The Hilltop Review

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Local 5-Star SG High on SMU

By Adam Grosbard

As recently as two years ago, all the many talented high school basketball players from Dallas would take their talents out of state to schools such as Kentucky and Kansas, leaving Texas schools high-and-dry.

Now, after seeing many top players such as Emmanuel Mudiay and Alex Robinson elect to stay in-state, many Dallas recruits are interested in following suit.

King McClure, a five-star 2015 shooting guard from Triple A Academy, who holds an SMU offer, is one of those players interested in staying in-state.

"He's pretty much wide-open with definitely all of the local schools," Tim Singleton, McClure's coach at Triple A Academy, said. "He has a strong interest in Texas A&M. If he had his way, he would like to play close to home and SMU is close to home. He's very close with his family. They're a tightknit group. But he has two years of high school left so we just have to wait and see. He likes Kansas, he likes Baylor, he likes SMU, and he likes Arkansas. He hasn't really narrowed it down yet."

Singleton has seen SMU assistant coach Ulric Maligi at many of McClure's games and knows the Mustangs would love to have a player of his caliber on the roster. Singleton described McClure as a dynamic player.

"He's a combo-guard. He has a lot of versatility," Singleton said. "He's a great scorer, he can handle the ball, and he has a college body already (6-foot-3, 200 pounds). He can put that ball in the hole, though. We're talking about a kid who averaged 22 points a game as a freshman. He's a good on-the-ball defender, but like all my kids and all high school players he needs to improve upon the team concepts of defense."

Singleton, who was actually recruited out of high school by Larry Brown when he was the coach at Kansas, thinks McClure could gain ‘a lot of wisdom' from the SMU head coach. Singleton also described McClure as a great leader for his team.

"He is an exceptional leader," Singleton said. "Since he's been here in eighth grade, we've had to add a grade every year, so this is our first year with seniors. So he's always been in a leadership role since the eighth grade, and he's a spokesperson for the team."



2017 Stud Visits SMU

By Adam Grosbard

The problem with recruiting a freshman in high school is you often don't know what type of player he will be when he gets older. While the player must have plenty of raw talent to receive that attention, it is impossible to predict how aging, work ethic, and just plain luck will affect that player's growth.

When it comes to 2017 point guard Chris Giles, his AAU coach Rick Nelson of Houston Elite has no problems with making a bold prediction.

"Chris will be one of the best kids to ever come out of Dallas if not the best player to ever come out of here," Nelson said. "I say that because I know his work ethic. We're talking about a kid that's just 14-years-old with an impeccable work ethic. I think the sky is the limit. If he continues to work, he will definitely be able to help a program like SMU and with a coaching staff like that, they can help him reach a level he didn't even know he could reach."

Nelson classified Giles' interest in SMU as ‘high.' Giles was on campus for an unofficial visit on Friday and watched practice. He also noticed the appearance made by Allen Iverson and spent some 1-on-1 time with the SMU coaching staff.

"I think he has a high interest level. After speaking with him and the family, number one he is excited to be recruited. He works hard and that's a blessing," Nelson said. "The fact that you have Larry Brown there who has all the experience in the world on every level and the coaching staff there, especially the assistant coach Ulric (Maligi) who does such a great job of building relationships and recruiting kids to come to programs, it's almost impossible sometimes to tell those kind of guys no, especially when you have dreams and goals of getting to the next level.

"He's very excited, especially for a kid growing up in Plano, his grandparents are in Fort Worth so they can watch him play, he has a fan base that can come and support him and still play high-level basketball. It's hard not to take a serious look at that and everything else SMU has to offer."

Giles plays his high school basketball for Plano West and is listed as 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds. He holds offers from SMU and Ohio State and has also received interest from Oklahoma, Arizona, UCLA, Houston, and Texas A&M. Nelson described Giles as an all-around player.

"Chris has got great size where he can play the point guard position or you can put two point guards on the floor with him, whatever the case may be," Nelson said. "He's a great on-ball defender. But because he's so young, I think he can improve in all areas. He's working on his three-ball a lot, and that's getting really good. He's really strong driving to the basket and he's getting better at being able to score at all three levels of the floor."



SMU Staff Watches Local SF

By Scott Sanford

Almost a year ago, SMU landed their biggest recruit in school history when McDonald's All-American Keith Frazier from Dallas Kimball chose the Mustangs.

Now, the SMU coaching staff is back at Kimball recruiting another Knight.

While the SMU coaching staff continues to search for a perennial big man to team up with Emmanuel Mudiay, a solid back-up plan could be 2014 Dallas Kimball small forward Trent Brinkley.

SMU continues to keep tabs on Brinkley and recently visited the small forward.

"About a month ago, Coach Larry Brown and Coach (Ulric) Maligi both watched, and I got a chance to talk to Coach Maligi after," Brinkley said. "Then about a week or two ago Coach Maligi visited again, and we talked about my game and SMU as a school."

Although SMU is primarily targeting a big man, Brinkley said that his offer still stands and has a lot of interest in the school.

Brinkley has been able to learn a lot about SMU from his former teammate Keith Frazier. The two recently caught up, and Frazier shared his thoughts on his SMU experience thus far.

"He (Frazier) has told me all about the campus and how nice it is," Brinkley said. "He also told me how much tougher the college game is and what I should be doing to prepare myself."

Brinkley has yet to visit the SMU campus but said that he plans on setting up a visit in the next month or two.

The Kimball forward also said that SMU, Wichita State, Oral Roberts and UNT have expressed the most interest in him, but he has no favorites at this point.

"I want to visit all of the schools before I start listing my top schools," Brinkley said.



Ehambe Puts Of Decision

By Scott Sanford

Since the start of Prime Prep Academy, SMU has tried to create a pipeline between the two schools.

And 2014 Prime Prep linebacker Josh Ehambe could be the first athlete from the charter school to land at SMU. Ehambe said that he is very interested in SMU for a couple of reasons.

"The fact that June Jones is the head coach is huge because he used to coach at the NFL level," Ehambe said. "I also feel very comfortable around all of the coaches."

Ehambe also likes the fact that SMU is close to home.

The 6-foot-3 senior hasn't had any contact with the coaching staff since he attended the Montana State game earlier this year, but the linebacker has enjoyed his conversations with his recruiter, Jason Phillips.

"When we talk, it's usually about stuff that I can improve on or just about SMU in general," Ehambe said.

The three-star linebacker has seen interest in him pick up since the start of this season.

Louisiana Tech, Colorado State, New Mexico State and SMU have offered Ehambe, but he has also received interest from TCU, Texas A&M and Georgia.

Besides SMU, Ehambe said that his other two favorites are Louisiana Tech and Colorado State at the moment, but he is still not ready to make his final decision.

"I'll be ready to commit probably after the season when I have some free time," Ehambe said.



Larue Growing Impatient

By EJ Holland

Since the beginning of his sophomore season, SMU has been targeting Bishop Dunne safety Ronnie LaRue.

The 2014 prospect has made numerous unofficial visits and has talked to defensive line coach Bert Hill and Derrick Odum frequently over the last two years. But this year's class is filling up, and SMU has yet to offer Larue.

"I guess it's frustrating since they said I've been close to picking up an offer for a while now," Larue said. "But I haven't talked to them in over a month so I'm not sure I'm expecting the offer to come anymore."

But if the Mustangs did decide to offer, Larue would still be interested.

"I'm interested in any school that's interested in me," he said. "It's a good school. It's close to home. I think it would be a good fit for me."

For now, it does not appear Larue will land at SMU.



A look at how SMU commits did…

- Jordan Severt went 21 of 27 for 359 yards and three touchdowns in Austin Westlake's 55-14 win over Del Valle.

- Darrell Colbert went 2 of 4 for 65 yards and a touchdown in Houston Lamar's 49-7 win over Houston Sam Houston. He also rushed for nine yards.

- Shelby Walker did not record a catch in Houston Lamar's 49-7 win over Houston Sam Houston.

- Jordan Ingram caught six passes for 66 yards in Dallas Carter's 25-20 win over South Oak Cliff.

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