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.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Some conference matchups play out before football

Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, left, reacts after scoring a basket against Utah during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Oregon defeated Utah 77-59. (AP Photo/George Frey)
(AP Photo/George Frey)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Utah at No. 16 Oregon, 4:00 p.m.

From Rob Dauster’s Weekend Preview:

Utah suffered one of the worst losses I’ve seen in a while on Thursday night, when Brandon Taylor, for some unknown reason, decided to foul an Oregon State player firing up a half court prayer at the buzzer. The Utes, who are arguably the second-best team in the Pac-12, will look to bounce-back on Sunday against the best team in the Pac-12, No. 16 Oregon at 4:00 p.m.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1. No. 12 SMU will attempt to stay atop the American standings as they travel to South Florida. While the Mustangs won the first matchup between these two teams at home by 14, they’ve dropped their last two games on the road.

2. A few more American contests are going down as East Carolina travels to UConn and Houston heads to Tulsa. The game between the Cougars and Golden Hurricane is especially interesting because both teams are sitting two games back of SMU and trying to make a move on the postseason.

3. No. 5 Iowa continues the soft part of the schedule as they face Illinois on the road. The Hawkeyes posted recent easy victories over Northwestern and Penn State and will be heavily favored again on Sunday.

4. Could be an intriguing game as No. 17 Miami travels to Georgia Tech. Although the Yellow Jackets aren’t a major contender in the ACC, they’ve been tough this season, especially at home. The Hurricanes fell victim to Georgia Tech last season while they were ranked by Marcus Georges-Hunt has to get back on track after a recent slump for that to happen.

5. There is an Atlantic 10 game that will be featured on NBCSN on Sunday: Saint Louis at St. Bonaventure (2:00 p.m.).

CLICK HERE to watch these games on NBC Sports Live Extra Sunday afternoon.

Illinois State ends No. 21 Wichita State’s 12-game win streak

Fred VanVleet
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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Having won 12 straight games, No. 21 Wichita State entered the weekend one of the hottest teams in the country. And with a four-game lead atop the Missouri Valley standings, clinching the regular season title was more a matter of “when” as opposed to “if.” But none of that mattered Saturday night at Illinois State, as the Redbirds managed to hand the Shockers their first conference loss by the final score of 58-53.

In addition to the 12-game win streak, which was second to Stony Brook (15 straight wins), Wichita State also saw its 19-game win streak in Valley regular season games come to an end. Illinois State was the last Valley team to beat Wichita State, eliminating the Shockers in the Arch Madness semifinals last March, and they played with the confidence of a team that believed it could win.

And after a rough first half the Redbirds found a way to come back, erasing a 16-point second half deficit in the process.

Wichita State’s issue in the second half was the fact that they couldn’t make shots. The Shockers shot just 26.7 percent from the field and 1-for-14 from three in the second half, with Fred VanVleet going scoreless and Shaq Morris scoring just one point. And just two players, Ron Baker and Conner Frankamp, managed to make multiple field goals in the game’s final 20 minutes. Illinois State certainly deserves credit for that, as they took away the quality looks Wichita State was able to find in building its lead.

And on the other end of the floor Paris Lee took control of the game during Illinois State’s comeback, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the second half with Deontae Hawkins adding 11 second-half points. Illinois State was even worse from the field, finishing the game shooting just over 27 percent from the field. But they were able to attack the Wichita State defense and get to the foul line, outscoring the Shockers 22-9 from the charity stripe. And in a game in which neither team could get much going offensively, the ability to get points from the line proved to be the difference.

This defeat doesn’t help Wichita State, but did anything really change? Maybe the margin for error when it comes to an at-large bid gets a little smaller with the loss in the eyes of some. But when considering injuries to the likes of VanVleet and Anton Grady in non-conference play, those early season losses are understandable. Saturday was a rough night for Wichita State, but given the maturity and talent on at Gregg Marshall’s disposal the Shockers will be fine moving forward.