Jan. 9, 2012
RICE Owls (9-7, 0-1 C-USA) at SMU Mustangs (9-6, 1-0 C-USA)
Wed. Jan. 11 - 7 p.m.
Moody Coliseum (8,998)
Radio: KAAM 770 AM (Rich Phillips, Allen Stone)
Audio & Video: SMUMustangs.com
SMU hosts Rice for the Conference USA home-opener on Wednesday at Moody Coliseum. The Mustangs opened league play Saturday with a 57-55 win at Tulsa as Jeremiah Samarrippas hit a buzzer-beater from 17 feet. SMU has now won seven of its last 10 games. The Mustangs are 5-0 at home this season and 19-5 in the last 24 home games.
The win at Tulsa marked the first time SMU won its C-USA opener since joining the league for the 2005-06 season. Last season, the Mustangs went 8-8 in C-USA, their best record since joining the conference.
Robert Nyakundi leads C-USA and is 9th in the NCAA in 3-point percentage at 47.7% (41-86), is third in threes made (2.7), is tied for fourth in C-USA in scoring (15.6), 18th in the league in rebounding (5.8) and fifth in free throw percentage (.822). London Giles is averaging 11.7 points (T-17th C-USA), ranks fourth in C-USA for 3-point shooting at 40.3% (27-67), is tied for ninth in steals (1.3) and sixth in free throw percentage (.804). Jeremiah Samarrippas is fourth in C-USA at 4.2 assists per game and fourth in C-USA at 2.2 assists per turnover. In the last six games, he has 33 assists against eight turnovers.
As a team, SMU ranks second in C-USA and 22nd in the NCAA in scoring defense (58.3) and has held 14 of 15 opponents to 65 points or less in regulation. On offense, the Mustangs lead C-USA and are 39th in the NCAA in 3-pointers made per game (8.1).
UP NEXT: SMU is at UTEP on Saturday at 8 p.m. CT / 7 p.m. MT. The Mustangs then host Houston on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.
THE SERIES VS. RICE (118-75): This is the 194th meeting with the Mustangs leading 118-75. That is the most games and wins for SMU against any opponent. SMU is 69-24 record at home and has won the past four games at Moody Coliseum. SMU went 2-1 last season against Rice, winning 75-68 at Rice on Jan. 29 and 76-66 in overtime at Moody on Feb. 23. SMU fell 58-57 on March 9 in the C-USA Tournament in El Paso. The two teams have been members of the same league since the 1918-19 season, when both were members of the Southwest Conference. Both programs moved to the Western Athletic Conference in 1996 and then to Conference USA in 2005. SMU leads 8-4 in Conference USA regular-season meetings.
LAST SEASON VS. RICE: (W, 75-68 at Rice on Jan. 29): HOUSTON (AP) - Robert Nyakundi scored a career-high 29 points, including seven 3-pointers, to lead SMU past Rice 75-68 Saturday. Papa Dia added 19 points and Mike Walker 13 for the Mustangs (13-8, 4-3 Conference USA), who won their third in a row. Arsalan Kazemi made 13 of 15 free throws, scoring 21 points, and grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds to lead the Owls (10-11, 2-5). Connor Frizzelle scored 17 points and Tamir Jackson 12. SMU shot 56.3 percent (27 of 48) and 42.3 percent (11 of 26) from 3-point range but was outrebounded 32-21. Rice started well and led 15-6 after two free throws by Kazemi with 13:38 left in the first half. But Dia scored with 2:02 left in the half for a 29-27 SMU lead. Nyakundi and Collin Mangrum followed with 3-pointers to put the Mustangs up 35-27 with 1:01 to go, and Rice never led again. (W, 76-66 ot at SMU on Feb. 23): DALLAS (AP) - Jeremiah Samarrippas scored eight points in overtime, including the go-ahead 3-pointer, to boost SMU over Rice 76-66 on Wednesday night. Samarrippas finished with 10 points as the Mustangs (17-10, 8-5 Conference USA) won the seventh in their last nine games. Robert Nyakundi scored a game-high 26 points for SMU while Papa Dia added 20 and Mike Walker 10. The Mustangs were ahead by 11 points with 2:15 left in regulation when the Owls (12-15, 4-9) began to rally. Rice went on an 18-7 splurge with Lucas Kuipers hitting two 3-pointers and Cory Pflieger and Connor Frizzelle making one apiece. Arsalan Kazemi capped the rally and sent the game to overtime on a pair of free throws with two seconds left. It wasn't enough. SMU went on to carry overtime 19-9. Tamir Jackson led Rice with 22 points while Kuipers scored 16 and Frizzelle 15. (L, 58-57 at C-USA Tournament 1st Rnd on March 9): EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Arsalan Kazemi had 24 points and 13 rebounds, and Rice held off SMU in the final moments for a 58-57 victory in the first round of the Conference USA tournament on Wednesday night. Connor Frizzelle had 12 points and Tamir Jackson 11 for the 10th-seeded Owls (14-17), who advance to play No. 2 seed Tulsa in a quarterfinal contest on Thursday. Papa Dia had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the seventh-seeded Mustangs (17-14), who beat Rice twice during the regular season. Collin Mangrum scored 12 points and Jeremiah Samarrippas 11. Mangrum's jumper got SMU within a point with 33 seconds left, and his steal from Frizzelle gave the Mustangs an opportunity to take the last shot. After a timeout, SMU bled the clock to a second, when Robert Nyakundi's long jumper missed. Nyakundi, who averaged 27.5 points and made 11 of 17 3-point tries against the Owls during the regular season, was held to five on Wednesday on 2 of 7 shooting.
LAST GAME (W, 57-55 at Tulsa on Jan. 7): TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Jeremiah Samarrippas hit two baskets in the final minute, the last as time expired, to rally SMU past Tulsa 57-55 on Saturday night. SMU (9-6, 1-0 Conference USA) trailed 50-41 with 6:22 left and began its comeback. Two 3-pointers by Robert Nyakundi, the second with 3:08 left, brought SMU within 52-51. Tulsa (7-9, 0-2) had a 55-51 lead with 1:26 showing, and London Giles hit two free throws for SMU. Nyakundi led SMU scorers with 14 points and Giles added 11. Jordan Clarkson topped Tulsa with 14 points and Scottie Haralson had 11. SMU had a 19-4 scoring advantage off turnovers.
BIG EAST: Dec. 7, 2011 - SMU accepted an invitation to join the BIG EAST Conference in all sports, President R. Gerald Turner announced, fulfilling the University's goal to join a Bowl Championship Series Automatic Qualifier (BCS-AQ) conference, a standard of excellence in college athletics today. SMU, Houston and the UCF accepted full membership into the BIG EAST while Boise State and San Diego State will compete as members in the sport of football. The BIG EAST Conference Board of Directors, by a unanimous vote of its Presidents, extended the invitations for membership. SMU, Houston and UCF will begin competing in all BIG EAST-sponsored sports in the 2013-14 academic year, while Boise State and San Diego State will start competing in football in the 2013 season.
HEAD COACH Matt Doherty...is in his 11th season as a head coach and his sixth season at SMU. This is his 21st season in collegiate coaching with 11 postseason appearances, eight NCAA Tournaments, seven conference titles, a Final Four appearance and the 2001 AP National Coach of the Year award. He also has 22 players that have gone to the NBA. SMU's 2011 CIT run was Matt Doherty's fourth postseason as a head coach. He has a 10-4 record in two NITs, an NCAA appearance and the 2011 CIT. He has a 166-167 career record including a 76-96 mark on the Hilltop.
Rodney Clinkscales: Team captain...Averaging 3.5 points and 1.4 rebounds is 11-26 (.423) on 3FGs...Missed games 2-4 with a right heel injury...2010-11: played 34 games with 5 starts...averaged 4.8 points, 0.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists...had 7 games with 10+ points and 5 games with 15+points.
Cannen Cunningham: Averaging 5.0 points and 4.0 rebounds with a team-high 10 blocked shots...Had 18 points and 7 rebounds vs. Georgia Southern 11/27...Had 17 points and 9 rebounds vs. Fresno State in his first career start 11/15.
KEVIN DUNLEAVY: Played in 3 games...has 1 rebound.
London Giles: Averaging 11.7 points (T-19th C-USA), 2.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.3 steals (T-9th C-USA)...40.3% 3FGs (27-67) (4th C-USA), 1.8 3FGs per game (T-10th C-USA), 80.4% FTs (41-51) (6th C-USA), ...2010-11: Sat out due to transfer after playing two seasons at Nevada.
Jalen Jones: Averaging 7.8 points and 3.4 rebounds...has 13 steals...REBOUNDS: his 10 rebounds vs. Georgia Southern 11/27 was the first 10+rebound game by an SMU freshman since Papa Dia had 13 vs. Southern 11/10/07.
Ryan Manuel: Averaging 3.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists...50.0% FGs...GAME-WINNER: Had the steal and game-winning fastbreak layup in the 65-64 win vs. Florida Gulf Coast on 11/19.
Eric Norman: Played in 8 games, averaging 3.1 minutes...Has 1 point, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a block.
Robert Nyakundi - C-USA PLAYER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE: Team captain...Averaging 15.6 points (T-4th C-USA), 5.8 rebounds (18th C-USA), and 1.1 assists...shooting 52.0% FGs (7th C-USA, 64th NCAA), 47.7% 3FGs (41-86) (1st C-USA, 9th NCAA) and 82.2% FTs (37-45) (5th C-USA)...2.7 3FGs per game (3rd C-USA, 43rd NCAA)...GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Had 20 points (7-14 FG, 3-6 3FG, 3-3 FT) and a career-high 11 rebounds with 3 steals vs. Oklahoma State 12/28...Tied career-high 29 points (8-13 FG, 5-9 3FG, 8-9 FT) (24 pts in 2nd half) in win at SEMO 12/19...Team-high 27 points (8-9 FG, 4-5 3FG, 7-9 FT) in win vs. UAPB 11/22...SMU CAREER RANKINGS: 3rd in 3FG (224), 2nd in 3FG percentage (45.0, 224-498), 2nd in FT percentage (86.6, 155-179), 28th in points (1127)...SMU MILESTONES: He became the 36th member of the 1000-point club, hitting the mark on the second of two free throws with 15 seconds remaining in the 55-49 win vs. Georgia Southern 11/27...He became the 41st Mustang to play in 100 games, reaching the mark in the 69-63 OT win at UALR 12/4...PRESEASON HONORS: Selected Preseason All-C-USA second team by the league's coaches...Also tabbed the Best Shooter in C-USA by The Sporting News and was selected Preseason All-C-USA second team by Lindy's Sports Annuals...2010-11: Selected Third-Team All-C-USA with 14.3 points (11th C-USA) while setting C-USA and SMU records from 3-point range...led C-USA and was second in the NCAA at 49.7% (97-195) on 3FGs...set the C-USA record by hitting 54.3% on 3FGs (44-81) in league play...His 97 threes set the SMU record while his average of 2.8 made per game was second in C-USA and 34th in the NCAA...also tied the SMU record by hitting 90.0% (72-80) on FTs.
Aliaksei Patsevich: Averaging 3.3 points and 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist...2010-11: Played the last 16 games...totaled 24 points, 8 rebounds, 7 steals, 5 assists and 2 blocks...hit 33.3% on 3FGs (5-15)
Nick Russell: Sitting out following transfer from Kansas State.
Jeremiah Samarrippas: Team captain...Averaging 6.1 points, 2.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists (4th C-USA), 2.2 ast/to ratio (63 ast/29 to) (4th C-USA, 66th NCAA), 83.3% FTs (15-18)...has 5+ assists 8 times...last 6 games, has 33 assists and 8 TOs (4.1 ast/to)...BUZZER-BEATER: Hit a 17-foot step-back jumper from inside the top of the key as time expired for the 57-55 win at Tulsa 1/7...2010-11: played in all 35 games with 30 starts...averaged 7.4 points and 3.4 assists with a 1.5 assist-to-turnover ratio (120 ast / 82 to)...shot 42.1% on FGs and 38.5% on 3FGs...had 10+ points 10 times, 5+ assists 8 times and 3+ steals 8 times...led the team in assists 15 times and in steals 16 times.
Leslee Smith: Averaging 4.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.4 assists...REBOUNDS: Had 12 rebounds in the 84-65 win at SEMO 12.19, the most by a freshman since Papa Dia had 13 vs. Southern on Nov. 10, 2007...INJURY: Missed the first 7 games while rehabilitating from torn right ACL (suffered in March 2011)...2010-11: Sat out last season
Ricmonds Vilde: Played in 11 games...Averaging 2.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists...2010-11: Sat out last season as a redshirt
Jordan Walker: Played in 3 games...has 2 rebounds and 1 steal.
Shawn Williams: Team captain...Averaging 8.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.0 assist...2010-11: Enrolled at SMU on Jan. 11, 2011, after transferring from Texas...2009-10 (Freshman at Texas): played in 7 of UT's first 8 games, averaging 1.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in 5.6 minutes per contest ... suffered a left ankle injury against Texas State (Dec. 12) and missed the remainder of the season.
SMU Career Games: Robert Nyakundi T-32nd 107
SMU Career Starts: Robert Nyakundi 75 (20 have 80 starts)
SMU Career Points: Robert Nyakundi 28th 1127
SMU Career FT%: Robert Nyakundi is 2nd 86.6 (155-179) (1st Eric Longino 88.4 (99-112), 3rd Charles Beasley 83.9 (270-322))
3+ steals: Robert Nyakundi (3)
Preseason All-Conference USA - C-USA Coaches: Robert Nyakundi (Second Team)
Preseason All-Conference USA - Lindy's: Robert Nyakundi (Second Team)
Best Shooter in C-USA - The Sporting News: Robert Nyakundi
HONORS: 2010-11 (Returnees Only)
All C-USA: Robert Nyakundi (3rd Team)
SMU Invitational All-Tournament Team: Robert Nyakundi
7 FROM DALLAS: The Mustangs have 7 players from the Dallas area: Cannen Cunningham (Arlington), London Giles (Dallas), Jalen Jones (Dallas), Robert Nyakundi (Arlington), Nick Russell (Duncanville), Jordan Walker (Arlington) and Shawn Williams (Duncanville).
10 NEW UNIFORMS: The Mustangs have 10 newcomers on gameday. SMU had four players that sat out last season; transfers London Giles (Nevada) and Shawn Williams (Texas) as well as redshirt seasons for Leslee Smith and Ricmonds Vilde. SMU also adds 6 freshmen in Cannen Cunningham, Kevin Dunleavy, Jalen Jones, Ryan Manuel, Eric Norman and Jordan Walker. Nick Russell transferred from Kansas State is sitting out.
DEFENSE-DEFENSE: SMU is allowing 58.3 (2nd C-USA, 33rd NCAA) points per game...The Mustangs have held 14 of 15 opponents to 65 or less in regulation...Last season, SMU led C-USA and was 23rd in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing an SMU-record 61.3 points per game.
FG PERCENTAGE: The Mustangs are 63-27 (.700) when shooting when shooting a higher percentage than their opponent under Matt Doherty...SMU is 4-2 this season and went 18-6 when shooting better last season.
FREE THROWS: SMU is hitting 69.3% on FTs this season (4th C-USA)...Robert Nyakundi is 5th in C-USA (82.2%) and London Giles is 6th in C-USA (80.4%)...Last season, SMU led C-USA and was 38th in the NCAA in FT percentage (.742)...Robert Nyakundi was 3rd in C-USA and tied the SMU record (.900).
FREE THROW ATTEMPTS: The Mustangs are 4-1 this season when getting at least 10 more FTAs than their opponent...SMU is 28-8 when doing so under Matt Doherty.
HOME SWEET HOME: SMU is 5-0 at home this season and 19-5 in the last 24 home games...The Mustangs went 15-7 at home last season, tying for the most home wins in program history. SMU went 15-1 at Moody Coliseum in 1984-85...SMU is also 14-2 in the last 16 non-conference home games.
LONG RANGE: SMU has made 121 3FGs and leads C-USA at 8.1 3FG made per game (39th NCAA)...Last season, SMU led C-USA (33rd NCAA) in 3-point field goals per game (7.9) and set an SMU record with 277 3-pointers.
STEALING A ROAD WIN: In the 57-55 win at Tulsa on Jan. 7, SMU was plus-9 in steals (11-2). That was the highest difference sin a plus-10 (15-5) against San Jose St. in a 66-46 win on Feb. 10, 2005.
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: SMU is 6-4 this year when having less turnovers...SMU went 13-3 last season with the same or fewer turnovers than its opponent.
NEXT LEVEL: In the last three years, five SMU players have gone on to play professionally. Papa Dia signed a 2-year contract in Croatia beginning with the 2011-12 season. Four were drafted into the NBA D-League: Bamba Fall (Reno Bighorns in 2010), Mouhammad Faye (Rio Grande Valley Vipers in 2010), Derek Williams (Texas Legends in 2011) and Collin Mangrum (Texas Legends in 2011). Fall is playing in Estonia this season while Faye is in France. Williams previously spent the 2010-11 season playing in Latvia.
WORLD-CLASS FACILITY: The new Crum Basketball Center at SMU is a world-class training center. The 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks used the Crum Center for their 2008, 2009 and 2010 training camps. Several other NBA teams have used the facility when they are in town to play the Mavericks. 1. Chicago Bulls 2. Cleveland Cavaliers 3. Dallas Mavericks 4. Denver Nuggets 5. Detroit Pistons 6. Indiana Pacers 7. Golden State Warriors 8. New Orleans Hornets 9. Philadelphia 76ers 10. San Antonio Spurs 11. Utah Jazz
FAMILIAR FOE: The Mustangs have met seven opponents more than 100 times. Rice 193 118-75 J11 at SMU, F11 at Rice TCU 185 101-85 F8 at SMU Texas A&M 177 90-87 Baylor 175 100-75 Texas 174 71-103 Arkansas 153 59-94 Texas Tech 104 47-57
YOU CAN CALL IT A COMEBACK: The Mustangs have overcome an 10-plus-point deficit 12 times under Doherty. 17 pts 49-32 at 15:28 2nd half W, 65-64 Florida Gulf Coast 11/19/11 (3rd at SMU) 14 pts 28-14 at 8:00 1st half W, 64-58 Memphis 1/12/11 (T-8th at SMU) 14 pts 24-10 at 8:00 1st half W (ot), 69-63 at Arkansas-Little Rock 12/4/11 (T-8th SMU) 13 pts 40-27 at 14:30 2nd half W, 55-53 Tulane 1/24/07 13 pts 41-28 at 19:18 2nd half W (ot), 69-67 UCF 1/26/08 13 pts 40-27 at 17:34 2nd half W, 68-53 Rice 2/9/08 13 pts 63-50 at 9:47 2nd half W (2ot), 99-96 UTEP 3/1/08 13 pts 15-2 at 12:51 1st half W, 70-67 at McMurry 12/18/10 13 pts 36-23 at 1:15 1st half W, 59-58 at Tulsa 1/26/11 13 pts 32-19 at 15:18 2nd half W, 46-41 East Carolina 2/2/11 11 pts 28-17 at 3:06 1st half W, 70-60 Memphis 1/30/10 10 pts 25-15 at 8:59 1st half W, 84-65 at Southeast Missouri State 12/19/11
LEVELS: LED GP 10+Pts 8+Reb Dbl-Dbl 5+Ast 3+Stl 2+Blk Pts Reb Ast Stl Blk 0 Rodney Clinkscales 12 - - - - - - - - - - - 1 Ryan Manuel 15 1 - - - - - 1 - 3 1 1 2 Shawn Williams 7 3 - - - 1 - - 1 - 4 2 3 Leslee Smith 8 - 1 - - 1 1 - 3 1 2 2 4 Kevin Dunleavy, Jr. 3 - - - - - - - - - - - 5 Ricmonds Vilde 11 - - - - - - - - 2 - - 10 Nick Russell - - - - - - - - - - - - 11 London Giles 15 11 - - - 4 - 1 - 4 6 - 12 Jeremiah Samarrippas 15 5 - - 8 - - - - 11 2 - 13 Aliaksei Patsevich 15 1 - - - - - - - 1 - 2 15 Cannen Cunningham 15 3 2 - - - 4 2 5 1 - 6 21 Jalen Jones 15 5 1 - - 2 - 1 1 1 3 - 24 Robert Nyakundi 15 13 4 1 - 3 1 10 8 2 4 1 34 Jordan Walker 3 - - - - - - - - - - - 35 Eric Norman 8 - - - - - - - - - - 1
CAREER GP 10+Pts 8+Reb Dbl-Dbl 5+Ast 3+Stl 2+Blk Pts Reb Ast Stl Blk 0 Rodney Clinkscales 73 9 - - - 1 - 4 - 1 8 1 2 Shawn Williams 14 3 - - - 1 - - 1 - 4 2 10 Nick Russell 46 3 - - 1 - 1 - - - - - 11 London Giles 61 11 - - 1 5 - 1 - 4 6 - 12 Jeremiah Samarrippas 50 15 - - 16 8 - - - 26 18 - 13 Aliaksei Patsevich 31 1 - - - - - - - 1 2 3 24 Robert Nyakundi 107 56 8 4 4 10 1 24 18 12 21 5
WORKING OVERTIME: The Mustangs are 6-2 in overtime under Matt Doherty (he is now 7-6 all-time in OT as a head coach) Date Opponent Result Start OT Start 2OT 1/6/07 Brown W, 60-56 ot 50-50 1/26/08 UCF W, 69-67 ot 62-62 3/1/08 UTEP W, 99-96 2ot 79-79 86-86 2/25/09 at UTEP L, 61-58 ot 55-55 11/21/10 UC Riverside L, 73-69 ot 57-57 2/23/11 Rice W, 76-66 ot 57-57 3/16/11 Oral Roberts W, 64-57 ot 52-52 12/4/11 at Ark-Little Rock W, 69-63 ot 54-54 12/28/11 vs. Oklahoma State L, 68-58 2ot 49-49 58-58
DOUBLE-DOUBLES: 2011-12 Opponent Season Career Robert Nyakundi 20 pts, 11 rebs vs. Oklahoma State 1st 4th 2010-11 (returnees) Opponent Season Career Robert Nyakundi 19 pts, 10 rebs Portland State 1st 1st Robert Nyakundi 23 pts, 10 rebs SE Missouri State 2nd 2nd Robert Nyakundi 14 pts, 10 rebs Santa Clara 3rd 3rd
SMU RECORDS: Additions to the SMU record book this season
TEAM 3FGM: 13 vs. McMurry 11/11 (T-5th) 3FGM in Road Game: 12 at SEMO (T-3rd) Comeback: 17 points vs. Florida Gulf Coast 11/19 (3rd); 14 points st UALR (T-8th)
OPPONENT - FT% 93.3 (14-15) vs. Colorado State 11/14 (T-16th)
CLINKSCALES NAMED CAPTAIN (Dec. 4): SMU men's basketball coach Matt Doherty named Rodney Clinkscales as a team captain on Saturday. Clinkscales joins Robert Nyakundi, Jeremiah Samarrippas and Shawn Williams as team captains for the 2011-12 season.
THREE FUTURE MUSTANGS SIGN FOR 2012-13: SMU Head Coach Matt Doherty announced that three student-athletes have signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play for the Mustangs beginning with the 2012-13 season. The class includes Brian Bernardi, a three-star 6-3 guard from Xaverian High School in New York, N.Y.; Blaise Mbargorba, a 7-0 center that is an ESPNU Top-100 signee from The Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey; and Uche Ofoegbu, a three-star 6-6 forward from John Paul Stevens in San Antonio. "This is a fantastic recruiting class," says Doherty. "I am excited about the quality of these young men. This class will excel in our system and add to the foundation that we have built. This will translate into success for years to come." Brian Bernardi - G, 6-3, 180 (New York, N.Y. - Xaverian HS) Blaise Mbargorba - C, 7-0, 230 (Hightstown, N.J. - The Peddie School) Uche Ofoegbu - F, 6-6, 200 (San Antonio, Texas - John Paul Stevens)
2010-11: The Mustangs entered the season following their most successful campaign in more than a decade. SMU recorded its first 20-win season and first postseason bid since 1999-2000; finishing 20-15 and advancing to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) semifinal. SMU also had its most wins in Conference USA (8) while leading the league in field goal percentage (.482, 7th NCAA), 3-point percentage (.394, 13th NCAA) and free throw percentage (.742, 38th NCAA). The Mustangs tied the SMU record with 15 home wins at Moody Coliseum (15-1 in 1984-85). SMU also made a team-record 277 3-pointers last year.
Robert Nyakundi Named Preseason All-Conference USA: Senior Robert Nyakundi was selected Preseason All-C-USA second team by the league's coaches. The forward was also tabbed the Best Shooter in C-USA by The Sporting News and was selected Preseason All-C-USA second team by Lindy's Sports Annuals. In 2010, Nyakundi was selected Third-Team All-C-USA as he averaged 14.3 points (11th C-USA) while setting C-USA and SMU records from 3-point range. Nyakundi led C-USA and was second in the NCAA at 49.7 percent (97-195) from beyond the arc. He set the C-USA record by hitting 54.3 percent on 3-pointers (44-81) during league play. His 97 threes set the SMU record while his average of 2.8 made per game was second in C-USA and 34th in the NCAA. Nyakundi also tied the SMU record by hitting 90.0 percent (72-80) at the line.
SMU Hosts Dallas Classic At Ellis Davis Fieldhouse On Dec. 15: As part of SMU's ongoing effort to strengthen its relationship with the city, Dallas' hometown team, the Mustangs hosted a game at the Dallas Independent School District's Ellis Davis Fieldhouse on Dec. 15. SMU played Jackson State in the non-conference matchup, falling 59-58. The Mustangs play at three venues in Dallas this season. The Showcase vs. Oklahoma State is at American Airlines Center on Dec. 28, the inaugural Dallas Classic at Ellis Davis Fieldhouse on Dec. 15, and a full slate of home games at historic Moody Coliseum. Ten of the top 22 scorers in SMU history are from the Dallas area; including Jeryl Sasser (Kimball HS), Quinton Ross (Kimball HS) and Ira Terrell (Roosevelt HS). Sasser is SMU's all-time leading scorer with 1,992 points. --- "SMU is Dallas' team, and this is a great way to embrace that relationship," said SMU A.D. Steve Orsini. "We appreciate the city's support in all our efforts and are very happy to be taking this game off campus for our south Dallas fans." --- "The Mustangs and the city of Dallas have rich basketball histories and this event will help bring those two traditions together," says SMU head coach Matt Doherty." We have seven student-athletes on our roster from the Dallas area and this is a way to show our commitment to the community."
Moody Coliseum Renovation And Expansion Project Receives $20 Million from Moody Foundation plus $10 Million from David & Carolyn Miller: Two lead gifts - a $20 million gift from the Moody Foundation and a $10 million commitment from SMU trustee David B. Miller '72, '73 and his wife Carolyn Lacy Miller - will help provide an extensive expansion and renovation of Moody Coliseum. Moody Coliseum is a campus and Dallas landmark that is home to the pageantry of SMU Commencement as well as numerous speaking, athletics and community events such as concerts and high school graduations. The project will feature new premium seating as well as courtside retractable seating designated for students and renovation of the entry lobby and concourses. Technology improvements will include new video boards, scoreboards, sound system, broadcast capabilities and heating and cooling systems. In addition, office suites, restrooms and locker rooms will be upgraded. Additional donors will be sought for the $40 million project.
NCAA SELECTION: SMU Director of Athletics Steve Orsini is a member of the Division I Men's Basketball Committee, receiving a five-year appointment that began Sept. 1, 2010. The 10-member committee consists of athletics directors and commissioners of Division I member institutions and conferences, and oversees administration of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, including the selection, seeding and bracketing of teams for the tournament. The committee is the primary NCAA contact with CBS Sports, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and other key basketball organizations. Committee members oversee selected preliminary round sites, as well as the Final Four, and assign officiating crews for each game of the championship. The committee also serves as stewards for the good of the game, monitoring and taking action as appropriate regarding issues affecting college basketball.
DICK'S SPORTING GOODS NIT SEASON TIP-OFF: The SMU men's basketball team participated in the 2011 Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off. The Mustangs played in the West Regional in Stanford, Calif. SMU lost 75-56 to Colorado State and 54-52 against Fresno State. The Mustangs then went to Tulsa for the consolation rounds, losing 62-56 to host Oral Roberts before a 64-55 win against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. This is SMU's third appearance in the Preseason NIT. The last was at the start of the 1998-99 season.
MUSTANGS SELECTED IN NBA D-LEAGUE DRAFT: Former SMU men's basketball standouts Collin Mangrum and Derek Williams were selected in the 2011 NBA Development League Draft on Thursday. Both were selected by the Texas Legends with Williams going in the seventh round and Mangrum being called in the eighth round. It is the second straight year two Mustangs have been selected as Mouhammad Faye and Bamba Fall were picked in the 2010 draft.
Kenny Smith Speaks At SMU Basketball Tip-Off Dinner: The SMU men's basketball team hosted its sixth annual Tip-Off Dinner at the Park Cities Hilton Ballroom on Oct. 13. TNT analyst and two-time NBA champion Kenny Smith served as the keynote speaker. Smith is the sixth member of an elite list of speakers for the event following SMU great Jon Koncak (2006), television commentating legend Bill Raftery (2007), prominent coach and analyst Fran Fraschilla (2008), ESPN college basketball analyst Hubert Davis (2009) and NFL Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin (2010).
SMU's Matt Doherty Joins Coaches vs. Cancer to Call for Increased Cancer Research Funding: Coach Matt Doherty teamed with cancer advocates to urge Congress to protect federal funding for cancer research and prevention programs. The coaches led a Capitol Hill rally on Sept. 27, to emphasize that the federal investment in cancer research, prevention and early detection programs is vitally important to helping people prevent and fight the disease. Coaches vs. Cancer is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The more than 2,000 college basketball coaches have raised nearly $50 million since its inception. --- Participants were: Coach Matt Brown (Missouri-Kansas City); Coach Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh); Coach Matt Doherty (SMU); Coach Paul Hewitt (George Mason); John Seffrin, PhD, CEO, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network; Christopher W. Hansen, president, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
SMU's Gerald Lewis Inducted Into St. Martin's Episcopal School Hall Of Fame: Men's basketball Director of Operations and SMU alum, Gerald Lewis, was inducted into the St. Martin's Episcopal School (New Orleans) Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 30. Lewis is a 1989 graduate of St. Martin's and a 1993 graduate of SMU. Lewis scored 1,243 points. As a senior, he averaged 23.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 5.0 steals. As a junior and senior, he was all-state, all-district, and all-metro. At SMU, he was first team All-SWC in 1993, leading SMU to the SWC regular season title and an NCAA berth. His senior season, he became one of only eight players in NCAA history to record three triple-doubles and set the SMU single-season mark for steals (79). He played professionally for six years in Croatia where he was a five-time All-Star including MVP in the 1996 All-Star game.
SMU IN THE POSTSEASON: Last season, SMU played in its 14th postseason tournament, advancing to the semifinal of the CIT. SMU has made 10 NCAA championships (1955, 1956, 1957, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1993), two NIT appearances (1986, 2000) and a Collegiate Commissioners Association Invitational (1974). The three wins in the 2011 postseason tied the program record (3 wins in 1956 NCAA Final Four season). The 64-57 overtime win against Oral Roberts on March 16 in the opening round of the CIT marked the Mustangs' first postseason win since defeating Notre Dame 83-75 in the first round of the 1988 NCAA Championship in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Mustangs were a No. 7 seed and Notre Dame was a No. 10 seed in the East Region. SMU is 12-16 all-time in postseason play.
DOHERTY IN THE POSTSEASON: SMU's 2011 CIT run was Matt Doherty's fourth postseason as a head coach. He has a 10-4 record in two NITs, an NCAA appearance and the 2011 CIT. He led Notre Dame to the NIT championship game in 2000, took North Carolina to the NCAA second round in 2001, and then led UNC to the NIT quarterfinal round in 2003. SMU made the 2011 CIT semifinal. He made seven NCAA trips as an assistant coach at Kansas, including the 1993 Final Four.