Shock the world.
Prime Prep five-star point guard Emmanuel Mudiay did just that when he committed to SMU at halftime of the Under Armour Elite 24 game on Saturday night. It was a David over Goliath-type of victory for SMU as the Mustangs beat out college basketball powerhouse Kentucky for the nation's top point guard.
"I'm going to attend SMU with Coach Larry Brown," Mudiay announced during a live broadcast on ESPNU. "That's where my heart's at. I have real respect for (Brown)."
While playing close to home and building something truly special at SMU, which hasn't made an NCAA tournament since 1993, certainly played into his decision, the biggest reason why Mudiay sided with the Mustangs was without a doubt the opportunity to learn from Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown.
Throughout the recruiting process, Mudiay was focused on finding a coach that could help him be a dominant force not only in college but also in the NBA. For Mudiay it wasn't just about the school but the teacher. And ‘The Godfather' is certainly a master of his craft.
"Coach Brown is a legend," Mudiay said prior to making his decision. "I've said before that I feel I can learn a lot from him because he has so much experience. There are a lot of great coaches out there, but he's one of the best.
"I have a great relationship with Coach Brown and the entire coaching staff, and SMU is a great school."
While Mudiay's decision came as a surprise to many around the recruiting world, all signs pointed to him becoming a Mustang when his ‘sometimes you have to shock the world' tweet went out and Kentucky offered four-star point guard Tyler Ulis.
Mudiay was scheduled to visit Kentucky in October but will no longer make the trip. He is expected to take his official visit to SMU and has been on the Hilltop for numerous unofficial visits throughout the offseason.
"It's a great school with great people. I love the coaching staff and everyone involved with the basketball program," he said "While I was up there, I just talked about life situations with them. I liked the campus too. Everything was just great."
With the addition of Mudiay, who will sign in November, to the backcourt, SMU will be a force to be reckoned with in the American Athletic Conference in the very near future. He will join Dallas Kimball shooting guard Keith Frazier, a McDonalds All-American who signed with SMU this spring, as well as slew of talented transfers.
"It wasn't a surprise when Keith decided to commit," Mudiay said at the Nike EYBL in the spring. "I knew they were going to land somebody at some point. But that was their first big commit so it definitely plays a big part because I want to play with guys like Keith.
"(Building something special in Dallas with Keith) would be great. When I went to the SMU game against Memphis, they started chanting my name, and it just shows you that home loves you. There is nothing like home."
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