The EYBL circuit is a great opportunity for young high school players to make a name for themselves.
During this past session in Dallas, class of 2016 center Marques Bolden of DeSoto High School and the Texas Titans did just that.
"SMU offered me after that second session in Dallas," Bolden said. "The most I had scored in an EYBL game before was like two points and I had about 12 in 18 minutes vs. Albany. I just played really aggressive."
Bolden is listed as 6-foot-10 and 225 pounds. He holds offers from SMU, Nebraska, and Kansas State, but has also received interest from Ohio State and Tulsa. Although it's still early in his recruitment, Bolden says his interest in SMU is legitimate.
"My interest is pretty high," Bolden said. "They got a Hall of Fame coach and he knows what he's doing. He develops his players and gets them to the league."
Bolden says the Mustangs offered him through his coach because they are not allowed to call him yet. However, the big man says his AAU teammates Tyler Davis and D.J. Hogg have been very complimentary of the SMU staff.
"I haven't taken a visit, but I plan on taking one to check out the campus eventually," Bolden said. "There is no telling when I'll start taking visits, but I've heard a lot of great things about the campus and the new arena."
Bolden has never watched the Mustangs play in person, but paid close attention to the team's success last season and watched a lot of their games on TV. He says Brown and his staff run a unique system that would be a good fit for him.
"They run most of their stuff through their point guard, but it's a nice system. I would fit in really well," Bolden said. "They feed their big men, but they have great point guard play. Nic Moore was really nice. He ran the offense really well. I like what they do."
Bolden is open to all schools recruiting him right now and understands he has a lot more to prove. He hasn't started to consider what factors will be most important in his decision making process, but knows he wants to go to a winning program.
"I really like Kansas and Duke, but those big name schools haven't shown any interest yet," Bolden said. "I'm still working. It's not like they can talk to me anyways, so I'm just working on my game. I'll talk to anybody right now."
Bolden has a solid frame with good length. He has nice touch around the basket and has worked on expanding his game even more.
"I really play well with my back to the basket," Bolden said. "I'm trying to work on developing a nice mid range game and mid post game instead of always having to go straight to the block."
Bolden says playing with Tyler Davis has helped him improve his game. With Davis on the block, Bolden made rebounding and running the floor his priority this season.
"I also want to be able to catch it on the wing and work on my handle for the dudes who can't really step out," Bolden said. "I can create mismatch problems. I'm working on becoming more dangerous on offense instead of just having two dimensions."
Bolden says his goal for next season is to make the all-state team and continue to improve. If he does that, Bolden hopes recruiting will take care of itself.
"I'm going to start hitting the weight room more and be in the gym constantly. I need to get stronger playing against older guys," Bolden said. "I'm just going to keep working. I'm trying to get in more tournaments to get my name out there."