Five-star point guard Emmanuel Mudiay had been to an SMU basketball game before, but it was nothing quite like what he saw on Saturday afternoon.
During SMU's 15-point victory over No. 22 Memphis at sold out Moody Coliseum, Mudiay saw a better SMU team, much louder fans and a newly renovated arena.
"It was my first time to the new Moody and it was crazy," he said. "It wasn't like this at all last year, they definitely stepped it up. The environment was ridiculous. I just can't wait until next year."
Mudiay has been closely following the Mustangs this season. As he talked about the team's chances to make the tournament, he said he already considers himself a part of the family.
"I most definitely watch their games," he said. "I see we already won more games than we did last year, so that's crazy. Hopefully we will get to the tournament this year. I know we are like No. 3 or 4 in the American Conference, so I'm excited to see what we do."
Mudiay has also remained in contact with the SMU coaching staff and a few players on the team. He says he is hoping to start building chemistry with his new teammates before even stepping on campus.
"I'm going to play whatever style Coach Brown wants," Mudiay said. "I like our bigs a lot, so I would definitely like playing inside-out. If Markus comes back, then we need to feed him early in the post. He is a beast down there. Shawn (Williams) and Nick (Russell) will be tough losses, but I like what Cannen (Cunningham) and Keith (Frazier) bring, too. It looks like a real fun team to play with."
At 6-foot-5, 190-pounds, Mudiay is one of the most versatile and athletic players in the country. He has the ability to play either guard spot and could flourish next to current SMU point guard Nic Moore.
"Nic is a terrific shooter and I think we compliment each other's games really well," Mudiay said. "I can play off ball, he can play off ball. It won't matter as long as we are winning games."
Mudiay is currently the only member of SMU's incoming freshman class, but that hasn't stopped him from recruiting some of the biggest names still available. There are only two undecided McDonalds All-Americans from the class of 2014 left and Mudiay has talked to both about SMU.
"Hopefully we can talk Myles Turner into coming here," Mudiay said. "He would be great to have in the post. I have been talking to him about that. I also talk to Rashad Vaughn about being my wing next year. Those guys would be great additions."
SMU fans are starting to understand the impact a player like Mudiay can have on the program. Late in the second half against Memphis, fans at Moody started a "Mu-di-ay, Mu-di-ay" chant that got the point guard to stand up and acknowledge everyone with a smile and a wave.
"I have had fans and alumni coming up to me, thanking me and welcoming me," he said. "It's been great. I really appreciate the love. It feels good to be home. Like I said, I just can't wait until next year."
Mudiay Recaps Visit
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