SMU offers JUCO power forward

SMU offered one of the top JUCO basketball players in the nation this summer. Is he interested?

With SMU's big man situation getting murkier by the day, it's no surprise the Mustang coaching staff offered South Plains C.C. power forward Yanick Moreira this summer. The 6-foot10, 220-pounder can make an immediate impact down low and has SMU high on his list.

"I know Yanick is definitely interested in SMU. I believe Coach (Larry) Brown saw him play in a couple of games this summer in St. Louis.," said South Plains C.C. assistant coach Hank Plona. "From what Yanick has said, they have a very strong relationship. I think SMU is definitely going to be one of the top schools he considers and although nothing is scheduled, I'm sure he'll make a visit."

Originally from Angola, Moreira came to the United States just last year in hopes of improving and exposing his game. With aspirations of one day playing alongside his favorite NBA player, Kevin Durant, Moreira knows playing for a Hall-of-Fame coach such as Larry Brown can help get him there.

"We've spoken about the possibility of playing for Coach Brown. Yanick knows all about Coach Brown," Plona said. "Obviously, the goal for Yanick is to play in the NBA. Yanick is very aware that Coach Brown has coached more NBA players than anybody else in college basketball. I think he certainly knows what SMU can do for them. I think if down the road Coach Brown made him his number one target, Yanick would really love to play there."

But it's still early in Moreira's recruitment and Plona expects his talented star to pick up many more offers before it's all said and done. Moreira will undoubtedly have a deep list of high major offers so SMU will have its work cut out as a slew of Big 12 and SEC schools have been in touch recently.

Last season, Moreira averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks as he led undefeated South Plains C.C. to a NJCAA National Championship. Plona explained that Moreira has added strength this summer and will be an even more dominant post presence this season. But it is his knowledge of the game that will make him a ‘special' player at school like SMU.

"He really understands the game offensively and defensively. He plays the four very well, and he's pretty unbelievable," Plona said. "I'd compare him to Kevin Garnett in a sense that he has outstanding outside defense and communicates well with everyone. Yanick is just a very smart player, but he's also skilled. He can shoot, he can handle the ball and he can block shots. He's put it all together, and he's a great player."

Plona says Moreira currently has no visits planned but has been speaking frequently to SMU, Texas Tech, Ole Miss, Baylor, Texas and many others about making an official this fall.

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