SMU Basketball could earn a Top 25 ranking as they host Temple and Cincinnati this week
By Richard Humphrey
DALLAS — The SMU Mustangs are knocking on the Top 25 door with their win last Saturday over 22nd ranked Memphis. SMU garnered more votes in both major polls this week. They collected 15 votes in the AP Poll, the third straight week and fifth overall this season in which they have received votes. That placed them four teams away from cracking the top 25, as they are essentially ranked 29th in the nation this week.
The American Athletic Conference has four teams ranked in the Top 25 led by seventh ranked Cincinnati (21-2). They are followed by 18-4 Louisville at 14, 17-4 Connecticut at 22 and 16-5 Memphis at 24. SMU has beaten Connecticut and Memphis.
The Ponies garnered 10 votes in the USA Today coaches poll, which ranks them 33rd. Cincinnati is again ranked seventh, while Louisville is 10th. Memphis and Connecticut just missed the Top 25 and are 26th and 27th respectively.
The Mustangs are at home again this week as they face Temple (6-14, 1-7) Thursday night. These two teams last met in the 1956 Final Four. Cincinnati follows Saturday night. Needless to say, two more wins this week will vault SMU into the Top 25 next week.
The Ponies continue to lead the American Athletic Conference in opponents field goal percentage, holding the opposition to 37.2%, which also ranks third in the nation. They are holding opponents to 61.7 points per game, which ranks 20th in the nation and second in the AAC.
Offensively, the Mustangs are shooting 49.1%. That leads the conference and is 12th in the NCAA. SMU has a three-point shooting percentage of 36.6%, which is third in the conference, and they are second in the conference in assists with 15.5 per game.
Point guard Nic Moore was named to the American Athletic Conference weekly honor roll this week for the fifth time this season. He averaged 18.5 points and 6.0 assists in two games last week.
Temple beat SMU in 1956 in the third place game of the NCAA Tournament, which was played in Evanston, Illinois. Jim Krebs scored 29 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Mustangs in the 90-81 loss. Thursday’s game against Temple will be televised on ESPN News.