As he announced in November, Tevin Mack will play for Shaka Smart.
It just took an extra two months to re-decide.
The recruitment of the Top-100 prospect ended on Tuesday when Mack re-affirmed his decision to play for Smart at a ceremony at Dreher High School. Again, Mack chose Smart but this time, he donned an orange Texas shirt and flashed the “Hook ’Em Horns” trademark instead of a black VCU cap.
“It was the relationship that was the main thing,” Mack said. “I signed with him in the fall. He was the same person as six months ago.”
Mack chose Smart and VCU in November, but when Smart was hired at Texas following the season, Mack asked for and received a release from his national letter-of-intent. As several big-name schools swarmed Columbia wanting another chance at the 6-foot-7, four-star forward, Mack was nearly overwhelmed.
“It got crazy,” he said. “All the calls and texts came back. Glad it’s over now.”
He knew he liked Smart but Texas was much farther from home than VCU. Playing for Smart was still an option but Kansas, Georgia and Clemson were also in touch.
Mack recently took unofficial visits to Texas and Georgia. He saw and heard what he needed in Austin and returned to Columbia knowing what he wanted to do.
“I was only seriously considering two others,” Mack said.
Mack will see a familiar face next year – Smart hired former USC coach Darrin Horn as associate head coach. Mack is the third four-star player in Smart’s first recruiting class, joining Eric Davis and Kerwin Roach, who originally committed to Rick Barnes.
The distance from Columbia isn’t a concern, either.
“I’ll still be around this summer,” Mack said. “I’ll come home for Christmas.”