Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
By CHIP MILLER & ADAM ZAGORIAFRISCO, Texas — Emmanuel Mudiay, the No. 2 prospect in the Class of 2014, is currently working with a list of 10 schools but plans on cutting it down to five sometime in the future, but he may not sign until the spring of 2014.
The 6-foot-4 point guard has no timeline for trimming his list but has said he would like to visit Arizona, Baylor, Kentucky, N.C. State and SMU.
His list of 10 also includes Kansas, Louisville, Oklahoma State, St. John’s and Texas.
“I like all of them so far,” Mudiay told SNY.tv this past weekend at the Nike EYBL stop here. “It’s definitely going to change towards the end of the summer. I’m going to cut that down to five or so.”
For now, he is eyeing a late decision next spring.
“Yeah,” he said, “I won’t be making my decision anytime soon.”
Asked who was contacting him the most right now, Mudiay pointed to five schools.
“I’d probably have to say Kentucky, N.C. State, Arizona and Baylor,” he said. “Those four, they are really hot right now. And SMU, SMU.”
Mudiay’s most recent in-home meeting with Kentucky coach John Calipari.
“Everybody loved it, but you know, you’re going to love every coach that comes in the house,” Mudiay said. “They’re going to say, that’s their job to try and get you to come to their school, so they’re going to do what they can to say, ‘We need you,’ stuff like that. Like I said, he’s a great person. I liked his vibe. He’s good with point guards, too.”
Calipari’s history with getting point guards into the NBA Draft lottery is well documented and he also has a history with big guards like Mudiay.
“Calipari, he’s tough on his guards and that’s one thing,” Mudiay said. “I look towards having a coach that’s real tough, that can challenge me. That’s what I like to play on and when somebody challenges me, that’s what I like. That’s one thing he has in him, he challenges a lot of gurads. He’s got the one-and-done thing, so that’s important to me.
“He said it himself, it’s not like he’s coaching a team anymore, he’s helping families. That’s what he said. He’s a great person, though, him and his coaching staff.”
Of course, Calipari is also recruiting 2014 point guard Tyus Jones, who is down to seven schools.
But Mudiay said he and Jones can’t coexist on the same team.
“I highly doubt we would play together,” Mudiay said. “I’m a point guard. That’s what I see myself as. I’m not a combo guard. I want to play point guard and I’m sure he wants to play point guard, so I don’t see myself and him being on the same team.”
Among his other top targets, Mudiay also strong feelings about Baylor, which is relatively close to his home in Dallas.
“You know, they’re a Christian school, that’s one thing,” Mudiay said. “It’s about an hour and a half from my house. That’s important, too. They’re good people. Coach [Scott] Drew. I love his demeanor. I like the way he coaches. Coach [Jerome] Tang, they’re all good people. He’s like my brother, Isaiah Austin. He was going to enter [the Draft] but you know he had surgery, so he came back for his second year and he said he loves it out there.”
Mudiay is also a huge fan of SMU coach Larry Brown, the only man to win NBA and NCAA titles.
“I love that man,” he said. “That’s like the father of basketball, really. He teaches me, even though I ‘m not committed there. He still talks to me like I went to that school. He teaches me a lot. He’s like a father figure towards a lot of people. So that’s one thing that’s really big. He’s somebody that I can talk to [about stuff] other than basketball as a coach so far. That’s something big, too.”
Mudiay is also developing a relationship with Arizona’s Sean Miller.
“Yeah, I took my visit during school when we played in Arizona,” Mudiay said. “It was an unofficial visit. Great campus, great people. Loved the atmosphere over there, so it’s definitely cool.”
Reigning NCAA champion Louisville is also recruiting Mudiay, although he hasn’t yet established a strong bond with Coach Rick Pitino.
“I really haven’t talked to Coach Pitino himself like that, but I’ve talked to the assistant,” he said. “Good people. I mean, they won the championship so that’s something big. I definitely want to win a championship wherever I go my first year. That would mean a lot to me.”
Mudiay’s Texas Pro team went 0-4 here and he wants to get back on the winning track in an attempt to qualify for the Peach Jam.
“Being a winner, man,” he said. “With school, we win, but AAU here is a whole different team than school ball.
“We’re not as big, not as talented, but the one thing I appreciate about these guys is they always want to play hard. I’m just going to keep working to be a better leader at all times.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.