Emmanuel Mudiay’s decision to head overseas instead of to SMU has some people wondering if it will be the start of a trend. It’s highly unlikely that ends up being the case, but one thing is for certain: his departure is a blow to SMU for the upcoming season. The Mustangs looked like they could be on their way to getting over the hump and into the NCAA Tournament in 2014-15. Now, they might still do it, but their ceiling won’t be as high.
Mudiay will be just the third player to opt to go overseas before attempting the NBA since the NBA put its minimum age requirement into effect almost a decade ago. Brandon Jennings and Jeremy Tyler came before him, and while Jennings is a bona fide NBA player, he’s certainly not an all-NBA player and his one year overseas wasn’t exactly an unqualified success. His second NBA contract was far from a maximum deal. Tyler, who actually bypassed his senior year of high school, was even less ready both on and off the court for his foray into overseas basketball. In three seasons since being drafted he has played a grand total of 1,034 minutes in 104 games – less than ten minutes per game and less than 35 games per season.