Virginia Tech transfer Ben Emelogu's wait to be cleared by the NCAA for his sophomore season is over. Emelogu received word that he would be eligible for SMU this season after arriving on the Hilltop this summer.
"I was asking (Larry Brown) every day, like, coach are we going to hear something?" Emelogu said. "It's been ages now. I just tried to focus and prepare in case of the best outcome. We've just been preparing like I was going to play from the start."
Brown said it took a village to get Emelogu eligible.
"I was happy for him. Appreciate Virginia Tech allowing him to do that because schools don't always have to cooperate with that so that was cool what Buzz did," coach Brown said. "I really believe it's a good thing for him. Appreciate the NCAA doing it."
Emelogu's decision to transfer was based on his sick grandmother in Grand Prairie plus, he wanted his family to see him play.
"I want my family to see me play and my grandma is sick. She hasn’t seen me in a long time. I thought it would be good for them to see me play in college,” Emelogu told Pony Stampede in July. “I couldn’t adjust fully to Virginia Tech all the way. I tried to stick it out, but I felt like me coming home was best for me.”
Emelogu's experience as captain of the Hokies basketball team as a freshman will only help SMU on the court this year and Emelogu has been preparing like he'll be playing.
"I've been watching a lot of film with them, just trying to get it down so I will be prepared for the season."
Brown talked about Emelogu's versatility.
"He's just a really solid player. He can play multiple positions, he's tough." SMU Head Coach Larry Brown said. "You're a captain as a freshman of a major college program, an ACC program. That speaks volumes about the character and leadership qualities."
The Mustangs now have another guard with experience on the roster that can shoot from three-point range (37 percent in 2013-14) and isn't afraid to grab tough rebounds.
More importantly, Emelogu can provide a relief to Nic Moore, who will be logging most of the minutes at point guard without a proven backup.
Back in July, Emelogu's goal at SMU was simple. Win.
"I want to contribute the best way I can. I want to have fun and win games,” Emelogu said. “I’m looking to win a conference championship and move on to the NCAA tournament. We’ll see how it goes.”
Emelogu averaged 10.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in 22 games last season for the Hokies despite battling through injuries and illness that saw him miss nine games.
Courtesy: SMU Athletics- Emelogu talks upcoming season
Larry Brown 10-24 Press Conference