Emmanuel Mudiay

Ankle injury puts Emmanuel Mudiay’s stay in China in question

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The plan has been for former SMU commit Emmanuel Mudiay to stay one year in China before declaring for the 2015 NBA Draft. However, an ankle injury could end his stay China sooner than expected.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported early on Friday morning that the former five-star prospect from Prime Prep Academy (Texas) has missed the last four games with an ankle injury, which makes his future unclear with the Guangdong Southern Tigers.

In Mudiay’s absence, the Tigers have signed former NBA point guard Will Bynum to a short-term deal, although, they are apparently in talks for a contract through the remainder of the season. This creates a problem as each in the Chinese Basketball Association are allowed to have only two players from the United States on its roster.

It is possible that Guangdong could release Mudiay and pay him the balance of his contract, or hold onto the teenager and watch how Bynum impacts the team until Mudiay’s ankle allows him to return to the lineup. Eventually, Guangdong could make a decision on which guard to keep – and release the other. Nevertheless, it would be an immense investment to bring Bynum over on a guaranteed $1 million-plus agreement – only to use him for one or two weeks.

Mudiay’s injury is only a short-term hurdle for the team, but Guangdong, a perennial Chinese power, has dropped into fourth place and has been anxious to get his production back on the floor. Guangdong has won three out of four games without Mudiay.

Mudiay has to protect his draft value, and his representatives will be exceedingly careful to make sure he doesn’t risk further injury or poor performance in China. If released, Mudiay could simply return to the United States and train in preparation to begin predraft workouts with NBA teams prior to the June draft.

In 10 games, Mudiay was averaging 17.7 points per game. He had originally committed to the Mustangs — over Kentucky — as the No. 2 overall prospect in the Class of 2014, according to Rivals. However, in the July, after growing concerns regarding his eligibility, he announced he would seek a professional career in lieu of spending one season under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Larry Brown.

He is projected as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, according to DraftExpress.com.

[h/t ProBasketball Talk]

Emmanuel Mudiay posts a triple-double in Chinese pro game [VIDEO]

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Emmanuel Mudiay continued his acclimation into the Chinese Basketball Association with his latest effort as the 6-foot-5 guard registered 22 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds in Guangdong’s 127-116 win over Qingdao.

The triple-double is the first of Mudiay’s professional career and the highlights show that he’s athletically superior at his position in that league while also displaying a lot of skill and advanced playmaking ability. The moving cross-court pass to a corner shooter and floater in the lane aren’t easy moves to pull off in full speed like Mudiay is doing.

Mudiay almost registered a triple-double in the second game of his pro career, as he went for 29 points, nine boards, seven assists and four steals earlier this week. Through three career games, Mudiay is averaging 19 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game. The 3.3 turnovers per game and 61 percent free-throw percentage (8-for-13) will have to improve but 42 percent shooting (17-for-40) and 50 percent three-point shooting (5-for-10) are both promising.

It’s unfortunate that the guard can’t be doing these things in college basketball this season, but hopefully his game continues to develop until the NBA Draft next June. It looks like he is off to a solid start in China.

(H/T: One World Sports)

Emmanuel Mudiay’s second game in China goes much better than his first

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Emmanuel Mudiay played his second official game with the Guangdong Southern Dragons on Wednesday, and it went much better than his first outing.

He finished with 29 points, nine boards, seven assists and four steals while shooting 12-for-17 from the floor and 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. The box score can be found here and is worth the click just to see how things like turnovers, steals and fouls are translated. Mudiay is No. 0 and listed as EK Mudi Ai.

That’s a much better line than the one he posted in a loss to Stephon Marbury’s team on Saturday, when he finished with 18 points on just 5-for-16 shooting.

The highlights are below. Mudiay struggles early, but you can see why he has so much potential at the end of the game, when he finally gets into a rhythm and starts making some impressive plays going towards the rim:

Emmanuel Mudiay scores 18 points in regular season debut (VIDEO)

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Much was made abut point guard Emmanuel Mudiay’s decision to forego a season at SMU in order to play professionally, with many opining that the decision could impact the thought process of other elite high school players in the coming years. Mudiay received a contract reported to pay him in upwards of $1.2 million for the season, not to mention his endorsement deal with Under Armour, and those aspects are undoubtedly enticing for those who are entertaining thoughts of playing professionally instead of in college.

That’s what makes Mudiay’s trek to China something to track, and Saturday he and the Guangdong Southern Tigers played their first regular season game against the defending champion Beijing Ducks.

Among the players Mudiay faced was Stephon Marbury, whose career has taken off since he made the move to China a couple years ago. Marbury and the Ducks proved to be too much for Guangdong, outscoring them 31-16 in the second quarter and winning by the final score of 103-89 (Mudiay is No. 0 on the bottom portion of the linked box score). As for Mudiay individually, he scored 18 points but did so on 5-for-16 shooting from the field to go along with five rebounds and two assists.

Mudiay didn’t get the start but he played just over 30 minutes Satuday. Above are highlights from Mudiay’s regular season debut, and his team’s next game is scheduled for Wednesday.

Former NBA guard says Emmanuel Mudiay ‘handled himself well’ in first game in China

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Emmanuel Mudiay played his first two preseason games with the Guangdong Southern Dragons last week, playing well in the opener but struggling his second time out.

In the first game, Mudiay finished with 20 points, five assists and three turnovers, shooting 7-for-12 from the floor, according to Draft Express. The site also has an interview up with Pooh Jeter, a former NBA point guard that played against Mudiay in China.

“He handled himself pretty well,” Jeter said. “He wasn’t scared. I was happy to see that. It was his first preseason game. He came out there and just played basketball. It’s a big help to have, his mom was there and his brother and cousin, having them in the crowd I bet it made it feel easier.”

The site also has video highlights of Mudiay’s performance.

His second time out wasn’t quite as successful, however, as Mudiay finished with just seven points and fouled out.

Guangdong’s first regular season game is on November 1st.

Top prospect in Class of 2014 signs endorsement deal with Under Armour

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Under Armour

Emmanuel Mudiay has officially signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour, the sports apparel company announced on Tuesday.

The terms of the deal were not immediately available. Under Armour also signed Brandon Jennings, a former No. 1 recruit that decided to head to Italy instead of play one season for Arizona.

Mudiay is one of the elite prospects in the Class of 2014, but the big, athletic point guard signed a contract with the Guangdong Southern Dragons in China instead of enrolling at SMU this season. The reason that the Mudiay family gave for his decision was that the player was “tired of seeing my mom struggle“, although there have been multiple reports that the decision was at least partly influenced by the fact that Mudiay was staring down the barrel of eligibility issues with the NCAA.

The 6-foot-5 Mudiay is going to be an interesting case-study moving forward, as he is just the third elite high schooler to turn pro overseas for his one season in NBA purgatory. The previous two were Jennings, who became a lottery pick and has had a successful NBA career since returning stateside, and Jeremy Tyler, who was drafted but is much more famous for his decision to leave high school as a junior than he is for anything he’s done on the court since then.

Ending up in China only makes Mudiay’s path more interesting. The league pays well and the country loves basketball, but it’s a league that is notoriously fickle about paying salaries and expects massive numbers out of the Americans on their rosters.

The biggest question that will be asked? Can Mudiay be a trailblazer for elite high school prospects, or is the overseas route one that doesn’t have much future for teenagers that just want a seven-figure salary for one season?