Larry Brown entered the summer with expectations that his SMU Mustangs were going to be a lock to make the NCCA tournament and contend for a title. But after elite point guard commit Emmanuel Mudiay decided to play in China next season, it seems that the head coach’s hopes could be dashed before the year of basketball even tips off. Brown would not be out of line to be a little peeved at the young floor general.
Maybe I am wrong though. Maybe the legendary leader will find a way to get his team back to the promised land even without Mudiay, but I don’t think so. The point guard would have given Brown an athletic leader on the floor, and the Mustangs will have to play a far different style with how their roster currently stands.
A March Madness bid seems like an unreasonable goal for the Mustangs now, and they will honestly be lucky to find a spot in the NIT tournament. It seemed like Mudiay’s commitment was a sign of good things to come, but it could prove to be a harbinger of doom.
The former Prime Prep (TX) guard faced whispers recently that the decision to pull out of his commitment to SMU had to do with academic issues, but I am reading mixed views on that point. Mudiay accepted an offer last month to play with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the China Basketball Association on a one-year deal that will pay him a total of $1.2 million, and I think that the money swayed his decision to bounce more than any academic issues.
Go get your money Mudiay, and then we will all see you in the NBA sooner rather than later.