While SMU's 74-65 upset over No. 17 UConn surprised many people, it was even more surprising that 2015 consensus five-star center Diamond Stone was on campus to take in the reopening of Moody Coliseum.
The 6-foot-11, 260-pound big man, who is ranked No. 1 at his position in his class, and his family were visiting his sister, who lives in Dallas, and took an unofficial visit to SMU. While there, he was offered by the coaching staff.
Stone and his family requested for us not to ask questions about his recruitment or his interest in SMU. The family did enjoy their time on campus but declined to comment on anything SMU related as well.
Stone did, however, answer questions about the type of player he is on the floor.
"What I do well is post-up, rebound to help my team win," said the Dominican High School (WI) product. "What I need to improve on is my perimeter defense to be able to guard bigs that are playing guards and can handle the ball out on the perimeter."
Stone did talk about the system he feels most comfortable in and his with his strength, it is not a surprise what he likes to do.
"Inside first, then once you pass it inside you pass it out. Basically a big offense," Stone said. "Everything inside. I'm ambidextrous so I can use both hands and I'm quick on my feet so I use that to my advantage."
Stone holds offers from the likes of Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Marquette, North Carolina and now SMU. After the season ends, Stone and his family will cut the list to around five or so schools, which according to his dad, Bob, in a January ESPN interview with Reggie Rankin, will be, "60 percent based on Diamond and 40 percent on me and his mother (Cynthia)."
While Stone is solid in the low post on both offense and defense, he recognizes that as the game has developed, big men have had to develop different skills as well that he still needs to work on.
"I just need to work on my lateral moves to make sure I move quicker because a lot of bigs are playing guard like Kevin Durant, he's my height, so if I was in the NBA right now I'd need to be able to guard him," Stone said. "I just need to work on my defense and becoming a leader, not getting down on my teammates and stuff like that."
And that's certainly something Larry Brown could help out with.
Stone mentioned that his relationship with his point guard, Tywon Bressler, is a big reason why his team is off to a 6-3 start on the year, while searching for their third straight Wisconsin Division 4 state tournament title.
That type of relationship leads to more on the court communication and better results and Stone elaborated on just how detailed a big man and point guard's relationship on the court can be.
"Our relationship is really close. We get our hair cut by the same barber," Stone said. "He's over at my house every weekend so that helps our chemistry. "Lobs, eye contact so when you give them the eye that's when they know when to throw it, or just knowing when to throw it and where to pass it to."
Who knows what could happen if Stone is able to be paired with any of the elite recruits SMU is pursuing, but if Stone were to land at SMU, it would be yet another feather in Brown and his staff's cap here on the Hilltop.
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