The recruiting process for college football and basketball has gotten so intense that many people joke about college coaches signing recruits straight out of the womb.
While this is clearly absurd, Larry Brown and the rest of the SMU coaching staff have spent a lot of time recruiting 2017 shooting guard Chris Giles of Plano West. Giles and his father Chris Darnell Giles visited SMU's basketball practice Friday and Chris Darnell said the visit ‘went well.'
"I will tell you this, that was not our first time up there," Chris Darnell said. "Actually, SMU started recruiting Chris at camps while he was in the eighth grade. Coach Ulric (Maligi) came out and saw Chris during the summer time during his eighth grade campaign for Franklin Middle School out here in Plano. So we've actually been up there several times, watched practices, talked to Coach Brown in their offices and Chris actually worked out up there a couple of times this summer."
Chris Darnell said that his son likes that SMU is a program on the rise.
"He likes that forward progress that is being shown by SMU," Chris Darnell said. "It's not the old SMU. SMU has a new walk about itself, a new talk about itself. They got a new arena coming. Now you're paying attention to SMU basketball."
Chris Darnell said that his son is in constant contact with the SMU coaches and that at least one assistant coach visits Chris Dion's practices every other week.
"He definitely talks to Coach Ulric the most and Coach Brown second. He's also talking to the new coach who came from Wichita State, Coach KT Turner," Chris Darnell said. "I played at Oklahoma myself and KT played at Oklahoma Christian so we go back in the day. We see them up in the high school watching practice at least every two weeks. SMU is in the backyard, and (at Plano West) we've got Mickey Mitchell, Tyler Davis, D.J. Hogg, Soso Jamabo and Chris Giles."
The most important thing to Chris Giles and his father is building relationships with the coaches at each school. Fortunately for Mustang fans, SMU coaches have been hard at work building those relationships.
"At this point, it's really all about building relationships. At that's what we've done. We've built a relationship with Coach Ulric, we've built a relationship with Coach Brown, we've built a relationship with Coach KT and we have a relationship with SMU," Chris Darnell said. "We've built a relationship with all four of those collectively and individually."
AAU coach Rick Nelson of Houston Elite listed Oklahoma, Arizona, Houston and Texas A&M as schools that had contacted the 6-foot-3, 175 pound point guard. Chris Darnell added that Northwestern, Baylor and Arkansas had as well.
Giles holds offers from SMU and Ohio State.
But Chris Darnell wants fans to know that as talented as his son is on the court he is ‘not just a basketball player.'
"Chris is a straight-A student, he takes all honors classes, he is a member of the National Honors Society, and he is a member of the Junior Kappa Men's League," Chris Darnell said. "Chris is also an usher at the church where his grandfather is the pastor."
Giles and his father will be in attendance for SMU's first home game at the new Moody Coliseum on January 4.
"It's actually Chris's birthday but SMU is playing UConn, and that'll be the first game at the Moody Coliseum so Chris will be right there court side for that game," Chris Darnell said. "He'll be at practice earlier in the week, he'll have a pregame meal with the guys, and he'll also be there in the locker room before the game with Coach Brown."
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