1:37pm: Brown has confirmed Mudiay’s decision, Goodman tweets.
1:32pm: Highly touted 2015 NBA draft prospect Emmanuel Mudiay will play professionally overseas next year rather than attend Southern Methodist University for his freshman year as planned, a source tells Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (Twitter link). SMU coach Larry Brown has been telling people around basketball that he expects the 6’5″ point guard to leave the school, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Mudiay is No. 2 in Chad Ford’s ESPN.com, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress had him going No. 3 in his 2015 mock draft.
A source confirmed Mudiay’s plans to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, citing family concerns for Mudiay’s reasoning. Mudiay’s camp is concerned about an ongoing NCAA investigation at SMU, according to Goodman (Twitter links), who refutes Wojnarowski’s report that the issue stems from fear that Mudiay wouldn’t be academically eligible. The source who spoke with Zagoria also said the matter wasn’t about academics.
In any case, heading overseas would cast some degree of mystery over Mudiay’s NBA prospects. The jump from high school to professional ball overseas isn’t unprecedented for a player with a bright NBA future, and perhaps the most notorious case is that of Brandon Jennings, who played in Italy for a year rather than attend college. He was the top U.S. prospect coming out of high school in 2008, according to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index, but he wound up going 10th overall in the 2009 draft. Still, Dante Exum was the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s draft based on little more than an Australian high school career, so Mudiay’s stock won’t necessarily fall far, or at all.