Emmanuel Mudiay had committed to the SMU Mustangs before he left for China and a big professional contract there. He is now playing for the Denver Nuggets after being drafted seventh overall in the draft earlier this year, but he still has a lot of love for Larry Brown’s team.
Naturally, Mudiay was pretty upset when he heard about the sanctions that the Mustangs were slapped with a week ago. According to SportsDay, Mudiay visited with the Mustangs Tuesday night and talked about his disdain for the NCAA and the way they have handled the situation.
“I wasn’t happy about it,” Mudiay said of the NCAA discipline. “I got to check on coach Brown. But he’s a warrior. He’s going to be OK. There’s nothing really we can do about it. But at the same time, I’m going to support them no matter what.”
He said he was also pretty surprised by the punishment of a nine-game suspension for Brown and a postseason ban this year for the Mustangs.
“But what can we do? That’s the NCAA,” he said. “That’s what they do I feel like we’re not the only team that’s been through that. Different colleges go through it too. But because it’s SMU, that’s just how it is.”
Mudiay felt pretty highly of the Mustangs last season. The team lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last year thanks to a controversial no-call on a goaltending that gave UCLA the win. He said that had he been with the team, they would have been in the Final Four and winning a championship.
“I’m confident we would have won the whole thing,” he said. “I really believe that. I think we (Brown and himself) would have been a real, real good match. We’re a good match now and he hasn’t physically been my head coach. I listen to him. They beat UConn twice (last season), and they (the Huskies) won the championship.”
That may or may not be true, but since Mudiay was in China last year, we will never know. The Mustangs have to deal with this situation now and hope that their program doesn’t make these mistakes in the future.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports