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Come inside for this week's FREE Hilltop Review where we recap the latest news in the recruiting world!

Hogg Talks SMU Interest

By: Billy Embody

One of SMU's biggest targets for the 2015 basketball recruiting class has been D.J. Hogg. Hogg and his Texas Titans teammates have been on the Nike EYBL Circuit now for almost a month and it's always great to play against the best.

"It's fun. Always fun playing against the best competition and you expect that from the EYBL," Hogg said.

The highly recruited 4-star small forward and his teammates are trying to get back to the ultimate prize, the Nike Peach Jam Invitational.

"We're trying to get to Peach Jam so we can play at the highest level in front of the college coaches again and that's our number one goal right now," Hogg said.

Hogg talked briefly about his college search that has slowed down considerably now that EYBL season is in full force.

"I haven't narrowed it down yet so right now I'm still open," Hogg said. "No standouts. Baylor is probably recruiting me the hardest right now."

That's no surprise considering Hogg's teammate, King McClure recently committed there and fellow Titans teammate, Tyler Davis, is also being courted by the Bears.

"Me and King and Tyler have all talked about playing together so there's a good look (for Baylor)," Hogg said. "Me and Tyler have always talked about playing together, but in the end we're going to do what's best for us."

As for SMU, he still keeps in good contact with Larry Brown and his staff.

"I text their coaches every now again and still like Larry Brown and their system," the Plano West forward said.

For Hogg, Brown's staff can get him to the NBA and with the way he's playing, shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc, the goal is realistic for Hogg to reach.

"Good coaching staff that's going to help push my game to the ultimate," Hogg said. "I want to be in the NBA. Good fan base, good teammates, stuff like that."

Mays Keeping it Open, Interested in SMU

By Patrick Engel

SMU always tries to recruit the Houston area heavily, and Class of 2015 WR Sam Mays (Houston, TX/The Kinkaid School) is a high priority for the Mustangs. Mays does not have an offer from SMU, but he is still interested in it.

"SMU is definitely one of the options," Mays said. "I still have all my options open right now. It's a great school, great education. That definitely is something I'm looking for in a school, a good academic structure for after I stop playing football."

The football program drew high praise from Mays as well.

"The football team is great. I went to visit for the junior day and met with (assistant) Coach (Jason) Phillips, and we had a great talk. He's a really good coach."

Mays said that he hasn't recently talked with Phillips, but the Mays said the coach was impressed with him. Phillips invited Mays to the junior day, which he enjoyed.

"The coaches were great, the hospitality was great, the facilities were great. Basically everything was good and a positive experience."

Mays had seen to SMU before because his team played a couple games in Dallas last year, but described the trip to the campus as "sightseeing." He said he will likely attend an SMU camp this summer.

Phillips talked to Mays about an offer at the junior day, but he said if he did offer, it would be later or in the summer.

"It was more about expecting one down the road. I'm on the watch list. He did say that I was high on their radar, so that gave me a good vibe, as long as I perform the way I should, which I think I will. It really depends how high I actually am on their list and what they're looking for."

Mays has offers from Illinois, Fresno State, Southern Mississippi, BYU, Houston, and North Texas. He also said he has been talking to Arkansas, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas and Baylor, among a handful of others. Mays has visited TCU and Baylor, and plans to go to a lot of schools' camps in the summer.

Kinkaid had a successful season in 2013, winning the private school league championship. Mays felt his individual season was a success as well.

"It was a really good way to end the season. I had a 1,000-yard season so that really capped it off for me by winning a championship. I improved off my sophomore season, and that's what helped me become a better player and boost my stock."

Mays says he wants to improve a couple areas for next year.

"I'm really looking to work on speed and just trying to get stronger in the weight room."

Mays is 6-foot-3, 185 pounds and can run a 4.6 40-yard dash.

Padgett Reacts to SMU Offer

By: Patrick Engel

SMU's depth at linebacker took a big hit with the graduation of last season's defensive leader, middle linebacker Randall Joyner. The Mustangs are looking for players who could be the next Joyner, and one of their targets is Class of 2015 inside linebacker Blain Padgett (Sour Lake, TX/Hardin-Jefferson). SMU defensive line coach Bert Hill offered the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Padgett about a month ago.

"It was awesome, it was very exciting," Padgett said of the offer. "It's a very big school and they're a great team," Padgett said. "It's the biggest school that's offered me so far, so I thought that was great and very accomplishing."

Padgett and Hill have a good relationship now. The two have talked regularly since Padgett got the offer. He has visited SMU twice and says he will be back again.

"I went to a practice (in the fall), I watched on of their practices, and then they invited me back," Padgett said. "I went back and looked at their whole campus and looked at the business school. I plan on going back up during the summer sometime."

"I like it a lot. I like all the defensive staff; I love all the coaches," Padgett said. "They talk to me a lot. I've seen their facilities and I've seen their practice field."

Padgett also has offers from Rice, Air Force, North Texas, and Lamar. Texas, Houston, Baylor and TCU have also shown interest, and he expects an offer from Houston.

"A UT coach came to the school the other day. They came because my dad played for UT. They told me they were kind of interested in me and they want me to come up to a camp," Padgett said. "I know one of the coaches from TCU pretty well; I went to a camp last year. He's come up to the school once, but I'm not sure if they are interested in me or not."

Padgett said he will Rice on May 29th and plans to visit a lot of the schools this summer.

Hardin-Jefferson's first season under head coach Dwayne DuBois was a success, and Padgett thought the same about his individual performance.

"(DuBois) was probably the best thing that's happened to our program in a long time," Padgett said. "We made it three rounds into the [Class 3A] playoffs, we hadn't been in the playoffs in probably eight years."

Last season was Padgett's first season playing linebacker. He moved from defensive line, where he played the previous two seasons.

"I felt I did a lot better. I think I played linebacker very well. I like to play very aggressive and I like to hit people."

Padgett has been timed at 4.67 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Monk Recaps SMU Visit

By: Billy Embody

2016 Bentonville HS (Ark.) guard Malik Monk took time out of his prolific EYBL Circuit scoring spree to visit SMU while he was in town for the Nike EYBL Dallas in Frisco in May.

Monk is still a while away from making a decision, but SMU made a solid impression on him while he was in town.

"It was nice just seeing the coaching staff and stuff," Monk said. "It was nice to see they were interested in me."

Monk got to talk with Larry Brown and the SMU coaching staff while he was on campus and as always, Brown was honest with Monk and gave him some advice.

"Just keep working hard, but if you don't like being coached, don't recognize this college," the Hall of Famer told Monk.

Monk said that it was natural for him to check out SMU while he was in town, "I was in Texas so, why not?"

Two other teams that have been checking Monk out the most have been Florida and Arkansas, while Monk has received a letter or two from SMU before visiting the school.

His brother, Marcus, told in early May that Baylor, Indiana, Kansas, Memphis, SMU and UConn were among the others working the hardest.

Marcus was a receiver at Arkansas and also played basketball there during his time in Fayetteville.

Even though his brother was a Razorback, it doesn't mean Monk is headed to Arkansas. Monk knows what he is looking for in a school and team though.

"Good coaches, good teammates and being able to get up and down.

For now, Monk has one thing to work on this summer and it's not scoring more.

"Just being a lockdown defender."

Monk has been averaging 21.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game on the EYBL Circuit this year. Monk ranks fourth on the EYBL Circuit in scoring, trailing Allonzo Trier by seven points per game.

Thomas Talks SMU, Visit

By: Adam Grosbard

At the Nike EYBL in Dallas, five-star center Elijah Thomas spoke about his recent communication with the SMU coaching staff.

"I've been hearing mostly the same stuff (from SMU). I'm a junior so they can't give me the same scoop they give to seniors," Thomas said. "They just tell me to keep my head up, keep working hard, and find things to do outside basketball that'll make me better than before I got injured. And coach Larry Brown always tells me to stay close to God."

Thomas's Team Texas-teammate Matt McQuaid recently committed to SMU. Thomas thinks that the shooting guard will fit in well with the Mustangs but was non-committal about playing together at the next level.

"He's going to fit in well. Matt's an excellent player and he can do a lot of things that normal shooters can't do that separates him a lot," Thomas said. "I would want to play with him but there's a lot of colleges out there. My other teammate (Austin Grandstaff) just committed to Ohio State so that's hard."

Standing at 6-foot-9 and 230 pounds, Thomas cut his list of schools down to ten in March: Florida, Illinois, Memphis, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, SMU, Texas, UNLV, and USC. However, because of his recent hand injury, Thomas has not given much thought to where he wants to take his official visits.

"I haven't (thought about visits.) I'm really just trying to get back to playing again so when I get I'll probably be able to answer every single question like that," Thomas said.

Though he could not play, Thomas was out on the court with his teammates during warm-ups, goofing around and give advice to some of the younger players. He is currently working on strengthening his arm again.

"It's getting better. I'm going to rehab, getting stronger," Thomas said. "Right now I have no idea (when he'll start playing). It just depends on rehab."

Thomas will make his decision on January 15.

SMU Visits Washington

By: Adam Grosbard

This week new SMU running backs coach Steve Broussard traveled to Los Angeles, where he met with South Gate (Calif.) defensive back Tony Washington.

"He came down to talk to me and to see who I am," Washington said. "He just asked me about my grades and what position I play. I told him I play corner but this season I'm going to play free safety and corner."

Washington was excited to meet Broussard.

"He's a very cool dude. I like him," Washington said. "I like how he just came up and was very interested."

Washington described his interest level in SMU as "very high."

"No one has come down and talked to me before so I'm very interested," Washington said.

The junior expects to take a visit to Dallas "whenever I can." He also had a visit from UCLA this week and he was invited to USC to watch their spring game.

Washington is very confident in his abilities as a defensive back.

"I'm very good at coverage. I can tackle real good. I'm good in man. I can do a whole lot," Washington said.

While he expects to be in the secondary when he goes to college, Washington will also be playing on the other side of the ball next season.

"I'm going to play some running back and a little wide receiver and I might play a little bit of option quarterback," Washington said.

Over the summer, Washington is working on improving.

"(I'm working on) footwork, technique, and getting in shape," Washington said. "I've going to a lot of passing league games and practicing with my school."

Your Nike EYBL Circuit Stats Update
-G Matt McQuaid, SMU Commit, has been averaging 15.2 points per game, 64 percent from the free throw line, 4.1 rebounds per game and two assists per game in 29 minutes per game.
-G Allonzo Trier has been averaging 28.5 points per game, leading the EYBL Circuit in scoring. He's also been averaging 4.1 rebounds a game in over 30 minutes of duty per game.
-G Malik Monk has been averaging 21.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game on the EYBL Circuit.
-SF D.J. Hogg has been averaging 14.4 points per game, 78 percent from the free throw line, 3.6 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists per game in 24.2 minutes per game.
-C D-Jery Baptiste has been averaging 3.5 points per game, 75 percent from the free throw line, 3.9 rebounds per game and 1.6 blocks per game in 13.2 minutes per game.
-C Marques Bolden has been averaging 2.9 points per game, 50 percent from the free throw line, 3.5 rebounds per game and one block per game in 9.7 minutes per game.
-C Tyler Davis has been averaging 13.5 points per game, 65 percent from the free throw line and 6.2 rebounds per game in 21.2 minutes per game.
-G Chad Lott has been averaging 11.8 points per game, 70 percent from the free throw line, 3.8 rebounds per game and 2.4 assists per game in 21.3 minutes per game.
-G Shake Milton has been averaging 12.5 points per game, 83 percent from the free throw line, five rebounds per game, 3.8 assists per game and 1.2 steals per game in 22.3 minutes per game.
-F Ed Morrow has been averaging 13.7 points per game, 67 percent from the free throw line, 7.3 rebounds per game and 1.8 blocks per game in 25 minutes per game.
-G Isaiah Briscoe has been averaging 17.8 points per game, 83 percent from the free throw line, 6.9 rebounds per game and 4.9 assists per game in 26.3 minutes per game.
G- Tyler Williams '15 has been averaging 6.8 points per game, 63 percent from the free throw line and 4.7 rebounds per game in 19.8 minutes per game.

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