Larry Brown has been reeling in some top talent from around the nation, but the ‘Godfather' will only have to go as far as his own backyard to land one of top centers in 2014.
Brown has been working on Lakeview Centennial's Elbert Robinson since the summer, and the four-star prospect is beginning to show more and more interest in SMU.
"Elbert thinks SMU is a really good school," said his father. "A lot of good players have come through SMU and it's getting better. Coach Brown makes the team a whole lot more attractive for top prospects like Elbert."
Robinson also holds offers from schools such as Kansas, Louisville and Texas, but his father said SMU is definitely in the running. Robinson took an unofficial visit to SMU in January and although the Mustangs fell to Southern Miss, he was impressed with the team's improvement under Brown.
"Elbert really enjoyed his visit to SMU and could see himself making a major impact for Coach Brown," said Dallas Seawolves AAU coach Lawrence Johns. "He could really see himself learning a lot from Coach Brown. I think that's a big part of why he liked it."
Playing for Brown may be the top reason why Robinson has SMU high on his list. But being close to home is also important to Robinson, who hopes to follow in the footsteps of former Dallas Seawolves and current Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Perry Jones III.
Jones, a Duncanville native, played his college ball at Baylor but Robinson now has the opportunity to be even closer to his family and play for a Hall of Fame Coach with countless NBA connections if he were to choose SMU.
"Ultimately it's up to Elbert on where he'll play," his father said. "It would be nice to have him play close to home, and I know he would like it too so SMU is a place we'll consider."
This past weekend, Robinson and his team were topped by Dallas Madison in the McDonalds All-American Classic at American Airlines Center, but Lakeview Centennial will head into this week's state playoffs as one of the favorites to win Region II.
A big part of the Patriots' success this season can be attributed to Robinson, who has dominated inside thanks to his 6-foot-11, 280-pound frame. The big man is averaging just over 12 points and 10 rebounds per game.
"Elbert will be a McDonald's All-American in 2013. I guarantee it," Johns said. "At this stage, there is no center like Elbert, and he will do everything to get to the top. Elbert will be the top center in the country next year."
It's obvious one of SMU's biggest needs is a physical force inside. Help is on the way with Villanova transfer Markus Kennedy and JUCO star Yanick Moreira. But Robinson has the ability to truly make an impact on the Hilltop as a true freshman.
Brown knows that and rest assured, he will continue to actively pursue Robinson after watching him play twice this season.
Darrell Devaul contributed to this report
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