SMU Basketball looks to stay perfect at the renovated Moody Coliseum in front of their second sellout crowd since its reopening January 4th
Special to Rattle and Hum Sports
[RV/RV] SMU (16-5, 5-3 American) hosts [22/22] Memphis (16-4, 6-2) on Saturday at 1 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. The Mustangs are 10-0 at home, including a 4-0 mark in the renovated Moody Coliseum. Saturday marks the Mustangs’ second sellout of the year inside Moody Coliseum (7,000).
The Mustangs received votes in the Associated Press Poll on Monday for the fourth time this season (second-straight), while also receiving a vote in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll for the first time in the 2013-14 campaign. SMU entered the week at No. 41 in the NCAA Men’s Basketball RPI, one of five American Athletic Conference teams in the top 45. Four of the Mustangs five losses have come to teams in the RPI top 100.
SMU is second in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (1st American), holding opponents to 37.0 percent from the field. The Mustang defense is also holding opponents to 61.2 points per game, good for 19th in the NCAA (2nd American). SMU has held 22 of its last 30 (16 of 21 this year) opponents under 40% shooting. On the glass, the Mustangs have outrebounded 18 of 21 opponents this season.
On offense, the Mustangs are leading the conference in field goal percentage, shooting at a 48.7-percent clip in 2013-14 (16th NCAA). The Mustangs are also shooting 36.8 percent from beyond the arc, good for third in the conference. SMU is also third in the league in assists per game at 15.1 (46th NCAA), and is averaging 71.9 points per game. Additionally, the Mustangs have outscored 20 of 21 opponents in the paint by an average of 35.0-19.9.
Markus Kennedy was named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll for the second-consecutive week on Monday (Jan. 27), averaging 16.5 points and 10 rebounds to lead SMU to its fourth and fifth-straight wins. The Honor Roll recognition is Kennedy’s third of the season (Dec. 23). Ben Moore was also named the conference’s rookie of the week on Monday (Jan. 27) for the second time this season (Nov. 18). Nic Moore has been named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll four times this season. (Nov. 18, Dec. 2, Dec. 9, Jan. 6), averaging 14.5 points and 5.5 assists in the Mustangs’ first two conference games. Junior center Yanick Moreira has also been listed once (Nov. 25). Nic Moore was also named to the Corpus Christi Challenge All-Tournament Team.
SAM AWARD: The 2013 Silver Anniversary Mustang Award recipient, will be Mr. Oscar Roan (basketball, football, ’72-’74). Roan, who played tight end for the Mustangs, was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1975. Following his NFL career, Oscar dedicated his life to the ministerial work of outstanding charities including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army. He will be honored with the SAM Award on Feb. 1st, 2014, at halftime of Saturday’s.
AUTISM AWARENESS DAY: The head coaches in Saturday’s game are two of nearly 100 men’s basketball coaches throughout the country that will be wearing the “Autism Speaks” pin on their suit jackets today. Towson’s Pat Skerry and Marshall’s Tom Herrion, each who have sons on the autism spectrum, have started a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about this disease.
LAST GAME (L, 78-71 AT USF ON JAN. 28) TAMPA (AP) — Victor Rudd scored 21 points and Chris Perry tied a career high with 18, leading South Florida to a 78-71 victory against SMU on Tuesday night. Corey Allen Jr. also finished with 18 for South Florida (11-10, 2-6, American Athletic Conference), which made its last 15 free throws to seal the victory. Perry, the four-time conference rookie of the week, added a team-high eight rebounds. Nic Moore scored 23 points to lead SMU (16-5, 5-3), which was outscored in the paint for the first time this season (38-28). Ben Moore and Markus Kennedy each had 11 points and Nick Russell added 10 for the Mustangs. Both teams began slowly with only two field goals apiece midway through the first half. South Florida led 30-29 at the break after five lead changes. There were a dozen more after the intermission. Early in the second half, Rudd hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 35 and become the 18th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark. The loss for SMU ended a five-game winning streak that began with a 71-54 rout of USF in Dallas. The Mustangs were seeking to go 13 games over .500 for the first time since the 1999-00 season. South Florida finished with a 14-2 scoring advantage off the fast break and 27-21 in bench points.
UP NEXT: The Mustangs continue their three-game homestand against Temple on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. CT on ESPNews. SMU will conclude the homestand with next Saturday’s game against Cincinnati (Feb. 8/6:30 p.m.). THE SERIES VS. MEMPHIS (3-11): SMU and Memphis are meeting for the 15th time on Saturday. The Tigers hold an 11-3 series advantage, but SMU has won two of the last five contests. SMU last won on Jan. 12, 2011, overcoming a 14-point deficit to win 64-58 at Moody Coliseum. Papa Dia had a double-double recording 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Robert Nyakundi andCollin Mangrum each had 15-point performances. The teams split the season series in 2009-10, with each team winning at home, marking the last season the two teams played twice in a single campaign (will play twice this year). SMU defeated Memphis in Dallas, 70-60 on Jan. 30, 2010, snapping an eight-game losing streak against the Tigers.
LAST MEETING VS. MEMPHIS (L, 60-52 at SMU on Feb. 6, 2013): DALLAS (AP) – Geron Johnson scored 19 points including a 5 for 9 performance from beyond the arc and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Memphis past SMU 60-52 on Wednesday night. Memphis (19-3, 8-0 C-USA) grabbed its 13th straight victory despite shooting a dismal 29.8 percent from the field. The Tigers hit seven 3-pointers and were 25 of 34 from the free-throw line as a team. SMU (12-12, 2-7) was 1 of 12 from three-point land, shot 31.1 percent from the floor overall and outscored the Tigers 26-12 in the paint. Adonis Thomas scored 14 points and pulled nine rebounds for Memphis, which hasn’t lost a game since the 87-78 loss to Louisville on Dec. 15. Joe Jackson chipped in with seven points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Tigers. Nick Russell led SMU with 17 points, Jalen Jones had 13 points and 15 rebounds and Ryan Manuel had 10 points and seven rebounds. The game was played before a season-high crowd of 5,170 at Moody Coliseum.