The Hilltop Review

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SMU Offers 2015 D.C. Point Guard

By Omar Majzoub

After landing the top point guard in the 2014 class, SMU is now shifting its focus to landing one of the best in 2015.

Among the possible candidates is four-star Bryant Crawford from Gonzaga in Washington D.C. Head coach Steve Turner says the 6-foot-1, 160-pound Crawford is a unique player who would flourish under the coaching of somebody like Larry Brown.

"I would call Bryant a true point guard," Turner said. "He's a pass first guy, and he's a guy whose really looking to set up and make the other guys around him better. He's kind of a throwback. Most of the point guards you see today are all guys putting up 20 something points a game. He would rather have 15 assists a game. He's very athletic, a strong defender and a great leader."

Turner says Crawford also has the ability to score the basketball in bunches and understands the game very well. Crawford is also a member of Team Takeover on the AAU circuit and has competed head to head with some of the nations best players.

"He's probably one of the top two point guards in the junior class," Turner said. "For right now, he's just open and allowing the process to go on. I kind of leave theses guys alone when it comes to their recruiting because all the coaches that are trying to get to them. But I mean, he's being really heavily recruited."

Along with SMU, Crawford has picked up offers from Connecticut, Georgetown, Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Rutgers, Seton Hall, South Florida, Texas, and more. But his coach says his interest in SMU is very real because of Brown and his staff.

"I mean, they got arguably one of the best basketball coaches in the world coaching there now," Turner said. "As you can see with what he was able to do this past year landing this class's top point guard. He is looking to bring that program back up."

Turner says he has never sent a player to SMU before, but he has grown familiar with the program through conversations with other coaches. His advice to Crawford is to pick a place where he will feel most comfortable.

"Number one, he's got to like the guy who is running the helm," Turner said. "Academics will also be a priority to him. He's a kid who can play in a slowed down offense or a high paced offense, so I don't think he will have trouble as a point guard playing anywhere. I think he wants to find a place that he can call home."



SMU Offers 3-star SG

By Adam Grosbard

It's no secret that Larry Brown and his coaching staff have focused a lot of their recruiting efforts on guards during their first two years on the Hilltop.

2015 Dallas Madison shooting guard Admon Gilder is another of those guards that the staff is now recruiting. Gilder picked up an offer from the Mustangs earlier this month, and his AAU coach Tony Johnson says Gilder is interested.

"Admon has a high interest in SMU," Johnson said. "It's close to home, and he's a Dallas kid."

Johnson does not know how often Gilder speaks with the SMU coaches but did say that they came to watch his team, the Dallas Mustangs, in the last month to check in on both Gilder and his teammate and fellow SMU recruit Hassan Thomas.

While Johnson was vocal in his praise for Thomas last week, he saved some of his highest praise for Gilder.

"I'll tell you what, right now I can't have a better player than Admon," Johnson said. "The guy can guard, man. He's coachable. The guy's a bad dude. He guards some of the best people. He is a combo guard and he can score. He's a high-level player man.

"He can put it in that hole. He can get you a bucket. He can drive to the basket. He shoots it very well from behind the arch, midrange. He's a complete player, and he's only going to get better."

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, Gilder also holds interest from TCU, Tulsa and Houston. Johnson thinks that Gilder would fit well in Larry Brown's offense but believes he needs to improve as a vocal leader.

"He's an okay leader right now. The thing is now that he doesn't talk. He just plays and so I'm trying to get him to talk and to get on his team," Johnson said. "My thing is right now that he's pretty much just letting the game come to him, but he's got the ability to be that guy that takes you wherever you want. Whatever he wants to do in basketball he could do it. He's that type of guy, but I just want him to be more vocal about it. It's coming, but I just wish it were here now."

VIDEO: SMU WR Keenan Holman





Phillips Visits 4-Star WR

By Omar Majzoub

SMU wide receivers coach Jason Phillips did not have to travel very far to visit one of his latest targets.

Two weeks ago, Phillips went down the road to Prime Prep Academy and talked with 2015 four-star wide receiver James Proche.

Proche, who is ranked as the 27th best receiver in his class, says he has strong interest in SMU because of its recent history with Prime Prep athletes. The Mustangs are trying to build a pipeline with the charter school that carries over multiple sports.

"Coach Deion's son goes there, and I have a close relationship with him. A point guard at our school, Emmanuel Mudiay, who I'm really close with committed there and one of our linebackers, Josh Ehambe, has been thinking about going there, so yeah I like SMU and have a lot of interest in them," he said. "They were my first offer, so I'll always have interest in them."

Proche says he has been talking to ‘everybody' in his recruitment including Alabama, California, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa, USC, UCLA, and more. As his recruitment has picked up, the 6-foot, 180-pound Proche says he has started to prioritize his decision-making factors.

"I want a school that will have me ready for life after football," he said. "Football isn't always promised, so I just want to make sure I'll be getting a good education on my shoulders. I also want a program with a good fan base and I want to feel comfortable with the coaching staff. I want a good relationship with them and I want to feel like I can fit into their offense."

Proche says the coaching staff at Prime Prep has helped him develop his game tremendously. He feels he has made huge strides since last season and hopes to continue his improvement through this year.

"My biggest strength is my route running and my hands," he said. "I work really hard and this season has been great. We are 3-1 right now and stat wise I have over 400 yards, 21 receptions and seven touchdowns."

Proche will continue to be open to all offers and start making visits after the season. He hopes to make his decision next summer because he plans on graduating next December.

"I can't really call favorites right now, but SMU will most likely be one because they were my first offer," he said "Also, my relationship with the SMU coaches is great. I can talk to Coach Phillips about anything really. When he visited me, he just told me to keep up the hard work and that they were still really interested in me."



Grissom Enjoys Visit, Would Like To Commit

By Adam Grosbard

While he still has a while to go in the recruiting process, 2016 South Garland athlete Kevion Grissom visited SMU this past week for the Mustangs' game against Rutgers.

Despite the rain and the loss, Grissom made up his mind where he wants to go to college.

"I'm think I'm going to commit to SMU as soon as possible," Grissom said.

Despite only being a sophomore, Grissom has no doubts about his decision even though he also holds interest from North Texas and Texas A&M.

"I have no problem making my decision this early because it's closer to home and it's Division I," Grissom said. "I want to be able to talk to my mom all the time."

Grissom has not officially received an SMU offer yet but his older brother spoke to defensive coordinator Tom Mason about getting an offer in place soon.

"They been talking to me about," Grissom said. "My brother I went with to SMU and talked to Coach Mason about an offer. I'm going to commit to them as soon as I get the offer."

Grissom is an athletic offensive player who could play quarterback or wide receiver for the Mustangs. So far, Mason has not given any indication what position Grissom would play. For now, he's just focusing on his sophomore year.

"My team is doing good. We just lost our first district game though," Grissom said. "I'm doing good right now but I got a cast on and I been out for three weeks, but I get the cast off Monday. I cracked my knuckle. I caught the ball and I was running and when I came down my finger got caught in somebody's facemask."



Henry Reviews SMU Visit

By EJ Holland

SMU already has one Dallas Carter commit in the Class of 2014 and could add another. While the Mustangs might not have enough room at the moment, Chris Henry remains on SMU's radar.

While at SMU for an unofficial visit last weekend, the senior athlete spoke with linebackers coach Eric Daniels about a potential offer.

"Coach Daniels talked to me about it. He was telling me that they're still interested in me but that he wants to see more film on me," Henry said. "I really like Coach Daniels. He's down to earth and cool to be around."

Henry plays everything from quarterback to safety for Dallas Carter. And his versatility could help him finally come away with the offer he's been hoping for.

Since seeing Jordan Ingram commit this summer, Henry has had the Mustangs at the very top of his list.

"SMU is definitely still my favorite school. I'm just waiting for that offer," he said. "I like the fact that it's right here in the D. I don't want to leave Dallas so it would be a great place for me to play."

As far as the game, Henry said he and Ingram only saw the first half before heading back home.

"It was really cold and raining so we left at the beginning of the third quarter. The weather was just too bad," Henry said. "But I still had a good time, and I liked the uniforms. Coach Daniels actually told me about the history behind them, and I was really impressed."

Note: I tried to get a hold of Ingram, but his phone was not working.



2015 OL Recaps Visit

By Scott Sanford

Despite watching a heart-breaking loss to Rutgers, 2015 Sulphur Springs offensive lineman Landon Watkins enjoyed his visit to the Hilltop last weekend.

The 6-foot-1, 265-pound junior got a tour of the campus and football facilities before taking in SMU's American Athletic Conference debut.

"The experience went really well," Watkins said. "The campus is like its own little community and everything was fancy, but I loved it."

At the game, Watkins got the chance to meet with the man who has been recruiting him, defensive coordinator Bert Hill.

"We exchange emails here and there," he said. "But I don't usually get a chance to talk with him besides when we go to the games."

Although Watkins, who attended SMU's game against Montana State, is just still has a long ways to go in the recruiting process, he could definitely see himself playing at SMU in the future.

"Not only do they (SMU) have a great football program with great facilities, but they also have great academics," Watkins said. "In the end, you go to college for an education so that is what matters."

The recruiting process has been a little slow for Watkins, but he said he has enjoyed every minute of it.

Besides SMU, North Texas has expressed interest in Watkins, and two weeks from now, he will visit Midwestern State.

VIDEO: DE Zach Wood





A look at how some SMU commits did

- Darrell Colbert went 10 of 14 for 133 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 22 yards and a touchdown in Houston Lamar's 71-21 win over Houston Westside.

- Shelby Walker caught three passes for 17 yards and a touchdown in Houston Lamar's 71-21 win over Houston Westside.

- Jordan Ingram caught three passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns in Dallas Carter's 63-7 win over Molina.

- Jordan Severt went 9 of 10 for 154 yards and three touchdowns in Austin Westlake's 41-3 win over Anderson.

- Tyler Harris passed for 258 yards and three touchdowns in Pierce County's 48-13 win over SE Bulloch.

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