24 Apr

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Texas Longhorns Basketball – Shaquille Cleare Transfers to Texas

Center will have two seasons of eligibility beginning in 2015-16. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun)

Center will have two seasons of eligibility beginning in 2015-16. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun)

AUSTIN, Texas — Former University of Maryland center Shaquille Cleare (Andros, Bahamas) will transfer to The University of Texas, the school announced Thursday. Cleare (pronounced "Clear") has signed an Athletic Scholarship Agreement (ASA) and is set to enroll in classes at Texas beginning this summer. The addition of Cleare gives the Longhorns a two-man recruiting class that includes incoming freshman forward Jordan Barnett.

Per NCAA transfer rules, Cleare will be permitted to practice and work out with the Longhorns when he begins taking classes at UT. However, he will not be able to participate in games or travel with the team during the upcoming 2014-15 season. Cleare will have two seasons of collegiate eligibility remaining, beginning in the 2015-16 season.

“Our staff and players are excited to welcome Shaq to our basketball family,” Barnes said. “He is a player who we obviously recruited while he was in high school, so we’re very familiar with him. Shaq will add an additional physical presence to our team. We’ve always been high on Shaq’s ability. We believe that with a year off to improve, he will become a vital part of our future. But most importantly, he is a fit for our program.”

Cleare spent his freshman (2012-13) and sophomore (2013-14) seasons at Maryland. Last year, he averaged 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game while playing in all 32 games (20 starts) for the Terrapins, who registered a 17-15 overall record (9-9 ACC). Cleare also converted 39-of-69 (.565) field goals on the year.

During his freshman season in 2012-13, Cleare played in all 37 of a possible 38 games (eight starts) and averaged 3.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 12.0 minutes per contest for the Terrapins, who posted a 25-13 mark (8-10 ACC) and advanced to the Postseason NIT semifinals. He converted 58-of-100 (.580) field goals on the season.

Cleare was a high school teammate of rising UT point guard Isaiah Taylor during Cleare’s senior season (Taylor’s junior year) at The Village School. He was tabbed as the No. 30 overall prospect in the nation by ESPN and No. 53 by Rivals.com following his senior year. Cleare averaged 26.5 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and two assists per game during his senior season.

2014-15 Texas Basketball Recruiting Class

Name                          Yr         Pos      Ht        Wt       Hometown (Previous School)

Jordan Barnett            Fr.        F          6-7       190      St. Louis, Mo. (Christian Brothers College HS)

Shaquille Cleare          Jr.        C          6-9       285      Andros, Bahamas (The Village School [Texas])

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.