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.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.