Class of 2014 point guard Emmanuel Mudiay took the road less traveled for typical elite high school prospects on Saturday, choosing SMU as his future school.
ESPN's Jeff Goodman confirmed the news:
Emmanuel Mudiay has chosen SMU over UK, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Baylor. Yes, you read that correctly.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) August 24, 2013
UPDATE: Saturday, Aug. 24, at 11:00 p.m. ET
From ESPN's Dick Vitale:
---End of update---
Mudiay, who is ranked as the top point guard and No. 2 overall prospect by 247 Sports' composite rankings, tweeted this out a few days ago, in what we now know was a bit of foreshadowing:
Sometimes u just have to shock the world!— Emmanuel Mudiay (@EMudiay7) August 19, 2013
Shock the world you did, Mr. Mudiay.
As Goodman pointed out, Larry Brown and SMU beat out a slew of elite national programs.
That list includes John Calipari and Kentucky, who are fresh off bringing in arguably the best recruiting class of all time.
They also bested Bill Self and Kansas, who just won the sweepstakes for Andrew Wiggins, who is regarded by some as the best high school prospect since some guy named LeBron James.
The list of programs hoping to secure Mudiay's commitment also included Oklahoma State, Baylor and, according to 247 Sports, Arizona, all schools that routinely lure 5-star prospects to their universities.
Nevertheless, Brown—as a coach, he is a former NBA champion, NCAA champion and NBA coach of the Year—is already paying massive dividends after being hired last year.
In his first season, he led SMU to a 15-17 overall record—its second-best since joining Conference USA—and now he has already landed his second 5-star prospect after getting class of 2013 recruit Keith Frazier's signature earlier this year.
Of course, as FOX Sports' Evan Daniels pointed out, assistant coach Ulric Maligi, who came on board with Brown, has been crucial in Mudiay's recruitment.
SMU assistant Ulric Maligi deserves some credit in this Mudiay recruitment. He's been on him since he got the job.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDanielsFOX) August 25, 2013
Mudiay could still use some refinement in terms of pure point guard skills—passing, ball-handling, limiting turnovers—but at 6'5" and 190 pounds, he has a unique combination of size, quickness, athleticism and a dangerous ability to score the ball.
Perhaps the youngster will be more of a combo guard at the next level, but either way, one thing is for sure: He is an elite talent who will contribute right away.
It has been a while since SMU has been relevant in the college hoops world, but this recruiting coup is more proof that Brown has the Mustangs rocketing toward the Top 25.