May 1, 2013

Point guard Mudiay taking his time in recruiting

Having already spent multiple seasons in the spotlight that comes with being an elite talent, Emmanuel Mudiay has heard all of the comparisons.

In today's evolving game, athletic point guards with size are becoming more of a trend in comparison to the old-school floor generals. Flash is valued over execution, and highlights are put at a premium.

Fortunately for Mudiay, he can do both.

The no. 2 ranked prospect in the 2014 Rivals150 is often compared to some of the NBA's best and brightest young guards. Whether it's John Wall, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook, Mudiay has heard them all. Among Kentucky fans and writers, the most popular comparison is that of John Wall.

Both are superb athletes with size and speed that can play the role of setup man, but are often just as effective in attacking the rim as scorers.

"That's just people's opinion," Mudiay told Cats Illustrated over the weekend at the Nike EYBL Boo Williams session in Hampton (Va.). "I play how I play. If they compare me to a guy like John Wall then that's cool."

Actually, Mudiay says that he models his game after his older brothers; and while neither of them are nearly as heralded basketball prospects as their younger brother, both have the attitude that the youngest Mudiay looks for in a player.

"I feel like my vision has gotten better," Mudiay said in describing recent improvements to his game. "I'm known as a scoring point guard but I can play however the defense plays me."

With that five-star ranking, the 6-foot-4 junior from Dallas (Tx.) Prime Prep understands that college coaches are going to chase him around the AAU circuit with his Texas Pro team in the Nike EYBL. For some top prospects who haven't made a college decision yet, that would amount to an immeasurable amount of pressure. But Mudiay simply takes all of that in stride.

A very religious young man who often brings up faith in interviews, Mudiay looks to a higher power to help him with the recruiting process.

"There's no pressure, I just go out and play," the five-star said. "God put me in this position and as long as I've got God I can handle anything."

"My family and I are going to pray about and when the timing is right it will present itself."

With his elite play on both the high school scene and the travel circuit, Mudiay has amassed offers from just about every elite program in the country, giving him the freedom to basically choose wherever he wants to play.

As the process slowly starts to unravel itself and wind down a little bit, Mudiay is becoming more and more short-winded in interviews.

While he officially lists ten schools as finalists on his list, the Dallas resident did admit that Arizona, Kentucky, Baylor, North Carolina State and SMU are the schools that he is most interested in taking official visits to.

In the last few weeks Mudiay has received in-home visits from Oklahoma State, Kentucky and Baylor, all three of which he had only good things to say about.

Most prospects are extremely impressed to receive a visit from Kentucky head coach John Calipari, but to Mudiay he's just another coach.

"He (Calipari) just came to the house on Wednesday," said Mudiay. "We had a nice in-home visit, he's a great person. But every coach is different and I love all the coaches that are recruiting me."

Having no plans on cutting his list down, dates for taking visits or any real feeling for where he wants to go or what he really values in a school, Mudiay is looking like he could become the next Andrew Wiggins. Will Mudiay's recruitment drag out as long as Wiggins has in 2013?

That remains to be seen, however, with his elite physical tools and offensive talents as a bigger point guard, you can bet that the Mudiay recruitment will receive almost the same media attention that Wiggins did.

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