Texas. Michigan. Michigan State. Arizona. Kansas.
It used to be that when a recruit listed these premier basketball programs as his other suitors, SMU stood very little chance of gaining his attention.
But that was before the Larry Brown era.
Tyler Williams, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound 2015 shooting guard out of Hebron, is considering SMU in a race for his services that he says is wide open.
"My interest level in SMU is just about with everyone else," Williams said. "I'm keeping all my options open right now. Just trying to enjoy the recruiting process and see how it goes."
A main reason Williams, who picked up an offer from the Mustangs as well as Houston, Iowa State and Texas A&M this spring, is considering SMU is the appeal of playing for a coach like Brown.
"It'd be an honor to play for him," Williams says. "Coach Brown is very high up there in his stature, and he's got a lot of respect. So it'd be an honor to play for a coach like that."
Williams impressed at the Great American Shootout at Duncanville and led Urban DFW Elite to a few wins including a three-point victory against Dream Elite 2014.
"It was a dog fight," Williams described. "We ended up making a couple free throws at the end, executed pretty well down the stretch, and limited our turnovers."
In other words, they did all the little things that are necessary to win a basketball game. This is a characteristic of both of Williams' teams.
Last season at Hebron, Williams and his team made it to the regional finals by closing out close games and not over-looking anyone on the schedule. Only a heart-breaking 35-33 loss to South Grand Prairie in the regional finals prevented the two-loss Hebron Hawks from advancing to the state tournament.
SMU would be well served to have a player with Williams' winning experience in the program. He is known as a prolific scorer with a good mid-range game. On the defensive end, he uses his long arms to clog up passing lanes and create turnovers. These skills would prove valuable to SMU.
And the three-star recruit got a first-hand look at how he would fit into Brown's system this past season.
"I went out there for two basketball games, one this year and one last year," he said. "The facilities are nice, and I like the energy in the crowd. I think with Coach Brown there, they are doing a good job."
Williams has developed a good relationship with assistant coach Ulric Maligi, who has been primarily recruiting Williams with the hope that the rising guard will reject the offers of programs with more historical success to stay close to home and play for SMU.
Only time will tell what his decision will be, but in the Larry Brown era, anything is possible for SMU basketball.
3-Star Shooting Guard Holds SMU Offer
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