The Hilltop Review

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

Shake ready to get to the Hilltop

By: Demetrio Teniente

A little more than 24 hours after putting pen to paper, Owasso (Okla.) 2015 guard Shake Milton is still pumped.

“I’m definitely glad I finally get to make it official,” he said. “I’m excited. I know for sure where I’m going and I’m happy it’s SMU.”

Milton says that when he was signing, all he could think about was how long he’d been waiting for this moment.

“I was just excited,” he said. “I wasn’t really nervous or anything- I was just excited to put my name down and make it official. You know, it’s been a long time and I put a lot of hard work in, so I feel like it’s finally paying off. It’s crazy to me. It really just shows that if you work hard you can get to where you want to go. And SMU provided that opportunity for me.”

It’s a big moment for high school athletes to finally have a plan for their future in place. Most high school athletes don’t get the opportunity to play in college, but for Milton there was never a question in his mind.

“I knew I was going to play college ball- even from an early age,” he said. “There never really was another option for me. It was just something I always knew I was going to do and I knew I wouldn’t be denied that.”

Now, Milton can focus on preparing for his senior season and developing skills for the next level. He wants to be as ready as he can be, to play for Larry Brown.

“Playing for coach Brown and getting to learn from him and everything he has to say is going to be huge. He said. “ I feel like he can really teach me a lot.”

Milton wasn’t the only player to sign with SMU this week- Sedrick Barefield and Jarrey Foster join him in SMU’s 2015 recruiting class.

The potential in his future teammates has Milton excited.

“I think the people SMU signed are going to be good no matter what because I think we can come in and be unselfish” he said.

Milton is also looking forward to seeing how he will fit with this team next season.

“I can be someone that can make plays for other people and for me he said. “I’m someone who is long on the defensive end- so I can get into passing lanes and stuff like that. And really however Coach Brown and the coaching staff want to use me. However I can best benefit the team is how I want to play.”

Now that Milton is officially a Mustang, he plans on coming to the Hilltop several times; he just hasn’t set any specific dates yet.

However, he did say he plans on coming out to multiple games this season.

SMU watching Reyes closely

By: Scott Sanford

The Mustangs, after signing two guards and a wing player this week, have shifted their attention to the remaining big men in the 2015 class.

Just last week SMU offered 6-foot-9 Sound Doctrine Christian Academy (Ga.) power forward Shawntrez Davis, but the Mustangs were not only there for Davis.

After practice, Coach Larry Brown and his staff talked with Davis along with one of his teammates, 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward John Carlos Reyes.

The Mustangs have not offered Reyes just yet, but Coach Brown sees a lot of potential in both of the forwards.

“He just talked about how Shawntrez and I are great players that both have a chance to make it to the NBA,” Reyes said. “He sees a lot of potential in both of us.”

The Mustangs haven’t had a lot of contact with Reyes, but the high school senior knows being recruited by Brown isn’t something to take lightly.

“Seeing him watch us play during practice was amazing,” Reyes said. “I know he has great experience with basketball so I know if I go there (SMU) I’d have a great chance to become a great player and improve my game.”

SMU is just jumping into the mix for Reyes, but the big man has mutual interest in the program.

“I’ve heard lots of great things about it (SMU), but I’ve never really looked into it,” Reyes said. “SMU is a place I could see myself playing at though.”

Coach Brown has always said he’s looking for players that “play the right way,” and Reyes fits that mold.

Reyes is an athletic big man who loves to run the floor, block shots, and score when he is needed.

The Georgia native has received offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Texas A&M and Clemson among others, and the defending National Champion UConn Huskies will visit with Reyes next week.

Reyes just started looking into his college options, which is why he has no favorites at the moment.

After taking his SAT and ACT, Reyes will begin to lock down his official visits, and the Mustangs have a “good shot” at making that list.

Hollis ready to take in Moody

By: Billy Embody

2016 Mansfield Summit (Tex.) small forward Curtis Hollis is just starting to hear from SMU, but he’ll be there when the team opens their season tonight in Moody Coliseum.

“I know Lamar, the team they’re playing, has offered me and I’m real cool with a couple players on the SMU team so that’s how that worked,” Hollis said. “I’m probably going to tour the campus with my AAU coach so that’s how that’s going to go.”

SMU hasn’t offered yet, but Hollis has offers from Lamar, North Texas, Cal State Fullerton, FIU and UT-Arlington.

Hollis is starting to hear from SMU assistant Ulric Maligi and hasn’t talked to coach Brown, but nothing major is happening yet.

”Not as much, but I’ve talked to coach Ulric a couple times, but haven’t talked to him a lot,” Hollis said. “I’ve been up there a couple times. I’m probably going to bring somebody with me.”

The junior is looking forward to getting to SMU’s campus and checking out the program up close.

”I think it’s a real nice campus. I’ve seen what Larry Brown is doing and it’s great,” Hollis said. “It’s a great atmosphere out there. Personally, I know Emmanuel (Mudiay) so he told me a lot about it.”

Mudiay hasn’t talked about SMU too much to Hollis, but he’s looking for that same bond that Mudiay found at SMU.

”I’m looking for a team that will let me play my game,” Hollis said. “I’m looking to play right off the bat as a freshman and just a great overall atmosphere and family bond.”

As always, Larry Brown being at SMU is a huge draw for Hollis, who’s friends with a few of SMU’s players as well..

”I think he’s a great coach. He’s done a lot in his past and he’s done a lot now,” Hollis said. “Just talking to Cannen, Ryan and Ben, they love him and think he’s a great guy.”

Houston, Tulsa, Nebraska, Weber State, Pepperdine, Bowling Green, Texas Tech and Texas are also showing interest in Hollis, who is the type of team player Brown likes to go for.

”I’m a player that gets everyone involved. I can score when I need to, I can block shots when I need to, I can defend when I need to,” Hollis said. “I separate myself from everyone because I work hard so I feel like my work ethic gets me a lot of places.”

While Hollis needs to improve on his footwork and outside jump shot, he’s just focused on getting ready for his high school season.

”I’m really excited about it. Going to play some major minutes this year and have a really big role,” the 6-7, 175 pound wing said. “The team I have, we’ve built a really great bond over the last offseason so I can’t wait to get out there with them.”

Hollis will visit with his AAU coach, George Clay, who coaches him at Pro Skills Elite.

Vasher beginning to grab offers

By: Demetrio Teniente

The last time we heard from Rider HS (Witchita Falls, Tex) 2016 combo guard T.J. Vasher, was back in July after SMU offered the two-sport star.

Since then, Vasher has also picked up an offer from Tulsa, and says that there are a handful of other programs taking a look at him.

SMU has kept in touch, and SMU assistant Ulric Maligi talks with Vasher regularly. Vasher say’s Maligi’s ties to the Dallas Mustangs have helped them build a good relationship.

“I just feel like we can talk,” he said. “[Our conversations] are more chill. We talk about different things, but he just kind of keeps up to date with me.”

SMU has a leg up on any other programs that are interested in Vasher; they offered him early, minutes after the quiet period ended, and of course they have a Hall of Fame coach in Larry Brown.

“Playing for a coach like Brown can only push my game further than what it is now,” he said. “Having a legendary coach, who can help you with the little things can really improve your overall game, is a big deal.”

Vasher admits that having Brown at the helm is a big draw, but not big enough to lure him away from a potentially better offer.

“[Brown being there] affects the decision a little bit,” he says.“You know, you can learn a lot from a coach that’s done it all and knows everything. But at the same time I feel like any good coach at a good school, with a good program is going know how to run his team and will have something to offer.”

When Vasher makes his decision, he says he takes academics into account just as much as he does the athletic program.

“From what I’ve heard- I haven’t gotten to go visit or anything- but from what I’ve heard SMU sounds like a good place to be,” he said.

While Vasher has yet to receive any offers to play football somewhere, he hasn’t decided which sport he wants to play exclusively in college.

“I’m still kinda up in the air on that,” he said. “I think I got to just play it out and see what happens. It will depend on the different offers that I might have, what sports they are in, and of course talking to my dad and seeing what he thinks about them. I’ve always loved football and basketball, but football has always been my first love. It’s what my dad and my uncles always talked about so it’s kind of what I grew up with. “

In the meantime, he will continue playing both sports for Rider HS- something, he says, that can be tough to juggle.

“It’s kind of hard, because you always got your football coaches wanting you to go outside and work on routes and at the same time you got basketball coming up around the corner,” he said. “So I got to try and work both. On the weekends I try to get some shots up and work on that, but during the week it’s all football. I do a little bit of both, but I try to give all my attention to whichever one is in season though.”

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