The Hilltop Review

The Hilltop Review

Come inside for this week's Hilltop Review where we recap the latest news in the recruiting world!

SMU Makes Lott's Top 10

By: Adam Grosbard

After wrapping up EYBL season, three-star point guard Chad Lott spoke with PonyStampede about how he did in the circuit.

"I think I did alright at EYBL (11.4 points per game and 2.5 assists). We could have done better overall," Lott said. "I'm not sure about my plans for the rest of the summer. I may stay with (Nike Team Louisiana) and I might not, I just need to talk to my family about that."

As the Shreveport native gets close to the beginning of the summer, Lott has been cutting down the list of schools he is considering. He hopes to release a top ten list in the near future.

"I've been looking for schools that are the most interested in me and that's how I've been cutting down my list," Lott said. "SMU and Creighton and LSU have been talking to me a lot but UNLV has been too. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State also been recruiting me a lot."

Lott also has offers from Houston, Louisiana-Lafayette, Arizona State, and Colorado State.

SMU head coach Larry Brown has been leading the charge in recruiting Lott. As well as texting the rising senior coaching tips about his game, Brown has been selling Lott hard on SMU.

"He actually just texted me this morning. He was going to Europe on a golfing vacation but he just wanted to let me know that he wants me (to come to SMU) even more than when he first offered me," Lott said. "I've been out there once for a game but I want to get out there again and see the campus, see the city, and make sure it's a place I can live for four years.

"Coach Brown wants me to see the facilities and work out with the team, get a good idea of how he runs everything."

Though SMU already has commitments from point guard Sedrick Barefield and shooting guard Matt McQuaid, the staff has told Lott that they are looking for one more guard with his skill set to round out the 2015 backcourt.

"Sedrick is more of a pure point guard and Matt is shooting guard, small forward-type," Lott said. "They told me they want a guy who can score the ball and play point guard, too."

The staff can expect an answer from Lott before the summer is over. The 6-foot-3, 175 combo guard wants to make his decision before his senior year starts "so (he) can relax and focus on (his) senior season."

Lott's brother played basketball at SMU.

McCrary Has Great Relationship With Daniels, Eyes Decision By End of Summer

By: Patrick Engel

Versatile players are any coach's favorite, and SMU is recruiting one of the most versatile players in Texas, Rouse High School athlete Billy McCrary. Despite playing exclusively quarterback during his junior season, the Leander, Texas native isn't being recruited as a quarterback. Teams are recruiting him as a wide receiver, running back and safety.

McCrary played running back and slot receiver his sophomore year, and has also returned kicks. But he will be his team's starting quarterback for the 2014 season, and will play a role on defense too.

"This past year I only played defense in certain situations, but this coming year I'm going to play safety too, also a little bit of kick return," McCrary said.

McCrary said his main job will be running the ball from the quarterback spot, but he plans to use his arm as well.

"Our offense is mainly running, but you get a lot more play actions out of it. We're definitely going to pass more this year, we (faced) nine in the box all the time."

The dynamic senior-to-be battled some injuries in the regular season, but used his 4.38 speed to help the team advance four rounds in the Class 6A playoffs.

"I attended a TCU camp and pulled a hamstring, and I kept on pulling it during the season, so I couldn't really run. But we got a bye right before playoffs and I got healthy and put up almost 1,000 yards (rushing) during the playoffs."

SMU has been intrigued by McCrary's blazing speed and playmaking ability for a long time. The Mustangs gave McCrary his first Division I offer during his sophomore year, and he still remains excited about it.

"I was walking out of a UT camp, and my head coach gave me a call and told me about it. I called (SMU linebackers coach Eric) Daniels and had a good conversation about it, and that's when they extended the offer."

"It was crazy, you get that first offer from a Division I school and it's awesome. Especially SMU, it's a great school, great education. I love talking to Coach Daniels, he's real fun to talk to, easy to talk to. We talk for an hour every time we are on the phone."

McCrary said he calls Daniels almost every week. The relationship with he has with Daniels is undoubtedly one of the reasons he likes the SMU football program.

"It's a great program. They've done a lot of good things, and I think they have a lot of good things coming."

McCrary has visited SMU three times. He went to a junior day, and also attended a 2013 spring practice and took an unofficial visit.

Besides SMU, North Texas, New Mexico, Texas State, Texas-San Antonio, Rice, Bowling Green, and Northwestern are the other FBS offers McCrary has. He said California and Colorado might offer soon.

McCrary wants to make a decision by the end of the summer.

Proche, Phillips Building Solid Relationship

By: Patrick Engel

Since Prime Prep Academy's opening in 2012, SMU has done a solid job of recruiting some of its best football and basketball players. The SMU football coaches are looking to continue that trend with Prime Prep's James Proche, a rising senior. Proche's first offer was from the Mustangs, and it came during his sophomore year from SMU wide receivers coach Jason Phillips.

"Coach Phillips watched my film and came and saw me work out, and after the workout he offered me," Proche said. "I was happy because that was my first offer, and I wanted to get an early offer as a sophomore, so him pulling the trigger was really a blessing."

Proche previously told PonyStampede that he hadn't been hearing from SMU, but that has changed. Proche said he talks to Phillips every other week, and his relationship with Phillips has helped him learn all about SMU.

"Me and Coach Phillips have a great relationship. It's important to build a relationship, and he's a very good guy I can go to with anything."

"It's a great program, and it's a receiver-driven (offense)," Proche said, mentioning past star SMU wide receivers like Emmanuel Sanders.

Proche has visited SMU twice since being offered, and he plans on going back for another workout with Phillips soon. He thinks that he and the other coaches can have good relationships as well.

"I really like the strength and conditioning coach (Mel deLaura). He seems like a pretty reliable guy who will quickly develop players."

Including SMU, Proche has 11 total offers from the likes of North Texas, Arkansas State, Louisville, Wake Forest, TCU, Maryland, Houston and Tulsa.

"Everybody's pretty equal," Proche said of his offers.

Although SMU was Proche's first offer, he said that it will not be a factor in his decision.

"It really doesn't matter who offered me first. I appreciate them offering me first, but what really matters is the relationship I build with them."

Proche intends to commit on August 29, or shortly after. He does not plan to shorten his list before then.

The 6-foot, 187-pound receiver finished his junior season with 56 catches for over 1,000 yards and 13 total touchdowns, four of which came on punt returns.

Baptiste Hopes for Fall Decision

By: Billy Embody

Everyone knows that the Texas Titans AAU squad has talent and the SMU coaching staff is all over it. The staff has built solid relationships and 2015 center D-Jery Baptiste is just one target for the staff on the Titans.

Baptiste's guardian, Derrick Shelby, said the job Larry Brown and the SMU coaching staff is doing is great for Dallas and basketball in the state of Texas and it's no wonder that Baptiste is interested.

"I know he likes SMU, I know that," Shelby said. "What you guys are doing there with the coaching staff and the facilities, he's definitely going to take a hard look at SMU."

With the likes of Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Iowa, Oklahoma and Wichita State on Baptiste, it's going to be a long process to narrow it down.

"It's going to be a really crazy summer, honestly," Shelby said. "Both kids (Shelby is also Shnider Herard's guardian) are doing well and we're going to be going to a lot of camps so I'm expecting this to be a really crazy, but really good summer."

Baptiste is recovering from a couple injuries, but is now ready to get to work this summer to improve even more.

"He's 100 percent healthy and he's looking really good," Shelby said. "Both of them are working a lot with footwork, shooting, explosiveness, free throws, but mainly more than anything they'll be working on footwork and agility."

While he's going to work hard this summer on his game, Baptiste will also be doing his due diligence on schools in an effort to be ready to decide in the fall.

"He's going to take his time and do all of his homework because he's that type of kid," Shelby said. "He's going to do all the visits he can do then weigh the pros and cons, academically and athletically. From there, he'll tell us what he wants to do."

Baptiste has visited SMU multiple times and enjoys all the new facilities as well as the newly renovated Moody Coliseum.

The three-star center is listed as 6-10, 230.

Ozigbo Interested in SMU

By: Omar Majzoub

Class of 2015 three-star running back Devine Ozigbo from Sachse HS is one of the hottest names in the state of Texas right now.

At 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds, Ozigbo was recently offered by Boston College, UNLV, Kansas and Minnesota in one week to give him almost 20 total offers.

"My interest in SMU is pretty high," Ozigbo said. "It's a close school that's pretty good. It's a place I can get a lot of information out of if needed, so that definitely helps."

Ozigbo ran for 947 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior in 2013, when he also caught 23 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns, helping Sachse to an 11-1 season.

"I have been up to SMU a few times for camps and other events," he said. "I have seen the football field and saw the boxes looking over the field. I didn't get a formal tour, but I've been on the campus and seen it a little bit."

Ozigbo says he is most interested in Iowa, Wisconsin, Boise State, Miami, Syracuse, Illinois, and Wake Forest right now, but hasn't narrowed his list down. He plans on taking a few visits to find "where he feels the most comfortable" and says SMU will definitely get a look since it's just a half hour from his house.

"I want a school where I feel like I have the best chance to play and be successful. I want a school with good academics, too," he explained. "I talk to the SMU coaches about once a week. I have stayed in contact with Coach Mason a lot."

Ozigbo recently lost 10 pounds due to a sports hernia injury. By taking the extra weight off, he says he feels better now than he did before the injury.

"I think the thing that separates me from other backs is my ability to catch the ball. I came out of the backfield a lot and almost played like slot last year," Ozigbo said. "My high school team passed a lot. I ran routes every day and caught balls every day. That has helped me a lot."

"I also have really good vision," Ozigbo continued. "I see holes pretty well and get to it. I like to think I can do it all as a back. If they want me to be a receiver, I can catch the ball. If they want to just pound the rock, I like doing that, too. That won't make or break my decision."

Ozigbo's recruitment could continue to blow up as the spring and summer go along. For now, he is focused on finishing up school and improving his game.

"I plan on taking as many visits as I can to see which ones I like the best and talk to all the coaches," Ozigbo said. "Hopefully, I will have a decision by the end of the summer."

Miller Still Has SMU In It

By: Patrick Engel

Wide receiver should be a solid position for the SMU in the 2014 season, but the coaches are busy making sure the position has talent and depth beyond 2014. One receiver SMU is targeting in the Class of 2015 is A.D. Miller (Dallas/Bishop Dunne), whom Mustangs wide receivers coach Jason Phillips offered in early March.

"I went to the junior day, I talked to the (Coach Phillips) personally for about 15 minutes, and he told me he was going to get back to me with an offer," Miller said. "After than, I'd been calling them for the next two weeks, and he sent in the offer."

Miller added that he and Phillips have a good relationship, and they talk every other week.

"I've been talking to him, I keep in touch with every coach who offers me. It's important to stay in touch with each and every one of them."

Junior day was the first time Miller has visited SMU, but he left the visit with good feelings about it.

"Just getting to get the feel of the campus, being around the coaching staff, getting to feel like home and get to see their facilities and all that," Miller said about his experience.

The junior day's success led Miller to come back for a spring practice, where he learned more about the team.

"I like the offense. They throw the ball a lot, and I feel like it's an offense I can fit in. That was good, and I saw a lot of good things."

"It's a great school, great academic programs. I feel like it's a school where I could succeed. And the football program has a great coaching staff. Everything's just great. It's a good campus and everything."

Miller said he has 24 offers, including SMU. Among them are California, Michigan, Ohio State, Illinois, Miami (Fl.), Arizona State, Washington, BYU, Kansas, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Tulsa. He said two more high-profile teams should offer soon, and added that he currently has about eight schools he likes.

"Texas A&M and Oregon, those are the two schools that I've been talking to that haven't offered but probably will."

Despite the offers from power-conference teams, Miller says SMU is still in play.

"It's right there. SMU's my ninth school that I'm looking at. I'm still looking at every single school though. There's no schools that are completely cut off. I keep in touch with all the schools and all the coaches."

Miller said he plans to commit at the end of the summer, but until then he will consider all the offers he has.

Bishop Dunne's 2013 season ended with a 7-4 record, which Miller said could have been better. He had a "slow" statistical season, catching 35 passes for about 500 yards and 10 touchdowns. Miller is 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds.

Gary Closer to SMU Offer?

By: Billy Embody

Dallas Kimball 2016 defensive lineman Demerick Gary was thought to have had an SMU offer by some analysts, but that wasn't the case.

"I had quoted a tweet from one of my friends who got offered so I think one of the Rivals guys thought I was offered because it looked like I had tweeted it," Gary said. "I asked the SMU Rivals guy who added the offer to my Rivals page and he didn't know, but I wasn't offered.

Dallas Lincoln defensive back Crisitian Williams is one of Gary's friends and was recently offered.

"Nobody got an offer from my school, but Crisitan Williams got one," Gary said. "I'm going to SMU Wednesday and Baylor this weekend."

Gary is another local kid, who could bring some much needed size to the SMU defensive line with his 6-4, 260 pound frame, but his coach said SMU needs to see more before offering.

"My coach called my and told me SMU called and said they want to see my in camp before they offer so I'll be there Wednesday," Gary said.

If SMU were to offer, they'd join Stephen F. Austin to have offered Gary and are among Colorado State, Arkansas State, UTSA and TCU that are showing interest.

Gary racked up 50 tackles, 10 sacks, 20 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles this past season.

Your Nike EYBL Minneapolis Stats Update
Nike EYBL was in Minneapolis last weekend. Here's the update on how the SMU prospects did just last weekend as well as their averages for the entire circuit.
-G Matt McQuaid, SMU Commit, averaged 30 minutes last weekend and shot 47 percent from the floor, good to average 16.5 points per game. Davis has been averaging 15.6 points per game, 61 percent from the free throw line, 3.7 rebounds per game and 1.7 assists per game in 29.3 minutes per game.
-G Allonzo Trier averaged 30 minutes last weekend and shot 48 percent from the floor, good to average 33 points per game. Trier has been averaging 29.4 points per game, leading the EYBL Circuit in scoring. He's also been averaging 4.2 rebounds a game in over 30 minutes of duty per game.
-G Malik Monk averaged 29.5 minutes last weekend and shot 39 percent from the floor, good to average 20 points per game. Monk has been averaging 21.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game on the EYBL Circuit.
-SF D.J. Hogg averaged 22.3 minutes last weekend and shot 42 percent from the floor, good to average 10.5 points per game. Hogg has been averaging 14 points per game, 70 percent from the free throw line, 3.4 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists per game in 23.8 minutes per game.
-C D-Jery Baptiste averaged 13 minutes last weekend and shot 39 percent from the floor, good to average 2.5 points per game. Baptiste has been averaging 3.2 points per game, 73 percent from the free throw line, 3.8 rebounds per game and 1.2 blocks per game in 13.1 minutes per game.
-C Marques Bolden averaged 13.8 minutes last weekend and shot 39 percent from the floor, good to average five points per game. Bolden has been averaging 3.5 points per game, 50 percent from the free throw line, 3.4 rebounds per game and 1.2 blocks per game in 10.9 minutes per game.
-C Tyler Davis averaged 21 minutes last weekend and shot 66 percent from the floor, good to average 12.3 points per game. Davis has been averaging 13.2 points per game, 63 percent from the free throw line, 6.4 rebounds per game and 1.2 blocks per game in 21.1 minutes per game.
-G Chad Lott shot 59 percent from the floor, good to average 19.4 points per game last weekend. Lott has been averaging 10.3 points per game, 60 percent from the free throw line, 3.6 rebounds per game and 2.4 assists per game.
-G Shake Milton '15 averaged 28.8 minutes last weekend and shot 28 percent from the floor, good to average 8.8 points per game. Milton has been averaging 11.6 points per game, 82 percent from the free throw line, 5.2 rebounds per game and 4.4 assists per game in 23.9 minutes per game.
-F Ed Morrow '15 averaged 26.8 minutes last weekend and shot 69 percent from the floor, good to average 15 points per game. Murrow has been averaging 14.1 points per game, 64 percent from the free throw line, 7.6 rebounds per game and 1.8 blocks per game in 25.6 minutes per game.
-G Isaiah Briscoe '15 averaged 28.3 minutes last weekend and shot 41 percent from the floor, good to average 20 points per game. Briscoe has been averaging 18.2 points per game, 80 percent from the free throw line, 6.9 rebounds per game and 5.5 assists per game in 26.7 minutes per game.
G- Tyler Williams '15 averaged 22.3 minutes last weekend and shot 49 percent from the floor, good to average seven points per game. Williams has been averaging 6.9 points per game, 63 percent from the free throw line, 4.4 rebounds per game and 1.6 assists per game in 20.4 minutes per game.

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