Top-5 recruit Emmanuel Mudiay will return to Prime Prep

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Deion Sanders’ Dallas, Texas charter school, Prime Prep Academy, came under scrutiny earlier this month when two of its top basketball prospects from the Class of 2013 — Jordan Mickey and Karviar Shepard — were ruled non-qualifiers by the NCAA.

Despite the recent events, that will not deter 2014 point guard Emmanuel Mudiay — ranked No. 3 overall by Rivals — from finishing his senior year at Prime Prep. During his most recent USA Today player blog, posted Monday, the five-star prospect expressed his loyalty for his school:

Oh and I want everyone to know that everything is good with Prime Prep too. We’ve met about everything and everything is cleared up so everything is fine academically. I guess there’s some source saying things, but we’re fine with the NCAA.

Trust me, my boys Jordan (Mickey) and Karviar (Shepherd) will be fine to play next season. You’ll see.

So, yes, I will definitely be returning to Prime Prep next season and everything’s fine academically there. We’re gonna do everything we can to win the national title next season. And we’ll still have some big time talent coming. Stay tuned.

Mickey, a LSU signee, and Shepard, a TCU commit, were ruled as non-qualifiers on July 11. Both had transferred to Prime Prep, following their coach Ray Forsett  from Grace Prep (Texas). One of the main issues for Mickey and Shepard appears to be a portion of PPA’s curriculum, more specifically, a digital learning system the school uses called VSchoolz.

“It’s on a laptop,” Mudiay told NBC Sports on July 13. “It’s called VSchoolz. It teaches you everything in there, and they’ve got a teacher in there in case you need any assistance.”

Mudiay later told CBT’s Rob Dauster he believes the school is going to change that next year. And according to his player blog for USA Today, he’ll be around to see that change.

The 6-foot-4 point guard is currently down to 10 schools — Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, N.C. State, Oklahoma State, SMU, St. John’s and Texas. He will trim that list in half at the end of July, and is already scheduled to be in Lexington for an official visit during Big Blue Madness.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.