Probably whoever’s grandma bought them this game.
So it’s been a couple of days since Emmanuel Mudiay spurned Coach Cal for his former mentor Larry Brown at SMU, and at this point we’re mostly over the hurt and wishing him well. Mostly. But whenever a thing like this happens, sometimes the best way to heal is to compare ourselves to others who are in worse spots. Actually, that’s pretty terrible life advice, but whatever. Their tears make us strong.
So who’s the real loser in all of this?
It certainly isn’t Mudiay. Regardless of how we feel about his decisions, he had very valid reasons for picking SMU over Kentucky, and while it’ll be harder for him to make an impression on scouts or compete against superior talent week-to-week, he’ll be closer to home and able to be in a place he cares about.
The loser isn’t really Kentucky either. Yeah, we missed a recruit that we were really wanting, but that’s happened before with Shabazz and Wiggins and Cal proved that he can get other super-solid guys to fill that void. Looking at this year’s class, I don’t think we have any room to complain. And we shouldn’t have any real problems in 2014, either, with Tyus Jones, Tyler Ulis, and others able and ready to step into the PG position.
As much as we might want to pout, the real loser is Texas. Not the state, necessarily, but the University. CBS diagnosed the hemorrhaging going on in Austin, and Emmanuel Mudiay was only the most recent. In the past seven years, 21 top-40 recruits have rejected Rick Barnes and gone elsewhere. For a program as purportedly prestigious as Texas, losing three top-40 recruits a year is a pretty staggering number. In fact, last year three Texas natives defected to Lexington, and we’re happy to have them (Randle and the Harrisons).
So while our initial reaction in losing this recruit might be disappointment, it’s fair to take a step back and acknowledge that it could be worse. We could be Texas.