SMU basketball visit primer: Elijah Landrum

SMU has a chance to fill its guard spot this weekend when Tulsa (Okla.) Central PG Elijah Landrum officially visits.

SMU head coach Tim Jankovich will host his first official visit as head coach this weekend when Elijah Landrum comes to Dallas. Landrum has a top 5 of FIU, SMU, Stephen F. Austin, Tulsa and VCU. The SMU visit was the first he set up and the first of his official visit destinations. He also has visits scheduled to VCU for Sept. 16 and SFA for Sept. 19.

Landrum and his high school coach, Eli Brown, will arrive at SMU on Thursday and stay until Saturday. His guardian will arrive Friday. The 5-foot-11 point guard visited SMU once before on an unofficial last September.

Factors helping SMU

SMU has done a lot of work in the right places on Landrum. His high school coach likes the staff and K.T. Turner has built a great relationship with Landrum in the past year. There’s trust between both parties.

Since Tim Jankovich replaced Larry Brown as head coach in July, SMU has ramped up its pursuit of Landrum. The change coincided with a strong July evaluation period for Landrum. Jankovich’s freer-flowing offense appeals to him, but he wants to get more familiar with it.

“He’s in a good place with program,” Eli Brown told PonyStampede. "He just wants to get to know more about coach Jank and his system, because it’s different than coach Brown’s system. It’s a get-out-and-go system, which is right up his alley.”

Like most high school players, Landrum wants to play professionally after college. A big city like Dallas that can offer better exposure to professional scouts and better name recognition. SMU has quickly proven it can develope players and putting them in professional leagues.

“His best basketball is ahead of him and he wants to play for money one day. He wants to be in a setting where he thinks that can happen,” Brown said. “It’s something that he’s going to take into consideration if there’s a program that has a leg up in terms of helping players make it – not necessarily NBA, but for money.”

Factors hurting SMU

A chance to stay close to home. SMU isn’t too far from Landrum’s hometown, but it’s not in his backyard like Frank Haith’s Tulsa program is. Even though multiple sources have told PonyStampede Tulsa is a little miffed that Landrum didn’t commit earlier, the Golden Hurricane remain a threat to land him. He has been to visit plenty of times and knows everything he feels he needs to know about it. He feels draw of putting on for his hometown and wanting to stay close.

“With Tulsa in his backyard, he can be the man, can rep the city,” Brown said. “That’s very intriguing.”

Chance of commitment

(On a scale of 1-10): Seven. Two sources couldn’t put a specific number on it, but SMU has done work in all the right places. SMU has confidence in its ability to get a commitment this weekend and the staff will make every effort to get Landrum to end his recruitment.

This has been an SMU and Tulsa battle for a while. If SMU can show him an environment he will be comfortable in and not feel too far from home, that’s going to help its chances of locking down Landrum’s commitment before he leaves town.

Commitment impact

Landrum would not a super attention-grabbing commitment, but he’s good enough to play in the AAC and has a ceiling as an offensive player that he has yet to reach. He’s already proven himself as a tough defender and adept passer, but his offensive skill has improved. He has become a better shooter and showed it in July. Even though he’s not a big guard, he’s tough and can get to the basket.

A commitment from Landrum would get SMU on the board in 2017 and give the Mustangs some momentum. One player who would definitely take notice is Tulsa (Okla.) Union power forward Ethan Chargois, a close friend of Landrum’s who will visit SMU on Sept. 22. 

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