The Hilltop Review

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5-star 2015 PG Has Interest In SMU

By Adam Grosbard

As excited as Mustang fans are for Emmanuel Mudiay to play at Moody Coliseum next season, many fans are aware that he will likely only play at the college level for one season. After that, someone else will have to take over at point guard for SMU.

Luckily, Larry Brown and staff are already hard at work at finding a top point guard in the class of 2015.

Five-star 2015 point guard Isaiah Briscoe is one of those recruits and according to his AAU coach Jamal Slappy, Briscoe is interested in playing at SMU.

"Right now, Isaiah is pretty open right now in terms of recruiting," Slappy said. "I know that he is familiar with SMU now that they're moving to a better division and things like that. I was with him last night and SMU was one of the schools that he did say was on the radar."

Briscoe has also received offers from Florida, Indiana, Ohio State, UCLA, Syracuse, Miami, Michigan, and UConn, among many others.

Like many other coaches, Slappy was most impressed with Briscoe's opportunity to play for a coach like Brown.

"I think Isaiah could learn a lot from Larry Brown," Slappy said. "I mean, him being such a veteran in the coaching game, just the lessons that he's learned from players that he's coached. I definitely think that playing for a coach like that could take Isaiah's game to another level."

Slappy, who coaches Briscoe's AAU team the New Jersey Playaz, gave a big endorsement to the 6-foot-3, 215 pound point guard.

"Isaiah Briscoe is a winner," Slappy said. "He's a pass-first point guard. He definitely has a high IQ, he likes to get his teammates involved. He can hit the three, the post-up, he can take guys off the dribble. In my opinion, Isaiah, with a little more work in the gym, could be the total package. On defense, Isaiah always wants to guard the best player on the opposing team. He does a good job. He has quick feet, he stays in front of them and he's a competitor.

"The guys respect him because of his game. He talks to his teammates well, he communicates with them off the floor. He's not a guy that shies away from locker room talk and helping younger guys. He's their leader."

If in the end Mudiay is a one-and-done for SMU, Larry Brown could do a lot worse than having Briscoe there to replace him.



Coach Rob Brost Talks About SMU's Foothold In Chicago

By Adam Grosbard

Although members of the SMU coaching staff were in Chicago recently, they did not stop by Bolingbrook talk to head coach Rob Brost while they were there. But the staff has been in contact with Brost about 3-star point guard Prentiss Nixon and Bolingbrook alum Ben Moore.

"I didn't see them but they still have been checking in on me, really on two fronts," Brost said. "First about Ben with him starting over there and then obviously, they're recruiting Prentiss pretty hard. I think his interest level is strong, but he's only a junior at this point. He's got like eight or nine offers, I can't even keep track of all of them now. But he's been playing very well the last couple of weeks and it's gaining the attention of a number of programs."

Brost sees Nixon as a high energy player who leaves it all on the court.

"The best thing about him in my opinion is that his motor never stops," Brost said. "He plays extremely hard every minute that he's out there. A lot of people point to his scoring ability and his ability to shoot the ball at a high level and that's also great. But to me, you can't learn to play hard as you get older. Playing hard is a skill and he has that."

Brost says there is a good relationship between Nixon and Moore, who played together on the varsity team for the first time last year.

"It is strong," Brost said. "They have a friendship and they communicate with each other regularly. Ben is two years older than Prentiss. I think their relationship really strengthened last year and Ben is a great example, not just for Prentiss but for all of the players, of how to handle yourself and how to go about being a basketball player."

Brost believes that although SMU lost coach Jerrance Howard this offseason, they will still have a strong presence in Chicago for years to come.

"I think that not only in Chicago but across the country SMU is on the map, especially with Coach (Larry) Brown and how they've done recruiting-wise with last year's class and then getting (Emmanuel) Mudiay," Brost said. "They are a player at a national level and when you a Hall of Fame coach like Coach Brown, that is going to get you through a lot of doors.

"Then on top of that, Coach (Tim) Jankovich was at Illinois State for a long time and he knows Illinois very well so I think they are player not only in the Chicago area but nationwide now."



Coach Robert Shannon on William Lee

By Omar Majzoub

The SMU coaching staff has been traveling around the country recently to watch and recruit potential prospects. One of the players they visited and offered is 3-star power forward William ‘Haha' Lee from Dallas County (AL).

Lee is considered one of the best players in the state of Alabama after averaging 19.6 points, 17.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists and a reported 15.5 blocks per game last season. At 6-foot-9, 240-pounds, Lee has picked up multiple offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Memphis, Mississippi State, UAB, Wichita State, and most recently SMU.

He has also done a lot of his damage on the AAU circuit under coach Robert Shannon. The Alabama Challenge coach says Lee is one of the most talented players he has ever been around.

"He's about 6-8 or 6-9 and can do it all," Shannon said. "He runs the floor, blocks shots, and can step out to make long range jump shots. He's a big body, but he's an all-around player."

Lee's recruitment has really picked up over the last couple weeks. There are many factors going into his decision, but Shannon believes the right coaching staff should be the most important one for Lee.

"He's looking for somebody that's going to give him an opportunity," Shannon said. "Not somebody that's going to give him anything, but a coach that will push him and allow him to play his natural position. I believe that's power forward and not center."

Shannon has never sent a player to SMU before. He is unfamiliar with the campus and facilities, but says the Mustangs have an obvious advantage over other schools.

"Well, they have a hell of a coaching staff," he said. "They got former NBA players and a Hall of Fame coach in Coach Larry Brown. So that's one hell of a staff. It looks great on paper."

Shannon has offered advice and help with the process, but says he has not been too involved with Lee's recruitment. In the end, Lee will do what is best for him and his family.

"It's going to be totally up to him," Shannon said. "William will ultimately chose who he wants to play for and where he will end up going. I think he's got a good option over there with Larry Brown though.

"I think wherever he goes, if he gets the right opportunity, he will be successful. William is a very talented and hardworking kid. He's got NBA talent and I think it would take a lot for him not to be successful."

Lee is already an elite shooter and athlete for his size. This summer, he worked on the parts of his game that Shannon believes he needs to improve on.

"I think he's gotten a lot better with his back to the basket and with his ball handling," Shannon said. "He can also improve on his decision-making and strength. That will all come in time. As a basketball player, you can always get better. He's never stopped improving."



Nose Tackle Hearing From SMU

By Omar Majzoub

There was no player more important to Navasota, the Class 3A Division II State champions, last year than defensive tackle Jordan Wells.

Along with being the leader of the defense all season, Wells won Defensive Player of the title game at Cowboys Stadium after recording 10 tackles, six for a loss, three quarterback hurries, and a forced fumble.

Wells is listed at 6-foot, 277-pounds with the ability to run a 5.02 40-yard dash. Already this season, he has recorded 45 tackles, four sacks, and 15 tackles for loss through just four games.

Those numbers have earned him plenty of interest from programs all over the country. SMU has yet to offer the potential nose tackle, but he remains intrigued by the possibility of playing for June Jones and Tom Mason.

"I'm interested in them because they have a great program and a great coaching staff," he said. "They are a winning program, and I think it is a real great school. They are one of my favorite colleges that I want to go to."

Wells hasn't had a chance to visit the Hilltop yet but has remained in contact with defensive line coach Bert Hill through social media.

"My relationship with the coaches is great," he said. "Coach Hill came and visited me, which was nice. Plus, we have talked on Facebook a lot. I think I'm going to come visit them pretty soon."

Wells has mostly talked to Lamar, UTSA and New Mexico State. Although he is considered one of the most accomplished players in the Brazos Valley, Wells has dealt with a lot of questions about his height.

"It's frustrating because I know I can play," he said. "I have great quickness off the ball, and I've really worked on my strength a lot. I got up to 410 pounds on the bench press and almost won the super heavyweight division last spring."

Wells ended up totaling 163 tackles, including 67 behind the line of scrimmage with 15 quarterback sacks last season. He says he has no timetable on making a decision because he believes his options will increase if he has another successful season.



4-Star RB Interested In SMU

By Scott Sanford

Through just four games, 2015 Rockwall running back, Chris Warren is having a monster season.

Warren has amassed 673 yards and 11 touchdowns already, and college coaches around the country are recognizing his dominating performances.

The 4-star junior has already picked up 12 offers, with some of his more notable offers coming from Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Baylor and Texas. Warren has also received an offer from SMU.

A few years back, Warren attended a camp at SMU and that is when he first made contact with the school and coaching staff. While Warren has not spoken with any of the SMU coaches recently, he would give SMU a hard look if interest were to pick up.

"They (SMU) have great academics and I know there is a good atmosphere there," Warren said. "With the school being in Dallas and everything, I'd definitely have to consider them."

Being only a junior, Warren said he would like to weigh his options after the season before cutting any schools from his list. He also insists that no matter what schools offer him, it's not all about football.

"Right now I do not have any favorites," said Warren. "I just want to take my time, find a school with good academics and make sure the school that I pick is the best fit for me."



Florida DB Talks SMU Interest

By Scott Sanford

In the spring, SMU defensive backs coach Derrick Odum visited 2014 defensive back Juwan Dowels at Western High School in Florida.

Since then, Dowels has transferred to American Heritage (FL), committed to Northern Illinois and has not had any contact with the SMU coaching staff.

Dowels said that Odum gave him some secondary tips about his game and discussed the state of the SMU football program when he visited Western High School.

Despite receiving offers from major college programs such as Texas A&M, UConn, Cincinnati and Utah, Dowels decided to commit to NIU because of his relationship with the coaching staff.

"I haven't visited there (NIU) yet, but I felt it was the right decision to commit because I feel very comfortable talking with the coaches," Dowels said.

Dowels said he speaks with the NIU coaches weekly and although he said his commitment is ‘strong,; the defensive back recently took an unofficial visit to UConn.

"About a week after I committed to NIU, UConn offered me so I decided I wanted to visit there," said Dowels. "It was really different though. It was very different from Florida, but I liked the facilities and the stadium."

Dowels said he has little knowledge about SMU, but that if the coaching staff were to start-up talks again he'd be interested in listening to them.

"I never want to eliminate an option because you never know what could happen," Dowels explained. "You never know, if I were to start speaking with them again, things could change."



A Look At How SMU Commits Did…

- Nate Gaines helped lead Mesquite Poteet to a 54-0 win over Carrollton Newman Smith. Gaines was part of a defense that gave up just 25 total yards.

- Jordan Severt went 13-of-34 for 161 yards in a 21-16 loss to Austin Bowie.

- Darrell Colbert went 4-of-5 for 109 yards and four touchdowns in Houston Lamar's 55-0 win over Houston Westbury.

- Shelby Walker caught one pass for 14 yards and a touchdown in Houston Lamar's 55-0 win over Houston Westbury.

- Jordan Wyatt had a 95-yard kick return for a touchdown in Wylie East's 47-46 loss to Denison.

- Jordan Ingram caught one pass for 40 yards and a touchdown in Dallas Carter's 33-9 win over Dallas Kimball.

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