emmanuel-mudiay

Emmanuel Mudiay, the nation’s top point guard in 2014, focusing on 10 teams

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HAMPTON, Va. — Emmanuel Mudiay has the kind of problem that only faces the most elite recruits: he can’t remember all of the schools that he’s currently considering.

Asked to list the ten schools he’s currently considering on Saturday at Nike EYBL Hampton, Mudiay said, “Off the top of my head? Not right now.”

But that didn’t stop Rivals’ No. 2 prospect in the Class of 2014 from trying.

“Kentucky, Baylor, Arizona, Oklahoma State. Umm, Louisville, NC State, St. John’s. Uhh, did I say Louisville?” Kansas, Texas and SMU are the other three, and while the fact that they weren’t at the forefront of his mind may be disheartening to some of those schools that are chasing Mudiay, it should give you an idea of just how good recruiters think this kid is capable of being.

Mudiay is the proto-type for a combo-guard. He can get to the rim and finish with either hand, he’s got a solid mid-range game and his long-range shooting is developing but improved. He’s got a good handle and can bring the ball up against pressure, but he’s a scorer more than he is a distributor at this point in his development.

That’s not necessarily a negative, however; Mudiay stands 6-foot-4 and has enough athleticism that he gets thrown alley-oops off of set plays in half court offense.

A player with that size and ability capable of running the point is always going to be intriguing, which is one of the reasons that Kentucky has gotten involved in Mudiay’s recruitment.

“I had a home visit with [Coach Cal] on Wednesday. He’s a great guy. A great coach,” Mudiay said. But perhaps the biggest reason that Mudiay is interested in Kentucky is the way that Cal develops his ball-handlers. Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, Brandon Knight, Marquis Teague.

“He does a good job with his point guards,” Mudiay said, “and that’s a big part that I really look into.”

“He wants to develop his guys and that’s all he cares about.”

Kentucky will have their work cut out for them if they want to pull their second straight point guard out of Texas. Mudiay is close with Isaiah Austin and Marcus Smart, and Baylor and Oklahoma State happen to be the two other schools that he’s had in-home visits with already.

“Baylor that’s down the street, an hour and 15 minutes away from me,” Mudiay said, while referring to Austin as his ‘brother’. “Oklahoma State, they put Marcus Smart in a great spot, so that definitely helps.”

While Mudiay and Smart have similar builds, there is one thing that the younger Texan can learn from last seasons’ best freshman: how to work hard on every possession.

“Taking no plays off,” Mudiay said when asked what his goal was to improve on this spring and summer. “That’s one thing I’m really working on. Bringing the dog out every game. That’s me, because I want to be real competitive out there, be a winner.”

(Image via Rivals)

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Auburn suspends leading scorer Canty indefinitely

Auburn guard Kareem Canty (1) screams in pain after being fouled during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Auburn, Ala. Auburn won 75-70.  (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
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Prior to Auburn’s game at Georgia Saturday evening, head coach Bruce Pearl announced that leading scorer and starting point guard Kareem Canty has been suspended indefinitely.

Canty’s currently averaging 18.3 points per game and his abilities as a scorer and distributor have been key for the Tigers offensively. When Canty returns to the court remains to be seen, with Pearl noting that Canty may be able to return before the end of the season.

“Kareem has had some strong moments for our team this season,” Pearl said. “He has demonstrated that at the highest level of competition, he can win his matchup.

“However, his effort and attitude have been extremely inconsistent, which led to actions and behavior that are unacceptable. He will step away from the team for a while and may return later in the season. He is suspended indefinitely.”

According to the release Cinmeon Bowers will move into the starting lineup for Auburn, which is currently 9-12 overall and 3-6 in SEC play. Auburn’s lost four straight and seven of their last nine games, with their most recent defeat being an 80-68 home loss to LSU. Canty played 29 minutes in that game, finishing with 14 points, four rebounds and five assists.

Without him more minutes may be available to freshman New Williams, who played four minutes against LSU and has played sparingly this season. Bryce Brown, who’s been a rotation player, and Patrick Keim will figure more prominently for Auburn on the perimeter as they look to account for Canty’s absence.

Jamal Murray, Tyler Ulis go crazy, No. 20 Kentucky beats Florida by 19

Kentucky's Jamal Murray (23) shoots near Missouri's Ryan Rosburg during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
(AP Photo/James Crisp)
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Jamal Murray scored a career-high 35 points and became the first Kentucky player to hit eight threes in a game since 2010.

Tyler Ulis had 18 points and 11 assists.

As a result, No. 20 Kentucky bounced back Tuesday’s loss to Tennessee — when the Wildcats blew a 21-point lead — as they blew out a good Florida team, 80-61. The final score doesn’t really do the beat down justice, either. Kentucky was up 24-5 seven minutes into the game. The Gators, who look like they may end up being seeded as high as the No. 6 line on Selection Sunday, never had a chance.

If Kentucky was trying to prove a point, they did. I’m not sure if Murray and Ulis make up the nation’s best back court in college basketball, but on Saturday, they looked like the best back court in the entire world. They were awesome.

So awesome, in fact, that they were responsible for 64 of Kentucky’s 80 points tonight.

And that’s where this win can be a bit concerning.

Look, the issue with Kentucky is that they don’t get near enough production out of their front court, and if the knee injury that kept Alex Poythress out of the lineup on Saturday ends up being at all serious, than UK’s most productive big will be out of commission. On Saturday, Kentucky’s front court — minus Derek Willis, who is more of a wing that’s been slotted at the four — finished with a grand total of 10 points, 15 boards and 12 fouls.

That issue isn’t going away just because Ulis and Murray played an unbelievable game against one of the nation’s top five defenses, according to KenPom.com. You don’t buy a house with termites just because you love the way that it’s furnished.

But what this performance shows you is what Kentucky’s ceiling is, what they are capable of on the night’s when their two stars play like stars.

If they get hot at the right time, they can beat anyone in March. Hell, this could be enough to carry them to the Elite 8, maybe further.

When those two can play that well in a season where there is no dominant team, you can’t really count anything out.

But it also means that Kentucky is capable of losing to anyone on any given night, and all it takes is one cold shooting night for Kentucky’s run in March to come to an early end.