Emmanuel Mudiay is a dynamic 6-foot-5 point guard who could have been the best player in college basketball next year. If you watch that video above, at times, he’ll remind you of Russell Westbrook. Mudiay was supposedly a major coup for SMU coach Larry Brown, who magically pried the 18-year old away from Kentucky and others. SMU could have been a Top 10 team this season! In a 2015 NBA mock draft, I had Mudiay going 1st overall.
And now, he’s gone. Depending on whom you believe, a) the NCAA was sniffing around Mudiay’s recruitment, and he didn’t want to risk sitting out a year, so we went overseas or b) he wanted to financially help his mother, so he’s going to play overseas.
It doesn’t really matter, does it?
Bottom line: College basketball fans lose. And for what? Because he may have been illegally recruited to SMU? What a shame. Mudiay is a terrific story, the type that should be celebrated in the sport – born in Zaire, he escaped the war-torn Congo with his family, settling in Dallas. Born into nothing, he’s now on track to become a millionaire in the NBA, and help others.
But because there may have been some inconsistencies in his recruitment – nothing has come out yet, just rumors; last year, two players from Mudiay’s high school were investigated, but both eventually cleared – he’ll have to ply his trade thousands of miles away for a year before he gets drafted.
The system is broken – has been, for awhile – and college basketball fans lose again.
Related: 2014-2015 College Basketball Top 25, Post-NBA Defections
Related: ESPN Tinkering with the Idea of Changes to College Basketball Gameday
Related: 2015 NBA Mock Draft: Emmanuel Mudiay 1st, Jahil Okafor 2nd