The Pony Stampede Hilltop Review 7/15

Come inside another Pony Stampede Hilltop Review with the latest SMU recruiting news.

2017 guard says SMU coaching change doesn't change much

By: Andrew Hattersley

News of Hall of Fame Larry Brown’s swept over the basketball world last Friday catching many off guard, including 2017 Richland Hills (Tex.) point guard C.J. Roberts, however he had a feeling this would be coming eventually. 

“I mean I wasn’t too surprised just because he is a Hall of Fame coach. He did pretty much everything he was supposed to do, he won a NBA title and a National Championship with a college team so it wasn’t anything new,” Roberts said, “I knew it was coming I just didn’t think it was going to be this early.”

Robert’s main recruiter has been SMU assistant KT Turner and that leaves him still feeling very good considering his relationship with the rest of the staff. 

“Not really because I had a great relationship with the whole coaching staff, coach KT, coach Jank, everyone else on the staff,” Roberts said. 

The 6-2, 178-pound point guard doesn’t expect much to change with coach Jankovich in charge and he sees that as a huge positive for SMU. 

“He’s pretty much going to take on the same role coach Brown had, pretty much going to do the same things not going to change too much, he’s going to act towards everyone like he usually does that’s the type of coach he is going to be,” Roberts said, “He’s not going to go around talking bad to people he’s just going to do the things he’s supposed to do I think that’s the really good thing in all of this.” 

Roberts and Turner were set to sit down and chat just a few days after the news and there were a couple things Roberts was curious to find out.

“All the players they are going to bring in, the sets and how they play and if the play style is going to be the same and if it’s going to be a good fit for me,” Roberts said. 

Roberts has been hearing from South Carolina, UNLV, USC, LA Tech, as well as others while he does still talk to TCU every once in a while. 

He still plans to make a decision later in the year, closer to basketball season, but also plans to address his list at the end of July. 

For right now however the focus for Roberts is on continuing to improve on the things people doubted about him. 

“It’s been going good, I’ve been working a lot on the things that people said I couldn’t do and I just got to continue to do It,” Roberts said, “Pretty much leading my team, leading my team on the court, just trying to put them in the right spot so I can get them opportunities.” 

JUCO quarterback getting SMU interest

By: Patrick Engel

SMU is in the market for another quarterback in the 2017 class, even with Charlie Brewer already in the fold. To look at spacing the two passers out, SMU is recruiting a couple of junior college transfers. One of them is Independence C.C. (Kan.) quarterback Jonathan Banks, who spent the 2015 season at Kansas State.

“They seem like their very interested and they want me to come up there and take a look at the school and stuff,” Banks said of SMU. “They’re really interested. They send a bunch of mail and I keep in contact with coach (Chad) Morris and coach (Joe) Craddock.”

Banks and SMU have been in contact since late spring. Banks said he wants to get to SMU for a visit later in July or before fall camp starts. A dual-threat quarterback, he likes the potential fit in SMU’s offense.

“I feel like I can do a lot with my arm and my legs,” Banks said. “And they have Matt Davis, who I remember watching when I was at Chester Nimitz High School and he was at Klein Forest. I feel like I could come in and do some great things for their program.”

Banks doesn’t yet have a formal offer from SMU, but as soon as he gets on campus and gets to meet the coaches in person, he anticipates that changing.

“They just want to see me and meet me and stuff like that, see my character,” Banks said.

Banks is hearing form Utah, Kentucky, Illinois, Texas A&M, Louisiana-Lafayette and Toledo, but none have formally offered him yet. Kansas offered him, but he could not go there because his release from Kansas State prohibited him from going to another Big 12 school.

After graduating from Nimitz in Houston in 2013, Banks went to XX for the 2014 season. He then signed with Kansas State in the spring of 2015, redshirted the 2015 season and then transferred to Independence. He will graduate from Independence in December and enroll at a school for the spring 2017 semester with two years of eligibility remaining.

Banks said he does not have a leader yet and ideally wouldn’t decide on a school until after his season, giving him a chance to pick up more offers. 

“I’m looking at every school and trying to see what’s the best fit for me and my family,” Banks said.

If Banks likes his visit to SMU, his timeline could move up.

“SMU has done a pretty job,” Banks said. “It’s a chance I’ll verbal, but I don’t want to rush into things. I want to see how it goes and play it out. But I’m from Houston. I love SMU and it’s right down the street to Dallas.”

2018 4-star linebacker updates recruiting
© Greg Powers

By: Demetrio Teniente

A little over a month ago 2018 Ridge Point linebacker, Chad Bailey picked up his first offers from UTSA and SMU.

Since then he has been hard at work getting ready for the 2016 season, having wrapped up 7-on-7 and with two-a-days just around the corner.

“Summer has been going well,” Bailey said. “I’ve been going to morning workouts with my teammates. Also been working with my friend’s trainer—working on my footwork and my first step.”

At the State 7-on-7 tournament in College Station this a weekend ago, Ridge Point didn’t do too well getting eliminated in the consolation bracket. However Bailey doesn’t think the disappointing performance last week will affect the 2016 season.   

“We didn’t do too well,” Bailey said. “But once the pads come on at Ridge Point, we are going to be unstoppable. There are a lot of things you can’t show in 7-on-7 and we have a great front seven and our offensive line is good too. So we got a lot of key players come at you this year.”  

The 6-0, 205 pound, four-star outside linebacker debuted two weeks ago on the initial 2018 Scout 300 and has most recently started talking with Texas A&M and Michigan State.

In talking to schools, Bailey says one of his biggest priorities is whether or not coaches plan to use him inside or outside.

“Most programs are asking me to play middle linebacker,” Bailey said. “But I’m trying to stick with schools that will allow him to play outside.”

Bailey has still yet to make it out to The Hilltop to meet with Mustangs linebacker coach, Archie McDaniel, to see where SMU envisions him, but he has maintained a strong connection with SMU defensive coordinator Van Malone.

“I talk to coach Malone just about every other week,” Bailey said. “The other day I was asking him about the defense SMU runs. That means a lot to me and I like how Coach Malone likes to build relationships with the players that he is recruiting. I really like him and I plan on visiting SMU soon.”

Bailey’s initial plan was to visit SMU next week but he will be attending a camp at the University of Houston and then the Under The Lights Camp at UT July 23. 

2018 athlete waiting for recruiting to pick up

By: Scott Sanford

Since picking up his first and only scholarship offer from SMU, 2018 A&M Consolidated (Tex.) defensive back Kolby Peel has had a relatively slow recruitment.

Just a rising junior, Peel picked up his lone offer during spring ball, which meant a lot to him.

“I was excited, just like anyone else would be., Peel recalled.  “I called them and talked to them after practice one day, and they told me how it was so I was really excited to hear their thoughts.”

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Peel speaks with the Mustangs’ Coach Stepp occasionally, and the two are slowly getting to know each other.

“I have only talked to Coach Stepp, but he is a high-energy guy and I like that a lot about him,” Peel explained. 

Despite his conversations with the wide receivers coach, Peel does not know a lot about SMU.

The one aspect of the school that does stand out to him is what stands out to most: the academics.

With plenty of time before he has to make a decision, Peel hopes to take a trip to the Hilltop for a second visit at some point.

“I’d love to visit at some point again,” the College Station free safety said.  “Just listening to Coach Stepp talk about the young guys, and the facilities; I want to visit, I just haven’t looked into it yet.”

As for the rest of his recruitment, he isn’t worried that things are moving slowly since his first offer.

“I picked up my offer, and I’ve really only gotten letters (from TCU, Baylor and Houston) inviting me to camps,” Peel said.  Nothing too serious, but hopefully time will bring (more offers).”

2019 guard talks SMU offer

By: Andrew Hattersley

With the live period in full swing, one of those to receive an offer earlier this week was Mansfield Summit (Tex.) point guard Grant Sherfield who was thrilled to hear from his hometown team. 

“Just really excited to be getting this type of recognition from a hometown school, it’s just really exciting,” Sherfield said. 

Sherfield holds SMU in high regard after the season they had last year, as well as, their academic reputation as a school. 

“It means a lot to get an offer from SMU, it means a lot they had a very good season last year, it’s a great academic institution just a great overall school,” Sherfield said. 

The 6-2, 180-pound guard has spoken briefly with coach Turner about the school when he was getting his offer and liked what he heard. 

“Coach said it was a great academic institute and he said the team is looking very good this year,” Sherfield said, “I think coach Jankovich does a great job and coaches his team, he’s got a great overall staff and SMU is just a great overall school.” 

Currently he has offers from Baylor, Oklahoma State, University of San Diego, TCU, SMU and Texas A&M. 

Although all of those schools, aside from SMU and University of San Diego, are in major conferences, that will not play a role for him but rather where is the best fit for him. 

“I just want to go to a school that is the best fit for me,” Sherfield said. 

Currently the Mansfield guard has no visits planned and will be waiting until after the live period to set any visits up. 

2019 guard talks Peach Jam, SMU offer

By: Billy Embody

2019 Gill St. Bernard's (N.J.) guard Paul Mulcahy has been picking up offers with his play over this summer for the NJ Playaz on the Nike EYBL and the experience has been something he's loved.

"This summer has been amazing so far, basketball has given me the opportunity to travel to so many new places and in extremely thankful for that," Mulcahy said. "My AAU team just got back from Peach Jam where we lost by 1 in the semifinals but I truly think we are the best team in the country. This summer I think flexibility/mobility and my pull up jump shot has improved the most."

Playing in the Peach Jam was a great experience and while the team fell in the semifinals, the attention was welcomed.

"It was by far one of the cool atmospheres I've ever played in, even being a spectator was really cool because the energy in every gym was buzzing, playing in front of major college coaches & playing against the best kids in the country, nothing beats that," Mulcahy said. "It's an experience I'll never forget and I expect to get back there for the next 2 years."

The almost 6-5, 177-pound guard has offers from Boston College, Rutgers and SMU with Seton Hall, St. John's, Virginia, Columbia and a few other schools showing interest.

The schools showing interest like Mulcahy's size and leadership even as a young player on the court.

"They like how I'm a big guard and how I'm able to make my teammates better while also being a vocal leader, I'm a pass first point guard, but can also shoot. That I'm very versatile and much rather have 10/9/8 points than 25-plus points."

SMU offered recently, but Mulcahy hasn't talked to any coaches. SMU is communicating through his dad and head coach of NJ Playaz. The Mustangs expect to be freer under Tim Jankovich that is already selling that style on players, but he admits he doesn't know much about SMU.

"How they like my style of play, and since there's a new head coach they'll be playing more uptempo and their guard play is usually strong," Mulcahy said. "I know they used to be coached by Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown and that I remember them being ranked in the top 25 a few years ago. I know that they often made the tournament but were suspended last year and that it's in Texas."

Mulcahy hasn't visited many schools as his recruitment is just getting going, but he has some tentative visits.

"As of now not really, I already visited St. John's & I'll probably visit Rutgers sometime after the summer. But for now I just want to finish these live periods out strong and then go from there."

The soon-to-be sophomore hasn't given much thought to the recruiting process.

"As of now not really, I'll only be a sophomore next year so I'm not rushing anything & just enjoying the process. I haven't thought too much into it, I just want to always feel welcomed and at home."

His game this summer has been impressive, but he recognizes he needs to improve.

"Everything needs to improve , but some key things I'm going to work really hard on this summer is my overall athleticism and explosiveness, becoming and more consistent shooter and a score at three levels, and my footwork and guarding smaller guards."

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