SMU landed one of the best players in the nation in point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who will turn the program into a legitimate powerhouse in the American Athletic Conference.
Incredibly, head coach Larry Brown was able to convince the talented Mudiay to play for SMU over such teams as Kansas, Kentucky, Baylor and Oklahoma State, as noted by CBSSports.com:
"Mudiay's final five included Kansas, Kentucky, Baylor, Oklahoma St.- and SMU." Larry Brown lands top guard prospect: http://t.co/H8JceN0xKl— CBSSports.com (@CBSSports) August 25, 2013
The 6'5", 197-pound point guard—who is more of a combination guard, in reality—gives the Mustangs an injection of raw talent the program hasn't seen in decades.
The team struggled last year in Brown's first season as head coach, winning less than half its games with a final record of 15-17. Winning seasons have been hard to come by for this program for the past 20-plus years.
In fact, the last time SMU made the NCAA tournament was back in 1992-93, but with Mudiay it's not inconceivable that the Mustangs will earn a bid soon.
A player who can score inside and out, Mudiay's size, strength and speed will give SMU's opponents fits.
According to ESPN.com's scouting report (Insider protected), the young point guard possesses, "natural poise, floor vision, burst to the rim, and ability to thread the needle with the pocket pass and a ball-screen," among other traits.
Aside from the obvious impact such a talented player will bring to the program, Mudiay's commitment to SMU could have other, more lasting consequences.
When asked about why he chose SMU over some of the other big schools, Mudiay responded, as noted by ESPN.com's Paul Biancardi, by saying:
I want to do something different. The program is changing under Coach Brown and I really believe in him...I really want to play with good big man; I know [ESPN 100 centers] Elbert Robinson and Myles Turner well. I know Myles does not have SMU on his list but maybe that can change now.
When will SMU get back to the NCAA tournament?
These are the words of a young man on a mission.
If the confident young point guard can lure one or two more top prospects to the program, SMU could shock some of the big dogs in the NCAA tournament—much like what we saw from Florida Gulf Coast University did last year.
SMU will become an instant contender with Mudiay leading the team on the court and Brown leading the charge from the sidelines.
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