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Lammert brings size advantage

AUSTIN, Texas -- The fluidity in Connor Lammert's left-handed jump shot and the inventiveness in his passing game are normally suited for players much shorter, and not in guys one bad-hair day away from being 7-foot.

But those aspects of his game, coupled with his 6-foot-10 frame, are the reasons why Texas extended an offer to the power forward out of San Antonio Churchill.

Lammert, a four-star prospect, signed his Letter of Intent early Monday morning with his parents by his side, becoming the fourth of Texas' five-member Class of 2012 to put ink to paper. The only one that has yet to sign is five-star center Cameron Ridley (Fort Bend, Texas/Bush).

"At the beginning of my recruiting process I sat down with my dad and we talked about the main things that I would decide on," said Lammert, the No. 24 power forward in 2012. "It ultimately came down to the relationship with coaches and players. The coaching staff is great and the players sound like great guys."

Lammert chose the Longhorns over Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Vanderbilt, which all received official visits from him. He also had offers from Baylor, North Texas, Oklahoma State, SMU, Stanford and TCU.

One of the other main factors in choosing Texas was its track record with sending players to the NBA.

"My goal is to be in the NBA, so I wanted to pick a place that would give me the best shot of getting there," he said. "They have a great history of developing players.

"Being a part of a family that has produced the kinds of players they have is crazy to think of. Being able to be around Kevin Durant, LaMarcus [Aldridge], D.J. [Augustin], those kinds of guys, is kind of humbling."

Lammert turned 17 a few months ago, so he will be one of the youngest freshmen in the country when he travels an hour north to Austin next year. Despite his age, he is already a savvy player.

The Longhorns see him as a stretch-four player, someone who can body up on the block, draw the defenses outside to clear up space for others in the lane, and consistently knock down jump shots. Texas had a similar player a few years ago in Connor Atchley.

"I know it is a very difficult comparison, but I try and be like Dirk Nowitzki," Lammert said. "I think what sets me a part from other guys like myself is that I'm pretty smart with the ball. From what I've heard I have a pretty high IQ. I can step out and shoot the 3. I'm not afraid to take it off the dribble, either."

Max Ivany, the founder of Lammert's AAU team TX D-1 Ambassadors, sees nothing but upside and high-character qualities in Texas' newest commitment. He calls Lammert one of his all-time favorites.

"What you are getting is a guy with above-average athleticism that will make him a highly productive Big 12 player and a pro prospect," Ivany said. "I'm very close with a couple of NBA general managers and that's how they see him. There's no question that is feasible several years down the road."

Ivany, like Lammert, thinks he still has a couple of inches left to grow. One more inch would be good enough for Lammert.

"Ideally, to keep the skill that I want, I think 6-11 would a good height," said Lammert, whose father is also 6-10. "But if 7-foot came around I wouldn't argue with that either."

That height will be a welcomed addition to a Longhorns program that has only one player taller than 6-foot-7 this season. Lammert, Ridley and Prince Ibeh, the No. 79 player overall who signed last week, are all at least 6-foot-10.

"That's what we have been talking about. What would it be like for a 2-3 defense," Lammert said. "That would be pretty unstoppable with three 6-10 guys. Cameron is 6-10, may be 6-11. Prince is huge. With that lineup, I could play the three. It could be a national championship caliber lineup."

William Wilkerson covers University of Texas sports and recruiting for HornsNation
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