SMU head coach Larry Brown paid a visit to 2015 Madison Prep (La.) shooting guard Brandon Sampson to offer him and invite him up for a visit to SMU. Sampson said the meeting with Brown went very well.
“We just sat down and talked about me coming into their system would be a big affect on where they’re trying to go and things like that,” the four-star shooting guard said.
As with most prospects, Brown’s NBA connections stood out to Sampson, who wants to get to the next level soon.
“For one, he’s coached a lot of greats and worked in the NBA for I don’t know how many years so to have that type of knowledge and sit down with someone who has that type of experience, that was really amazing,” the 6-4, 185-pound guard said. “He knows how to get to where I’m trying to go so that was a real blessing to get to sit down and talk with him.”
The No. 1 shooting guard in Louisiana is looking into SMU’s academic side because SMU wasn’t after him earlier in his recruitment.
“Mostly just about the university because they’re someone who didn’t recruit me the first time around so I’m just looking into the university and the type of atmosphere they have,” Scout’s No. 62 overall prospect said.
Even though Sampson was set to head to St. John’s, he says at this point it’s nice to have an option close to home.
“Definitely having a good situation that’s close to home is something I consider when making my decision,” Sampson said. “You don’t always want to go far, but you have to do what’s best for you and I felt St. John’s was what was best for me, but it didn’t work out. With that good situation only being an hour away from home is a good thing.”
SMU assistants KT Turner and Tim Jankovich have also been in contact with Sampson, communicating about where they’re at with him.
“Coach Turner is a real cool coach. I’m just meeting him, but the relationships with both assistants is really cool. They’re not keeping anything they don’t want you know to know. They’re keeping you posted on everything and other than that, they’re just real good guys.”
Sampson has some reasonable expectations for his unofficial visit to SMU on April 18.
“I know it’ll be something that I’m looking for because going to see that Hall of Fame coach that is showing interest in me, he’s not going to show interest in someone that’s not going to benefit him,” Sampson said. “I know I’m looking for him to tell me everything I want to know and show me everything I want to see. I’m going in looking for something that’s going to be positive for both of us.
When asked about what he’s looking for in a school, there are a few things Sampson is looking for.
“Coming in somewhere and starting as a freshman, getting player development and being coached,” Sampson said.
Sampson only has an Oklahoma State visit in the plans as of now. The Cowboys and USC are the two other programs keeping up the most with Sampson, but is also considering LSU, Cal, St. John’s, OU and Tulane.
Sampson backed off his commitment to St. John’s following the departure of head coach Steve Lavin. Lavin was replaced by former St. John’s great Chris Mullin and Sampson has heard from the new staff.
“I’ve heard from them. I’m not completely moving on. I’m still evaluating the new staff and everything,” Sampson said.
Sampson is undecided at this time on when he wants to make a decision.
Whatever school lands Sampson will be getting a prolific scorer, who can run up and down the floor, beating any shotblocker. Sampson must improve on his ballhandling and overall strength to help in the halfcourt, but Sampson is focused on his defensive game. “I am really working on rebounding, rebounding more and on-ball defense. I think I can really improve on that this summer, but those two things — scoring and being a facilitator — are two things I can do.”