Mbargorba "fired up" about SMU

Blaise Mbargorba, SMU's top recruit of the 2012 class, can't wait to get on campus and start making a difference. The 7-foot center has already started forming relationships with his future teammates and is excited to work with them and build upon the program.

If there's one thing the SMU basketball program can look forward to, it's getting Blaise Mbargorba on the court in Dallas in the fall.

Despite the way this season has transpired for the Mustangs, Mbargorba, a 7-foot, 200-pound center out of The Peddie School (Highstown, NJ), cannot wait to advertise the letters S-M-U across his chest over the next four years.

"I'm all fired up right now," Mbargorba said when asked about his emotions toward getting to campus later on in the year.

The Cameroon native chose SMU over offers from Vanderbilt, West Virginia, St. Joseph's, Seton Hall, Marquette, Clemson and Iowa State.

A big part of that decision was due to his campus visit last fall.

"I just loved the campus," he said. "It's beautiful. And the weather is warm there. It's just perfect, you know?"

Mbargorba also said the coaching staff played a major factor in his decision. He had been in touch with assistant coach Jerry Hobbie for quite some time and the two developed a solid relationship.

"I really like Hobbie and [head coach Matt] Doherty," he said. "They're cool guys. Nice guys."

He's also already developed friendships with some of the current players like Robert Nyakundi and Jalen Jones.

"We keep in touch through Facebook, phone, text…I talk to them regularly," he said.

While on his visit, the coaches were able to sell SMU's beautiful campus, the city of Dallas and the upcoming $40 million renovation to Moody Coliseum. But one thing that may have sealed the deal earlier that the coaches could not discuss was the Big East.

Playing in Conference USA didn't bother Mbargorba, though. He could have played in the Big East, SEC or Big 12 if he had wanted to, but he chose the Mustangs.

Then in January, SMU was officially accepted into the nation's best college basketball conference, which Mbargorba was pleased to hear.

"It makes everything great," he said. "I feel lucky and excited. And my friends and family will be able to see me play. They're excited about it."

Mbargorba said he has been following SMU this season, picking up box scores online.

"I've been following them a lot," he said. "I think they're a good team. It's just they're mostly freshmen and some players don't play and that might be an excuse, but with a young team, it's always tough. I think they'll be fine."

Mbargorba, who says his strengths are his shot selection and defensive skill, will definitely give the Mustangs a lift next season.

"That's my goal," he said. "But it's a team sport, I can't do it alone. I want to do my best. Whatever I can bring to the team to help them get some wins, [I'll do it]. I'll do everything I can to the best of my ability."

Mbargorba plans to get to campus early and get a head start on his course load by taking summer school, but before he does, he's doing a little inside recruiting on AAU teammates, juniors Tyler Roberson and Hakim Saintil, both of whom hold SMU offers.

"I talk with those guys a lot," he said. "They're good guys and they want to check [SMU] out and visit."

Mustang fans should get excited for Mbargorba. Not only does he add a size advantage to an otherwise small team, but he is excited to get to work on this program.

"I just can't wait to get there," he said. "I just want to get in the game and be with the guys and start working out and getting ready for the season."


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