November 1, 2012

Emmanuel Mudiay forced to deal with adversity

When evaluating the most elite prospects the evaluator has to go beyond just the basketball skill-set. At that level everyone has pro potential.

What separates the top ten or so players from the next group of players is things that can't be taught. Yes, athleticism and size factor in, but we're talking about the intangibles. Work ethic, competitiveness, and ability to deal with difficulties and come back stronger.

The nation's top ranked junior point guard, and no. 2 overall prospect in the 2014 Rivals150, Emmanuel Mudiay will certainly get tested in those three areas this upcoming season, but we won't know until the spring whether or not the Dallas area floor general will sink or swim.

On Wednesday afternoon the Texas High School Athletic Association announced that they had denied Mudiay's appeal, along with two other players from his Dallas (Tex.) Prime Prep Academy, and had made a final ruling that Mudiay's transfer to the new school was illegal per Texas high school bylaws.

In short, after transferring from Arlington (Tex.) Grace Prep to Prime Prep, Mudiay will not be able to suit up this season since the THSAA has declared him ineligible, citing transfer rules as the reason why.

After initially being declared ineligible in early October, four Prime Prep players appeared before an appellate judge yesterday at the Texas athletic board, and were voted down 4-1.

Interestingly enough, however, four-star senior power forward Jordan Mickey was deemed eligible to play this season at the prep academy, which is run by former NFL star Deion Sanders.

Ultimately, it was the fact that Sheppard visited other schools before enrolling in the newly founded prep school, which is something that Mudiay and his two other ineligible teammates (including four-star senior center Karviar Sheppard) did not do.

The Texas board unanimously decided that since these three players transferred for what they deemed to be reasons exclusive to athletics that they would not be able to be a part of the team next season.

Even though that decision should be final, an outspoken, and apparently visibly upset Sanders, is said to be working on taking the appeal to a different governing body sometime next month.

Without high school basketball to focus on this season, Mudiay will more than likely spend his time in the gym to work on his jump-shot and to fine tune the rest of his game.

The 6-foot-4, 185 pounder is one of the more dominating point guards from a physical standpoint, and is also the type of pass-first and athletic point guard that Kentucky coach John Calipari has taken a liking to.

Mudiay is one of the few 2014 prospects with a scholarship offer from Kentucky, and is generally considered a slight UK lean; although he has yet to come out with any type of official list yet.

In the fall recruiting period, Calipari visited only Mudiay and one other junior point guard, Tyus Jones.

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