If freshman guard Avery Bradley opts to forgo his final three seasons at Texas and remain in the NBA draft, the Longhorns may have found a replacement in his former high school teammate.
Cory Joseph, the top unsigned guard in the class of 2010, committed to the Longhorns on Friday evening, joining fellow Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep teammates Tristan Thompson and perhaps Bradley in Austin next year. The Toronto native had previously narrowed his choices to Connecticut, UNLV, Villanova and Minnesota, the school where older brother Devoe attends.
"I had a great relationship with coach (Rick) Barnes and all the staff and players," Joseph told ESPN.com. "I feel that it's the best fit for me overall."
In a loaded point guard class that also featured future Duke star Kyrie Irving, Kansas' Josh Selby and Kentucky-bound Brandon Knight, Joseph is not far behind his peers, if at all. Joseph helped lead Findlay Prep to back-to-back National High School Invitational tournament titles, showcasing a consistent 3-point shot and the ability to get to the rim and finish.
For a Texas team that faded badly in the second half of last season despite a wealth of talent all over the floor, it's hard to know what type of impact Joseph will make next season. Injured defensive stopper Dogus Balbay will be back, as will Varez Ward. High-scoring but erratic freshmen Jordan Hamilton and J'Covan Brown are expected back as well. Bradley is a projected late first rounder, but he hasn't hired an agent and is still enrolled in classes so there's a chance he could return as well.
Had Joseph opted for one of his other four finalists, there's no doubt he would have been an offensive focal point from the start, but he appears to be confident he'll be an impact freshman at Texas as well.
"My goal is to go in there and hopefully be an impact player," Joseph said. "I want to play hard and I hope things will work out for me. I want to get better every day."