While Larry Brown celebrated moments after Emmanuel Mudiay gave his SMU Mustangs a verbal commitment Saturday night on national television, Tom Izzo likely went into full-fledged panic mode.
He wasn’t alone, either.
Brown and the Mustangs -- with the help of assistant coach Ulric Maligi and Prime Prep’s Ray Forsett (the coach of the Dallas-area school that Mudiay calls home) -- jolted the college basketball world when Mudiay chose SMU over Kentucky, Kansas, Baylor and Oklahoma State. Sure, there were signs that the Mustangs weren’t just thrown on the list as a favor (as was the case for the Harrison twins, Andrew and Aaron, a year ago), but few gave them much of a chance until 24 hours prior to the announcement.
Certainly this gives Brown and the Mustangs instant credibility, especially within the borders of Texas. We all know Brown can coach, but let’s not forget that he can recruit as well. He was also the same guy who, to help lure Danny Manning to Kansas, hired Manning's father Ed, so it’s no surprise he and Maligi came up with the genius plan to give Mudiay’s brother, Jean Micheal Mudiay -- a fringe Division I player in the junior college ranks -- a scholarship in order to secure one of the nation’s top players.