SMU basketball visit primer: Ethan Chargois

Tulsa (Okla.) Union center Ethan Chargois travels to Dallas for his official visit this weekend.

SMU will host one of its top big men targets when Ethan Chargois comes to Dallas for an official visit starting Thursday.

Chargois has a top four Colorado, Kansas State, Houston and SMU. The three-star center took an official to Houston on Labor Day weekend and has visits scheduled to Kansas State for Oct. 7 and Colorado for Oct. 14.

The 6-foot-8, 235-pound Chargois will fly to Dallas Thursday morning to start the visit. It’s going to be his first time on SMU’s campus. He will attend SMU’s Friday night football game vs. TCU and return home Saturday morning. SMU sophomore guard and fellow Oklahoma native Shake Milton will be his host. 

“I’m excited to check it out,” Chargois told PonyStampede. “Out of my four finalists, it’s the only one I haven’t been to yet. I’ve heard great things.”

Factors helping SMU

All of Chargois’ finalists started to increase their interest in the late spring and summer, so none of them have been building relationships with him for way longer than the rest. That means SMU isn’t trying to make up ground, but also that SMU doesn’t have that long-standing relationship advantage like it did with point guard commit Elijah Landrum.

Chargois and Landrum are friends and have talked about playing together. Ever since Landrum committed to SMU earlier this month, he’s been recruiting Chargois to join him, and Chargois is open to the idea.

Like Landrum, Chargois’ primary recruiter has been associate head coach K.T. Turner, a fellow Oklahoman. The two have built a strong relationship since SMU offered Chargois in July. Turner came to see him at school Tuesday and head coach Tim Jankovich stopped by last week. Even though no school has a long-standing relationship edge, SMU has put the work in on him. He knows SMU needs for big men in the 2017 class and the chance to play significant minutes right away is there if he is ready for it.

Factors hurting SMU

Kansas State and Houston pose the greatest threat. Chagrois went into his Houston visit not knowing anything about the school, but he left impressed. He took in the Cougars season-opening football game vs. Oklahoma and visited the same weekend as top-50 wing Jase Febres and forward Fabian White. The latter committed there shortly after the visit. He liked the vision the Houston staff sold. 

“They’re playing for the future. They have a new (renovated) arena coming and state-of-the-art facility they just built,” Chargois said. “But they’re playing good now too. No knock on that.”

Kansas State feels confident and Chargois has visited there unofficially before. Head coach Bruce Weber came to watch him work out on Tuesday. He’s called it a “dream school” before and even though the Wildcats just offered in July, there’s a lot of familiarity with it. They are not far removed from success and offer the chance to play in the Big 12. SMU did well to get Chargois to visit before he went to Kansas State. If he plans to hold off on a decision after he comes back from his SMU visit, Kansas State’s chances will go up.

Chance of commitment

(On a scale of 1-10): Six. SMU has let Chargois know he’s a priority. He likes that SMU is already having sustained success and he can potentially play very early on a team that still projects to be strong when he would arrive.

Chargois hasn’t named a leader and keeps that close to vest, but if SMU impresses him, he won’t wait around. He's not adamant about taking his final two officials if he doesn't think he needs to. SMU has a great opportunity to earn his commitment with a strong visit.

“If I like it, I might pull the trigger,” he said.

Commitment impact

A verbal from Chargois would give SMU a big man it badly needs in this class. He emerged as a legitimate college player in 2015, but more high-major attention started to come his way this spring and summer, when all of his finalists offered. 

With SMU, he likes the free-moving offense and he fits it well as a big man with a dependable outside shot but who’s also big enough to be a presence in the post. He’s experienced in the pick-and-pop and can score with his back to the basket. As a college freshman, his biggest priority will be transforming his body and getting into top shape. He has noticed SMU’s track record with forwards who have needed to focus on conditioning, like Markus Kennedy.

“I’ve had to a lot of work on getting my body right,” Chargois said. “With player development, seeing some of the player’s they’ve had come through and make the changes they did, that’s big.”

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