TCU

TCU men’s basketball wraps up Top 25 class under Dixon

TCU put the finishing touch on a men’s basketball recruiting class ranked among the nation’s Top 25 by 247Sports with Thursday’s announcement that Kevin Samuel, a 6-foot-10 center from Houston, signed to become part of the three-member group assembled by first-year coach Jamie Dixon.

All three of the players were considered four-star signees by at least one outlet, helping the TCU class land a No. 23 rank nationally from 247Sports that stands third among Big 12 schools. All three will be part of next year’s team.

Samuel, who is homeschooled and plays for Redemption Christian Home School Academy, has been committed to the Horned Frogs since August and is a consensus four-star prospect rated as the No. 72 player nationally by Scout.com. He chose TCU over a group of schools that includes Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and others.

Samuel joins two fellow four-star recruits signed Tuesday, Keller guard R.J. Nembhard and Australian forward Lat Mayen, to give TCU its first Top 25 signing class since the group that enrolled for the 2013-14 season and included current seniors Karviar Shepherd and Brandon Parrish. That group earned a No. 23 national ranking from Max Preps.

TCU also has a verbal commitment from Andre Pierce, a 6-9 power forward from Lee College in Baytown, but Pierce is not expected to sign during the NCAA’s early signing period that closes next week.

Among the early signees, Nembhard (6-foot-4, 180 pounds), is rated as the No. 71 recruit nationally by Rivals.com and Mayen, a 6-8 small forward, is considered Australia’s second-best prospect by ausahoops.com.

Nembhard, a TCU commitment since June, is ranked as the fifth-best player in Texas by Rivals. He averaged 20.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season for Keller. Mayen, a Sudanese refugee who plays for Australia’s Under-19 national team, averaged 24.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game at the 2015 Australian School Championships while shooting 51 percent from the field.

TCU opens its season Friday against the University of St. Thomas at 6 p.m. in Schollmaier Arena. It will be first game for Dixon, a former TCU player, to coach at his alma mater after 13 seasons at Pittsburgh. Fans attending the opener will receive a bobblehead of Dixon.

Jimmy Burch: 817-390-7760, @Jimmy_Burch

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