Emmanuel Mudiay's decision to skip playing college basketball at Southern Methodist is paying off already.
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Last week Mudiay, a projected lottery pick in the 2015 NBA draft, announced he'd be pursuing professional opportunities instead of attending SMU. "This is not an academic issue. ...but rather a hardship issue," Mustangs coach Larry Brown said in a statement, labeling Mudiay's situation as "unique."
The explosive 6-5 guard was Brown's most prized recruit at SMU. Mudiay chose SMU over Kentucky and was expected to be a pivotal piece in the national rise of the Mustangs, who bring back a strong nucleus. SMU narrowly missed the NCAA tournament last season and was projected as a top 15 team in USA TODAY Sports' early preseason top 25 rankings.
Mudiay is the most notable player to go overseas instead of playing college basketball since Brandon Jennings, who chose to play professionally in Italy in 2008 instead of playing for the University of Arizona.