The Hilltop Review

Come inside this week's Hilltop Review for all the latest news in SMU's recruiting news!

Montero high on SMU, hoping to visit

By: Scott Sanford

The SMU community enjoyed a solid week of recruiting news with the commitment of four-star Owasso (Okla.) guard Shake Milton, but with a couple of spots still open in the 2015 class, the coaching staff continues to hit the road.

Elijah Thomas remains the biggest name on the Mustangs’ board at the moment, but the SMU coaching staff has begun to look at some of the top JUCO players available.

Westchester Community College guard/wing Luis Montero, who received an SMU offer back in August, remains an option for the Mustangs.

Head Coach Larry Brown has spoken with the 6-foot-9, 190-pound Dominican on two occasions, but just two weeks ago SMU assistant Ulric Maligi made the trip to New York to catch up with Montero and Westchester CC Head Coach Tyrone Mushatt.

“Larry Brown was supposed to come, but he had to speak at some coaching thing so his top assistant (Maligi) came out and hung out with us for the day,” Mushatt said. “They want him (Montero) to come in and be an impact player right away.”

Despite Brown and Montero having limited contact, Montero has no doubt he would be well taken care of by the coaching staff at SMU.

“He knows who Larry Brown is. He pushes guys to their potential and he doesn’t allow nonsense,” Mushatt said. “He likes SMU because of Larry Brown.”

SMU, along with St. Johns, USC and USF, are the only schools to have visited the stretch guard, which has not gone unnoticed by Montero or his coach.

“SMU, St. Johns, USC, South Florida, along with maybe one or two other schools have actually stopped sending mail and just started showing up,” Mushatt said. “These schools have actually been in the gym with him so they know him more.”

Montero and Mushatt were hoping to visit the Hilltop before their season starts on Halloween, but due to time constraints, their plan is to visit in early November now.

And with Montero hoping to make a decision in December, if a visit doesn’t go well, it could mean the end for that school’s chances.

“If it (the visit) doesn’t go well, then it’ll be over after the visit,” Mushatt said. “Everybody’s trying to jockey for the right visit because if he goes to his first visit, and he likes it, he’ll commit because we think all the schools are right for him.”

Right now, Mushatt said Montero’s favorite school is Arizona, but the Wildcats have yet to offer. SMU, because of Coach Brown, remains high on Montero’s list.

Washington hoping to hear more from SMU

By: Andrew Hattersley

2017 PF P.J Washington received an offer from in June but since then it has been all quiet on the SMU front.

“They were one of the first schools to offer but we haven’t heard from them, I was kind of surprised to be honest with you right here in the backyard,” said P.J. Washington’s father, “We want to keep them in our top five but if they don’t come visit you in Frisco you have to wonder, we have Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, Memphis here but we can’t get SMU on the phone.”

While they would love to hear from SMU more, Washington and his father understand that SMU is going through a busy time.

“I know they’ve got priorities, he’s class of 2017” said Washington’s father, “Larry Brown was one of the first people to show love, and we really like him, we just don’t see enough of him.”

As for his summer, P.J. Washington is coming off a strong summer campaign as he continues to work on his game.

“Going forward, I’m working on my ball handling and transferring to a three, and just continue to work on my perimeter game,” said Washington.

Although Washington is a long way from making a decision, his criteria for choosing a school is taking shape.

“Obviously the academics but we are also looking at the style of play that he would be comfortable with,” said Washington’s dad, “We’re just trying to find a coach and a school that he’s comfortable playing in and he shows well in.”

Washington has received interest from a number of schools including Baylor, Connecticut, Kansas State, SMU, and many others around the nation.

Tennyson on the recovery trail

By: Andrew Hattersley

2016 Mansfield Legacy (Tex.) quarterback Chase Tennyson has had an up and down season as his team faces a big matchup this weekend that will decide their playoff fate.

“We’re doing well as a team, I got a little banged up so I haven’t been playing much lately but we’re coming back strong,” said Tennyson, “We have a big game this week that pretty much determines if we go to the playoffs.”

Tennyson stresses he is feeling healthy after a tough middle of the season.

The Mansfield quarterback did receive a letter from SMU but is focusing on his own season for now, as well as, taking a little time to absorb the June Jones resignation.

“I’ve been keeping up with them a little bit but not much recently with the head coach resigning and everything, I really liked the head coach,” said Tennyson, ”I still have much love for SMU.”

For right now, Tennyson is continuing to play the waiting game until a few more offers come in.

“I’ve just been trying to focus on my high school football right now, and hopefully my senior year as the offers come in I’ll be more involved,” the Mansfield junior said.

The junior quarterback has also heard from Southwestern, SAGU and ULM.

As he wraps up his junior year and starts building momentum for senior year, it is the physical tools the quarterback is focusing on the most.

“I’m working on my elusiveness and speed a lot, and I’m trying to gain some weight,” said Tennyson, ”My brother is 6’8 and I’ll be somewhere between 6’4 and 6’6 and I’m trying to be somewhere like 215 around graduation.”

Tennyson does not have any visits scheduled right now but still certainly holds a lot of interest in SMU as he heads into his senior year.

Darius Durall Q&A

By: Demetrio Teniente

DT: How did the bye week go?
DD: It went good, we got a lot of work in.

DT: How has practice been going for you this week with your increased work load?
DD: Practice has been going good- I’ve been getting a lot of reps this week.

DT: You are getting more reps with Nlemchi suspended, so with that in mind, how are you preparing differently for this week’s game?
DD: I’m just going hard every single practice and trying to take advantage of every opportunity I get.

DT: What are your thoughts on Cincinnati heading into Saturday?
DD: I know they are 0-3 in their last three and I know that we are 0-5, so we are both going to be looking for that first win. It should be a good fight.

DT: What can you tell me about the atmosphere in the locker room right now?
DD: We are all just really focused. Everyone just wants to win.

DT: Garrett Krstich has been the starting quarterback for the past several weeks now, what change in him has you seen since he took over that job?
DD: He has a lot more confidence in himself. He seems to believe in himself a lot more. He hypes us up and we do the same back.

DT: Kevin Pope is going to be taking on a bigger role with defense now, so its kind of like the offense is losing one of its leaders. Who has stepped up this week to fill that void?
DD: All of us are stepping up as leaders, but mainly Krstich.

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