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August 9, 2012In this three-part series, PonyPride will be breaking down by position the prospects that SMU is recruiting and targeting. In its second week, we focus on the shooting guards and forwards...
Heading into the 2013 early signing period, SMU has two known scholarships available. This past cycle (2012), SMU signed two guards in Brian Bernardi and Uche Ofoegbu.
Bernardi plays like a coaches kid, with incredible range and very underrated passing ability with improving handle. He's a tireless worker and extremely driven.
Uche, brother of ex-SMU baller, Ike Ofoegbu, is a long athletic wing, that can play both SG & SF in Larry Brown's system. Potentially a very good defender at the collegiate level, should he buy in to it, and a versatile addition.
Couple these additions with returning backcourt running mates, London Giles and Ryan Manuel, as well as incoming transfer Nick Russell (Kansas State) and the Mustangs have some guard depth in the '12-'13 season. However the only true PG on the roster, Nic Moore, will sit the year due to the transfer rule, and comes eligible in the '13-'14 season.
In terms of small forwards, SMU has only one true wing on the roster, Jalen Jones. Jones showed tremendous upside in his first year on the Hilltop, and in Brown's system, should be very effective moving forward. Jones is a tenacious rebounder, specifically offensively, and given the green light, idles in attack mode. Should he gain strength, improve his face-up game, and learn to attack efficiently off the bounce, Jones is a difference-maker.
SMU's new system values length, and as Brown stated in his press conference, he 'wants to pick other teams up at the airport.' Effectively, that means increased full court pressure and ball pressure. Kids like Manuel, Ofoegbu, Jones , Russell help in that regard, as they bring length & athleticism to SMU guard and wing positions. No true PG, but several interchangeable pieces.
In the second part of this 3 part series, we're going to look at the SG & SF options for '13 specifically. If the right combo or SG wanted in, I'd think SMU would bite, but SF really seems a focus in '13. Several great national prospects that SMU stands to be in the running for until the end.