Bolden Says To Expect SMU In Top-5

Four-star PF Jonah Bolden talks about his interest in SMU and more!

Since William ‘Haha' Lee committed to UAB earlier this week, the SMU coaching staff has turned their attention to recruiting four-star forward Jonah Bolden of Findlay Prep (NV).

At 6-foot-8, 190-pounds, Bolden is the sixth rated power forward in the Class of 2014 and 30th ranked prospect overall. The native Australian cut his list down to SMU, UCLA, Michigan, UNLV, Louisville, LSU, Arizona, Oregon State, Auburn and Vanderbilt earlier this fall.

Now, he is prepared to narrow his list down to the final five schools. He says to expect SMU to make the cut because of his relationship with the coaching staff.

"I talk to SMU almost every day or every other two days, so they have a good chance of making my final five," he said. "I like Coach Larry Brown. He has a great history and I really, really like him as a person.

"I also have a good connection with one of the assistant coaches, Jay Duncan (Director of Basketball Operations), who is also Australian. I trust them and I like the freedom and the way their team plays. "

Bolden hasn't been able to visit the Hilltop yet, but he has done research on the SMU facilities. He says he doesn't plan on signing during the early period, so he hopes to get a chance to check out new Moody Coliseum in person when it's ready.

"I'm not going to start taking official visits until I finish the ACT," he said. "I have my list of 10 schools now, but I'm about to cut it to five. I don't know a certain date yet, but I'll be doing that pretty soon."

Five-star point guard Emmanuel Mudiay mentioned he wants Bolden to join him next year after officially signing with SMU on Wednesday afternoon. Bolden says he has had conversations with Mudiay, but his decision will be based on what's best for him.

"I'm not really seeing where other players are committing or looking to duo with anyone," Bolden said. "The only position that matters to me is the one I want to play. I don't want to go where somebody a year above me is playing small forward at that school. That would have an impact on my decision. SMU seems like a place I would go and make an impact right away. "

Bolden is relying on his father, Bruce, to help him with recruiting. Bruce played for Boise State in the mid-80s and has been around the game of basketball for years.

"I've been relying on my dad a lot," Jonah said. "He is my main help in recruiting. I have day-to-day talks with him about who has contacted him, who has contacted me, and where we stand with schools."

Although some scouts see Bolden as a stretch-four, he is hoping to play small forward in college. He believes he fits best in an up-tempo system because of his length and athleticism.

"My strengths are my shooting ability for my height, my passing and court vision, and my rebounding ability," he explained. "My speed and quickness for my height is also an advantage. I have good communication with my teammates, and I play well off other people, too."

Bolden says he is working to improve on his mental aggressiveness and physical strength. He also hopes to tighten up his ball handling skills to make his transition to the perimeter easier.

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