Basketball Recruiting Tidbits
By: Billy Embody and Patrick
There’s been mention of the lack of talk of transfer options for SMU so far. That is not indicative of any concern of the current market. SMU would have pursued Marques Bolden had he left Duke, but that’s a moot point now. The truth is that it’s still a waiting game for SMU in the transfer market. There’s no worry that SMU is in a bad spot if May comes and SMU had not landed a transfer or had one on campus. In fact, that’s reasonable to expect. A source told PonyStampede that SMU is content to wait until May to bring a transfer on campus, after the conclusion of the April live periods. That is not a rare or unique move. Most transfers have not picked a destination by the start of May. Of course, an unexpected transfer announcement could change that timeline, but that’s SMU’s mindset. SMU won’t reach to take a transfer (grad or regular) just to take one. Fit is important. Three names we have been told not to watch for SMU: Sean Obi (Duke grad transfer center), Dante Williams (ex-Kansas State center now in junior college) and Jeremy Combs (UNT grad transfer forward).
There's a little momentum for SMU in the race for Garrison Brooks as SMU is close to securing a visit from the four-star big man, but the Auburn, Ala. product hasn't nailed down a date just yet. That being said, SMU is battling some big-time programs for Brooks services. Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Pitt and National Champion North Carolina are expected to be in the mix for him. UNC just saw Justin Jackson declare for the NBA Draft. The Tar Heels lost two other senior big men in Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks. SMU is selling early playing time, including the ability to start right away. That was SMU’s pitch to Brooks in the fall as well, before SMU landed Everett Ray and Ethan Chargois and turned its attention elsewhere. Brooks has two visits left to take and it could be any day that SMU gets Brooks on campus. The late signing period opened on Wednesday and lasts until May 17.
SMU handed out a Tuesday offer to 2017 Las Vegas Trinity Christian forward Kenny Wooten. The four-star big man backed off his Arizona State pledge earlier this week. A Northern California native, Wooten was originally a Nevada signee in 2016, but opted for a postgrad year instead. His original decision came down to Oregon and Arizona State. Since decommitting, he has publically acknowledged Oregon will be a big factor. The Ducks lose forwards Jordan Bell and Chris Boucher from this year’s Final Four team. Wooten has also picked up offers from Seton Hall, St. John’s and UCLA this week. Arkansas, which was in play for him in the fall, has started pursuing him again. SMU needs to get him to visit to have a shot. This will be a tougher pull than Brooks.
The evaluation period is open and Tim Jankovich's first stop is to see five-star small forward Gerald Liddell, Evan Daniels reported. The 6-6 wing is the No. 25 overall player in the country. Landing him will be difficult, but Jankovich stopping in is showing just how big of a priority he is for SMU's staff as they enter the evaluation period. SMU is very familiar with RM5 Elite, being a consistent visitor to their games during last year's Nike EYBL circuit.
SMU is also hosting Duquesne transfer 6-8 forward this weekend for a visit, per Jon Rothstein. The freshman averaged over 11 points per game this season.
The April live periods open next weekend. This is the staff’s chance to see some 2018 guys they offered or monitored earlier and start getting an idea of who they’ll prioritize. The 2018 class size is still expected to be two players maximum. K.T. Turner has one stop on the schedule for him in the eval period already: the last weekend in April for the adidas Gauntlet in Atlanta. Billy will be there as well.