and playmaker to earn valuable minutes at the point in the professional ranks. He also displayed why he earned the high school reputation as an outstanding on-the-ball perimeter defender.
Even though his time at Texas was relatively short-lived, Bradley is expected to be one of the first guards selected in the 2010 NBA Draft. He was a long-time UT basketball fan, spending parts of his childhood in Arlington, where he idolized T.J. Ford. During his only season with the Longhorns, Bradley started 32 of 34 games. Playing most at the two-guard spot, he still managed to register 71 assists and used his length and reach well to come up with 44 steals, second-best on the team.
The Big 12 Conference All-Rookie Team selection (also earned league overall honorable mention), Bradley was successful on 37.5% of his three-point shots (42 of 112) for the Longhorns last season and surprised the coaching staff with his rebounding ability, pulling down 98 boards while also blocking 18 shots.
Still, with just one season under his belt, many Longhorn fans were looking to see Bradley return in 2010. In early April, head coach Rick Barnes announced that his prized recruit had decided to forgo the final three years of his college eligibility, and entered his name into the NBA draft pool.
At Findlay Prep, Bradley was named ESPNRISE.com High School National Player of the Year and was ranked as the best prospect nationally by ESPNU following his senior season. The McDonald's and Jordan All-American selection won the slam dunk contest at the McDonald's All-American Game, as he then went on to register 15 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes for the West team in a 113-110 defeat. He was also a first-team choice on Parade Magazine's All-American squad that season.
Bradley also paired with fellow UT recruit Jordan Hamilton and scored 14 points to lead the Black Team to a 110-103 win at the Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden. Rivals.com rated Bradley as the nation's fourth-best prospect, and Scout.com had him fifth on their top prospect list. He led the team to the National High School Basketball championship vs. Oak Hill Academy, and won 56-53.
In his only season at Findlay Prep, he averaged 19.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.9 steals per game as a senior. Bradley converted 54.1% of his field goal attempts (258 of 477), 76.1% from the free throw line (83 of 109) and was 38.3% from the three-point line (31 of 81)
Before transferring to Findlay Prep for his senior season, Bradley was a three-year starter at Bellarmine Preparatory School, and along with University of Washington recruit Abdul Gaddy, led Bellarmine to a third place finish in the Class 4A (highest classification) WIAA state tournament their junior year. In his first three high school seasons, he was twice named to the All-State teams. He averaged a team-best 25.7 points per game while leading Bellarmine to the Class 4A state semifinals with a 25-4 mark as a junior. He also set the school single-game scoring record with 52 points as a sophomore in a triple-overtime win vs. Mount Tahoma High School.
GAME ANALYSIS Scored 10 points in his first collegiate game vs. UC Irvine...Made his first career start and tallied 11 points (4 of 6 FG) vs. Iowa...Recorded 10 points (4 of 8 FG) vs. Pittsburgh... Tallied 17 points (7 of 13 FG) and two steals vs. Long Beach State...Registered 15 points (6 of 13 FG, 3 of 6 threes) vs. Texas State...Totaled 18 points (8 of 15 FG) and five assists vs. Texas-Pan American...Recorded 20 points (7 of 17 FG, 4 of 5 FT), four rebounds and three steals vs. then tenth-ranked North Carolina...Set his career high with four steals vs. Gardner-Webb and notched 12 points (5 of 8 FG) and five assists at Arkansas...Had career highs with 29 points (12 of 14 FG, 3 of 3 threes) and nine rebounds vs. Colorado, followed with 24 points (10 of 14 FG, 4 of 4 threes), six rebounds, three steals and a career-high six assists at Iowa State...Posted 11 points (5 of 12 FG) and five rebounds at Kansas State and tallied 15 points (6 of 14 FG), three assists and two steals at Connecticut...Scored 14 points (5 of 10 FG, 3 of 6 threes) vs. Texas Tech and registered 21 points (9 of 17 FG, 3 of 4 threes) and three steals at Oklahoma...Produced a career-high six made three-pointers on seven attempts as part of 25 points (9 of 12 FG) with five rebounds vs. Nebraska...Had 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists at Missouri...Posted 11 points (5 of 12 FG) and three assists vs. Oklahoma State...Scored 10 points vs. Iowa State and totaled 14 points and four assists vs. Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament.
2009-10 SEASON Freshman All-American second-team choice by The NBA Draft Report...Earned All-Big 12 Conference honorable mention and was a league first-team All-Rookie selection by the conference's coaches...Named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week and Dick Vitale Diaper Dandy Player of the Week (Jan. 11)...Played in 34 games, starting the final 32 contests, as Bradley ranked second on the team in scoring with 396 points (11.6 ppg)...Made 159 of 368 field goals (43.2%) that included 42 of 112 (37.5%) from three-point range, adding 36 of 66 free throws (54.5%)...Collected 98 rebounds (2.9 rpg), with 33 coming from the offensive glass...Credited with 71 assists, 44 steals and 18 blocked shots...Disqualified twice, as he ranked second on the team with 80 personal fouls and had 52 turnovers...Scored in double figures 20 times, reaching the 20-point level in five contests, as he paced the Longhorns in scoring seven times...Had at least two steals in 13 games and played at least 20 minutes of action in all but two contests...Averaged 12.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game while hitting 81 of 178 (.455) field goals, including 26 of 62 (.419) from three-point range in Big 12 Conference competition.
CAREER NOTES Bradley appeared in 34 games for Texas in 2009-10, the eighth-highest total by a freshman in school history...His 32 consecutive starting assignments rank fifth among all-time Texas freshmen...His 29-point performance vs. Colorado was the most by a Texas freshman since Kevin Durant scored 32 vs. Kansas State in 2007.
HIGH SCHOOL Attended Findlay College (Henderson, Nev.) Preparatory School as a senior, playing basketball for head coach Michael Peck)...Named ESPNRISE.com High School National Player of the Year and was ranked as the best prospect nationally by ESPNU following his senior season...Was also a first-team choice on Parade Magazine's All-American squad that season...Rivals.com rated Bradley as the nation's fourth-best prospect, and Scout.com had him fifth on their top prospect list...Led the team to the National High School Basketball championship vs. Oak Hill Academy, and won 56-53...In his only season at Findlay Prep, he averaged 19.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.9 steals per game, converting 54.1% of his field goal attempts (258 of 477), 76.1% from the free throw line (83 of 109) and was 38.3% from the three-point line (31 of 81)...Before transferring to Findlay Prep for his senior season, Bradley was a three-year starter at Bellarmine (Tacoma, Wash.) Preparatory School, and along with University of Washington recruit Abdul Gaddy, led Bellarmine to a third place finish in the Class 4A (highest classification) WIAA state tournament their junior year...In his first three high school seasons, he was twice named to the All-State teams...Averaged a team-best 25.7 points per game while leading Bellarmine to the Class 4A state semifinals with a 25-4 mark as a junior...Also set the school single-game scoring record with 52 points as a sophomore in a triple-overtime win vs. Mount Tahoma High School.
OTHER TOURNAMENTS/TEAMS SUMMER BASKETBALL: After his senior year in high school, The McDonald's and Jordan All-American selection won the slam dunk contest at the McDonald's All-American Game, as he then went on to register 15 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes for the West team in a 113-110 defeat....Bradley also paired with fellow UT recruit Jordan Hamilton and scored 14 points to lead the Black Team to a 110-103 win at the Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden...Tallied 21 points (10 of 14 FG) in 29 minutes for the USA Junior Select Team in a 97-89 loss to the World Select Team at the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland.
PERSONAL Communications major...Became a Texas fan when his family lived in Arlington, Texas from 2001-04...His family moved back to Tacoma in the summer prior to his eighth grade year (2004)...Son of Alicia Jones and Avery Bradley, Sr...Born Avery Antonio Bradley, Jr. on 11/26/90 in Tacoma, Wash.
SCOUTING REPORT Positives: Bradley has an angular frame with minimal body fat (4%), along with a nice wingspan (6' 7 1/4") for a player his size...Shows a good feel on the defensive side, knowing how to use his reach (8' 2 1/2") and leaping ability (37.5-inch vertical jump) to contest shots by smaller guards (18 blocks last year)...Possesses blazing speed (3.03-second timing in the three-quarter-court sprint), evident by the way he gets back quickly on defense and runs the court...Much stronger than his wiry frame indicates and shows good aggression working inside vs. forwards to come up with the critical rebound...Has that explosive first step when slashing from the perimeter to easily beat the defender, as he can also pull up in an instant to quickly release his shot...A big pester when asked to get out and defend, as his lateral agility prevents the shooter from penetrating on him and despite his youth, he is hard to fool with pump fakes and hesitation moves...Very nimble player who started to develop into a crowd-pleaser with his explosive initial step and spin moves, showing great confidence in taking shots from mid range...Doesn't drive in the paint often because of size issues, but has the burst to defeat the defender coming off the dribble, elevating well to feather the ball into the rim...Uses his long arms well to get his shots above the rim...Versatile type who has no problems pushing the ball upcourt and dribbling with either hand (needs to protect the sphere better when in passing lanes, as he did record 52 turnovers as a freshman)...Has good lateral range and hesitation moves that the defender will usually bite on and leave his feet...Not really a playmaker or ideal point guard, but has enough ball handling control skills to put in decent minutes at the point without getting into too much trouble...Has a very quick release and can pull up, set his feet and fire comfortably from mid-range with his jumper...Does a good job of shooting from a set position and is limber enough to take a shot off the dribble...Keeps his long arms active looking for the steal...Best when playing in one-on-one situations and seems to like having the ball in his hands in clutch situations as he knows he has the jump shot range to fire at the basket at will...Can lead the team on the fast break, but must not get too fancy with his passes...When he gets his body squared, not even face-up defenders can take away his shot...Can simply torch an opponent when his jump shot is working for him, as he can reach the sky when elevating and shows excellent balance when shooting off the dribble...Uses his explosiveness as a key weapon on isolations and has the ability to create enough separation to get off his shot uncontested (also effective jabbing in either direction).
Negatives: Caught between the one and two-guard positions, as he is a bit too undersized to be an NBA shooting guard and is not the type that will create shots for others at the point (seems to fall in love with his own shooting ability and would rather create for himself)...Has good quickness firing out the passes, but is a poor decision maker and needs to show better patience rather than trying to force the ball into a crowd...Has a nice release point and great elevation, but is a rhythm shooter who tends to keep firing away, even when he gets into a funk...Takes too many shots from the perimeter and even though he has a high release point, he has to be more conscious of setting his feet before shooting (will push forward at times)...Has very good strength, but he got to the charity stripe just 66 times as a freshman and needs to draw contact more, especially when driving into the lanes.
Compares To: MONTA ELLIS, Golden State -- I can see why most analysts compare Bradley to Monta Ellis - you either love his scoring touch or hate that he is not a playmaker because you cann't be comfortable affording him lots of minute at point guard. He is an explosive performer on the court, much like Stephon Marbury in his prime, but just like Ellis and Marbury, he is enamored more in his own shot creativity rather than feeding the ball off and creating opportunities for others. There are times you want to strangle the kid, as he becomes almost too reliant on his perimeter abilities and does not drive to the rim as often as he should, especially with his quickness and limber moves. He is an efficient one-on-one defender, but gets caught up in the action playing in the zone, struggling with making the quick switch-off. Looking at teams' draft boards, he's sort of like apples and oranges (some consider him a potential lottery pick and others have him down much further in the late-first/early-second round picture).