Jan. 31, 2011
EAST CAROLINA Pirates (12-9, 4-3 C-USA) at SMU Mustangs (13-8, 4-3 C-USA)
Wed. Feb. 2 - 7 p.m.
Moody Coliseum (8,998)
TV: Time Warner Texas Channel (Pete Stein, Dave Michaels)
Radio: KAAM 770 AM (Rich Phillips, Herman Hudson)
Complete Release in PDF Format
The SMU Mustangs host the East Carolina Pirates on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Mustangs and Pirates are tied for fifth at 4-3 in C-USA. Both are one game out of first place as UAB, Memphis and UTEP are 5-2 in league play. The Mustangs have won three straight leagues games after a 75-68 win at Rice on Saturday. The three-game streak matches SMU's best since joining C-USA. Robert Nyakundi had a career-high 29 points, hitting 7-of-11 from 3-point range, with six rebounds and five assists in the win at Rice.
On the season, SMU is first in C-USA and 13th in the NCAA in field goal percentage (.487), first in C-USA and eighth in the NCAA in 3-point percentage (.409), and tops in C-USA and 17th in the NCAA in free throw percentage (.758). The Mustangs are 12-2 when shooting better than their opponent from the field and 6-2 when shooting at least 50 percent from the floor. SMU is also second in scoring defense in C-USA at 62.6 points allowed per game.
C-USA PLAYER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE Papa Dia: Has won three C-USA Player of the Week Awards (Nov. 15-21, Jan. 10-16, Jan. 17-23)...Fifth in C-USA in scoring (18.0), fifth in rebounds (8.6) and third in blocks (2.2). He also has eight double-doubles and leads C-USA in field goal percentage with 58.8 percent. In C-USA games, Dia has upped his averages to 20.3 points (2nd), 8.9 rebounds (4th) and 3.7 blocks (1st).
ALL-C-USA CANDIDATE Robert Nyakundi: Averaging 16.4 points (8th C-USA). He is also leading C-USA and is ninth in the NCAA with 3.1 3-pointers per game, and is first in C-USA and eighth in the NCAA at 47.1 percent from 3-point range.
THE SERIES VS. EAST CAROLINA (4-2): The Mustangs and Pirates are meeting for the seventh time overall and sixth time since becoming Conference USA partners. SMU holds a 4-2 overall lead with the teams and a 3-2 edge in C-USA matchups. The Mustangs downed the Pirates 59-54 last season as Papa Dia scored 10 points, grabbed six rebounds and collected three steals. SMU fell 80-74 in Dallas in 2009. The Mustangs won the first meeting between the teams 71-62 on Dec. 21, 1985 in the Kentucky Invitational at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
UP NEXT: SMU hosts Tulane on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.
LAST GAME (Jan. 29 - W, 75-68 at Rice): 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.
LAST YEAR VS. EAST CAROLINA: (Feb. 24 - W 59-54 at ECU): GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Derek Williams scored 13 points to lead SMU to a 59-54 victory over East Carolina on Wednesday night. Papa Dia added 10 points and SMU (13-14, 6-7 Conference USA), which entered as the second-best scoring defense in the conference, held East Carolina to 38.8 percent from the floor (19-for-49). The Mustangs led by 12 points with 12:23 remaining, but East Carolina went on a 13-2 run to cut the deficit to 48-47 on Jamar Abrams' 3-pointer with 6:57 to play. Mouhammad Faye countered with a 3 and a 51-47 lead with 6:37 left and Robert Nyakundi's 3 gave SMU a 56-51 advantage with 1:10 remaining. SMU hit seven 3-pointers and won despite going 3-for-6 from the free throw line in the final 27 seconds. Brock Young scored 14 points and Abrams added 10 points for East Carolina (9-18, 3-10), which was 5-for-21 from the 3-point line (23.8 percent).
LAST SEASON IN C-USA: The Mustangs went 7-9 in C-USA last season to finish with its most wins (7), best finish (tied for 7th) and best seed (No. 8) since joining C-USA for the 2005-06 season. SMU also recorded its first C-USA wins over Memphis and Houston. Papa Dia and Derek Williams were selected to the 2010 All-Conference USA Third Team. It was the first time SMU has had multiple All-Conference selections since the 2001-02 season (Damon Hancock 1st team, Quinton Ross 2nd team in WAC).
20/20: The Mustangs have had two players with at least 20 points six times this year and are 4-2 in those games; Papa Dia & Robert Nyakundi (4-1), Papa Dia & Justin Haynes (0-1).
70+: SMU is 8-1 when scoring at least 70 points this year and 31-14 in such games under Doherty.
ASSISTANCE: SMU is averaging 14.6 assists, up from 10.7 last year...the squad also has a 1.1 assist/turnover ratio after a 0.8 ratio a year ago.
BUZZER-BEATER: Robert Nyakundi hit a left-wing 3-pointer off a pass from Jeremiah Samarrippas with 1.1 seconds left at Tulsa for the 59-58 win on Jan. 26. It was the first buzzer-beating win for the Mustangs since Dez Willingham hit a left-wing 3-pointer as time expired in a 64-62 victory at TCU on Dec. 21, 2006.
COMEBACK: SMU overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat Memphis 64-58 on Jan. 12 and rallied from a 13-point deficit to win 59-58 at Tulsa on Jan. 26. It marked the eighth double-digit comeback for the Mustangs under Doherty.
DEFENSE-DEFENSE: SMU is 2nd in C-USA in scoring defense, allowing 62.6 points per game. The Mustangs finished 3rd last season allowing just 64.5 points per contest.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE = W: The Mustangs are 7-3 this season when an SMU player has a double-double; Papa Dia (5-3), Robert Nyakundi (2-0)
FG PERCENTAGE: The Mustangs are 11-2 when shooting a higher percentage and 1-6 when shooting a lower percentage than their opponent...SMU is 6-2 when shooting 50 percent or better.
FREE THROWS: SMU leads C-USA and is 17th in the NCAA in FT percentage (.758)...that is up from .700 last year and near the school record of .769 in 1961-62. Robert Nyakundi is 2nd in C-USA (.906) and Papa Dia is 8th in C-USA (.804).
LONG RANGE: SMU leads C-USA and is 14th in the NCAA in 3-point field goals per game (8.8).
NCAA IMPROVEMENT: The Mustangs average rank is 120.9 in the 18 NCAA team categories. That is up from 181.1 last season. There are 336 teams listed this season.
NOT FOUR FREE: SMU went 4-4 on free throws in the 59-58 win at Tulsa. It was the fewest free throws attempted by SMU since going 2-2 at Rice in a 66-64 overtime loss on Dec. 30, 2004.
SHARP-SHOOTERS: The Mustangs are 1st in C-USA and 17th in the NCAA in FT percentage (.758), 1st in C-USA and 13th in the NCAA in FG percentage (.487), and 1st in C-USA and 8th in the NCAA in 3FG percentage (.409). Those are all improvements over last season when SMU was .700 at the FT line, .457 on FGs, and .358 on 3FGs. SMU is also leading C-USA in FG percentage in league play (.507).
Rodney Clinkscales: Has made a career-high 34 3-pointers (27 in 2009-10)...averaging a career-best 7.5 points...is averaging 1.6 3FGs made per game...2nd on the team in 3FG percentage (.430, 34-79).
Papa Dia: Team tri-captain...Preseason All-C-USA, C-USA Player of the Week 3 times (Nov. 15-21, Jan. 10-16, Jan. 17-23), SMU Invitational MVP (Nov. 19-21)...has 8 double-doubles this season and 21 for his career...ranks 5th in C-USA with a career-high 18.0 points (12.3 in 2009-10), 5th in C-USA in rebounds (8.6), 1st in C-USA and 13th in the NCAA in FG percentage (.588), 8th in C-USA in FT percentage (.804), and 3rd in C-USA for blocked shots (2.2)...he has scored at least 20 points 10 times and has at least 8 rebounds 16 times...CONSECUTIVE C-USA POTW: Dia earned C-USA Player of the Week on Jan. 17 and Jan. 24, and is the first Mustang to earn consecutive awards since 2004-05 (Bryan Hopkins Dec. 20, Dec. 27 in the WAC)...PAPA SAID BLOCK YOUR SHOT: He has 23 blocked shots in the last 5 games (7, 2, 5, 6, 3) including a career-high 7 against Houston 1/15.
Ryan Harp: Team tri-captain...started 8 games...averaging 2.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 19.9 minutes.
JUSTIN HAYES: Started 13 games...hitting .610 (50-82) on FGs this year after .609 (67-110) last season...he is averaging 6.2 points, up from 5.6 last season...scored a career-high 21 points at Tulane 1/8.
Collin Mangrum: Has played in 19 games with 5 starts (last 5 games)...averaging 4.8 points and 1.7 rebounds...in C-USA games, he is averaging 9.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals (T-10th C-USA) while shooting .529 (27-51) on FGs...had a season-high 15 points in the wins over Memphis 1/12 and Southern Miss 1/22.
Robert Nyakundi: Has a career-best 65 3-pointers this year (46 in 2009-10)...has at least 15 points 14 times and at least 20 points 8 times...he is 8th in C-USA in scoring (16.4), 1st in C-USA and 9th in the NCAA for 3FGs per game (3.1) and 1st in C-USA and 8th in the NCAA in 3FG percentage (.471, 65-138)...he is 2nd C-USA in FT percentage (.906, 48-53)...he is 2nd all-time career FT percentage for SMU (.879, 94-107)...BUZZER-BEATER: Nyakundi hit a left-wing 3-pointer off a pass from Jeremiah Samarrippas with 1.1 seconds left at Tulsa for the 59-58 win on Jan. 26...CAREER-DAY: Had career-highs of 29 points and 7 3-pointers (7-11) with 6 rebounds and 5 assists in the 75-68 win at Rice 1/29.
Jeremiah Samarrippas: Started 16 games as a freshman...averaging 6.7 points...ranks 7th in C-USA with a 2.0 assist/turnover ratio (78 ast / 40 to)...he is 8th in C-USA in assists (3.7)...In C-USA games, he is 4th in assists (4.4), 4th in assist/turnover ratio (2.2, 31 ast/ 14 to) and T-10th in steals (1.4)...had a season-high 9 assists with 1 turnover in the win against Southern Miss 1/22.
Mike Walker: Team tri-captain...has started 16 games this year...averaging a career-best 6.3 points (5.4 in 2007-08)...is shooting 40.9 percent from 3-point range (27-66).
SMU Career Points: Papa Dia is 27th 1175 (26th Butch Moore 1179, 25th Lynn Phillips 1198)
SMU Career Rebounds: Papa Dia is 9th 756 (8th Patrick Simpson 759, 7th Jeff Swanson 785)
SMU Career Blocks: Papa Dia is 6th 112 (5th Reggie Franklin 129)
SMU Career 3FGM: Mike Walker is 10th 114 (9th Jon Killen 119, 8th Jemeil Rich 121, 7th Jeryl Sasser 133) Robert Nyakundi is 6th 151 (5th Chad Allen 161)
SMU Career FT%: Robert Nyakundi is 2nd 87.9 (94-107) (1st Eric Longino 88.4 (99-112), 3rd Charles Beasley 83.9 (270-322))
10+points: Papa Dia 9 (18, 14, 20, 22, 23, 16, 23, 19, 19), Robert Nyakundi 3 (16, 10, 29), Mike Walker (13)
5+ assists: Jeremiah Samarrippas 3 (9, 6, 6), Robert Nyakundi (5), Collin Mangrum (5)
3+ steals: Jeremiah Samarrippas (4)
2+ blocks: Papa Dia 5 (7, 2, 5, 6, 3)
SMU RECORDS: Additions to the SMU record book this season
FG PCT - 72.3 (34-47) Lamar 11/21 - 1st
- 69.8 (30-43) Southern Miss 1/22 - 2nd (1st in a C-USA game)
3FGM - 16 (16-37) UC Riverside 11/20 - 1st
- 13 (13-26) Wayland Baptist 11/24 - T-5th
3FGA - 37 (16-37) UC Riverside 11/20 - 1st
3FG PCT - 66.7 (12-18) Southern Miss 1/22 - 3rd
- 60.0 (9-15) Lamar 11/21 - 5th
3FGM - Robert Nyakundi 7 (7-11) at Rice 1/29 - T-2nd (T-1st C-USA games)
3FGA - Rodney Clinkscales 13 (6-13) UC Riverside 11/20 - T-7th
- Robert Nyakundi 13 (3-13) at Louisiana Tech 12/1 - T-7th
FT% - Robert Nyakundi 100 (10-10) SE Missouri St 12/29 - T-1st
BLOCKED SHOTS - Papa Dia 7 Houston 1/15 - T-3rd
NetScoutsBasketball.com C-USA Player of the Week: Papa Dia (Jan. 22-28)
C-USA Player of the Week: Papa Dia (Jan. 17-23)
C-USA Player of the Week: Papa Dia (Jan. 10-16)
C-USA Player of the Week: Papa Dia (Nov. 15-21)
SMU Invitational All-Tournament Team: Papa Dia (MVP), Robert Nyakundi
Preseason All-Conference USA - USA Today: Papa Dia
Preseason All-Conference USA - Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook: Papa Dia
Preseason All-Conference USA - Athlon Sports: Papa Dia
Preseason All-Conference USA - C-USA Coaches: Papa Dia (Second Team)
Preseason All-Conference USA - Lindy's College Basketball: Papa Dia (Second Team)
2009-10 (Returnees Only)
All-Conference USA - Papa Dia (Third Team)
2008-09 (Returnees Only)
C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll - Tomasz Kwiatkowski
2007-08 (Returnees Only)
Conference USA All-Freshman - Papa Dia
Papa Dia - C-USA CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK (JAN. 17-23): Dia averaged 19.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in games against UAB and Southern Miss to repeat as C-USA Player of the Week. Dia tallied 23 points, nine rebounds, five blocks and was 10-of-10 on field goals in the 79-65 win over Southern Miss Saturday. He is just the second player in C-USA history to record 10 made field goals without a miss. In the second half, Dia shot 7-of-7 to total 17 points, six rebounds and two blocks as SMU pulled away. SMU shot 69.8 percent from the floor against the Golden Eagles, a performance that ranks second in SMU history and second by any C-USA team in a conference game. At UAB, Dia had 16 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks as he tallied his fourth straight double-double. This is his third Player of the Week honor this season and for his career. Dia is the first Mustang to earn consecutive conference Player of the Week awards since 2004-05 (Bryan Hopkins Dec. 20, Dec. 27 in the WAC).
Papa Dia - C-USA PLAYER OF THE WEEK (JAN. 10-16): SMU senior forward Papa Dia was named the C-USA Player of the Week. Dia averaged 22.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.0 blocks, 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals in games against Memphis and Houston. Dia had double-doubles in both games as he hit 60 percent from the floor (15-25) and 83.3 percent on free throws (15-18). Against Houston, he scored 23 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked a career-high seven shots. The seven blocks was also an SMU record in a C-USA game. In the 64-58 win against Memphis, he had 22 points and 10 rebounds. Dia also hit 5-of-6 free throws and grabbed two rebounds in the final 32 seconds to help seal the victory.
Papa Dia - C-USA PLAYER OF THE WEEK (NOV. 15-21): SMU senior forward Papa Dia was named the C-USA Player of the Week. Dia averaged 18.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks while shooting 71.8 percent (28-39) from the field in four games. He was named MVP of the SMU Invitational as he helped the Mustangs win the event. For the tournament, he averaged 20.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.3 assists and a steal. He finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds in a 102-70 win against Lamar. He also had 20 points and nine rebounds in a 69-53 victory over Portland State. This is his first career Player of the Week honor.
WILLIAMS JOINS MUSTANGS: Shawn Williams joined the SMU men's basketball team when he enrolled at SMU on Jan. 11. Williams, a 6-7, 225-lb. forward, arrives at SMU from Texas, where he played in seven of the Longhorns' first eight games in 2009-10 before missing the remainder of the season with an ankle injury. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he will have to sit out one academic year and can become eligible when grades are posted at the end of the Fall 2011 semester. He will have three years of eligibility remaining. Williams was ranked the No. 46 prospect nationally and the No. 2 prospect in the state coming out of high school in 2009. He was also named the 2009 Dallas Morning News Area Player of the Year. In his sophomore season (2006-07), Williams led Duncanville to a 39-0 record, the Class 5A state title and the mythical high school national championship.
PATSEVICH MAKES DEBUT ON JAN. 26: SMU junior guard Aliaksei Patsevich made his debut for SMU at Tulsa. Patsevich was cleared to practice by the NCAA beginning Dec. 22 after resolving issues relating to his amateur status. He has 3 points and a steal in 12 minutes in the 59-58 win at Tulsa. Patsevich played 28 games last season at Collin County CC, averaging 10.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 35 percent from 3-point range.
ALBON HEAD TO BE HONORED WITH SAM AWARD: SMU alumnus Albon Head will be honored with the Silver Anniversary Mustang Award at the Jan. 22 game against Southern Miss. Head played football at SMU from 1966-68 including the 1966 SWC Championship and 1968 Bluebonnet Bowl victory when he served as co-captain. From 1968-70, Head served as a graduate assistant coach of freshman and scout team defensive backs. He earned a Bachelor's in History in 1969 and a Juris Doctor from the Dedman School of Law in 1971. He is a past chairman of the SMU Alumni Association and ex officio member of the SMU Board of Trustees. Head is an executive board member of the SMU Dedman School of Law and SMU-in-Taos, and is the chairman of the SMU Athletic Forum & Doak Walker Award. Head is a partner in the Jackson Walker L.L.P. Fort Worth office. In the community, he is the vice chairman of The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate. He is also a board member for the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation, Fort Worth Sister Cities International and Downtown Fort Worth Inc. The annual award, which was initiated in 1991, is the most prestigious award given by the Lettermen's Association. To be selected as the SAM Award winner, an individual must have graduated from SMU at least 25 years ago and have made significant, positive and lasting impact on his/her community.
SUCCESS ON THE HILLTOP:
- The SMU football team finished 7-7 after a heartbreaking 16-14 loss to Army in the 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. It is the second straight bowl for SMU after a 45-10 win over Nevada in the 2009 Hawaii Bowl. This season also saw SMU win the Conference USA West Division for the second straight season and make its first trip to the C-USA Championship game, falling 17-7 at UCF on Dec. 4.
- The women's tennis team is ranked No. 27 in the ITA entering the spring season. Junior Marta Lesniak is ranked No. 2, the highest mark in school history. Lesniak and Heather Steinbauer are No. 29 in doubles. The squad has made the second round of the NCAA each of the past two seasons and won the 2009 C-USA title.
- The No. 5 seed SMU men's soccer team (16-2-2) tied No. 4 seed North Carolina in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championship on Dec. 3. The Tar Heels advanced to the College Cup with a 4-2 edge in the penalty kick shootout. SMU also won the C-USA regular-season title.
- The SMU volleyball team (25-6, 17-3 C-USA) finished second in Conference USA and set a school record for wins. The Mustangs had an RPI of 47 and were the highest rated team to miss NCAA selection.
TV TIME: SMU, CBS College Sports Network and Time Warner Cable reached an agreement to televise 17 SMU basketball games on The Texas Channel. Time Warner Sports will carry 10 men's games and seven women's games. The television schedule begins with a doubleheader on Dec. 4 when the women host Kansas at 2 p.m. and the men face Grambling State at 5 p.m. The SMU men's basketball matchups on The Texas Channel include all eight home Conference USA contests - Memphis, Houston, Southern Miss, East Carolina, Tulane, Tulsa, Rice, and UTEP. The Texas Channel will also carry the men's game at UTEP on Feb. 12.
SMU INVITATIONAL CHAMPS: The Mustangs won the SMU Invitational played Nov. 19-21. SMU finished 2-1 in the tournament; defeating Portland State 69-53 and Lamar 102-70. Portland State also finished 2-1, giving SMU the tiebreaker. SMU's loss came in overtime, 73-69 against UC Riverside. Papa Dia was named tournament MVP and Robert Nyakundi made the all-tournament team. The Mustangs established three school records, including a school-best 72.3 FG percentage (34-47) against Lamar and records for 3-pointers made (16) and attempted (37) against UC Riverside.
THE BIG PICTURE (NOTES ENTERING THE 2010-11 SEASON)
ALL-CONFERENCE USA: Papa Dia and Derek Williams were selected to the 2010 All-Conference USA Third Team. It was the first time SMU has had multiple All-Conference selections since the 2001-02 season (Damon Hancock 1st team, Quinton Ross 2nd team in WAC).
CAPTAINS: Coach Matt Doherty named seniors Papa Dia, Ryan Harp and Mike Walker as team captains on Nov. 11.
C-USA BEST: The Mustangs went 7-9 in C-USA last season to finish with its most wins (7), best finish (tied for 7th) and best seed (No. 8) since joining C-USA for the 2005-06 season. SMU also recorded its first C-USA wins over Memphis and Houston.
DEFENSE: In 2009-10, SMU finished second in C-USA for scoring defense in league play at 61.0. That is the best for SMU since holding opponents to 60.9 points per outing in 1958-59. SMU has held its C-USA opponents to an average of 11.9 points below their scoring average (entering that game). Only three C-USA opponents reached their scoring average.
FUTURE - NLIs: Head Coach Matt Doherty announced that four student-athletes signed National Letters-of-Intent to play for the Mustangs beginning with the 2011-12 season. The class includes Cannen Cunningham, a four-star 6-8 center from Lamar High School in Arlington; Jalen Jones, a 6-6 three-star guard from Kimball High School in Dallas; Eric Norman, a two-star 6-6 forward from Francis W. Parker School in San Diego; and Ryan Manuel, a 6-4 three-star guard from Fort Bend Austin High School in Houston. - "Overall, this is one of the best recruiting classes SMU has had in recent history," says Doherty. "I am thrilled with this group of young men. By adding this class with last year's class, we have a foundation that will translate into success on the court for years to come."
NEW ASSISTANTS: The Mustangs have two new assistant coaches in Larry Mangino and Jerry Hobbie. Mangino enters SMU with 24 years of collegiate coaching experience. He spent the last two years in player development for the Denver Nuggets after a seven-year stretch at the Air Force Academy. Hobbie comes to the Hilltop with 12 years in collegiate coaching. He spent the previous three years at Houston, making the postseason each year including the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
NBA: For the third season, the NBA's Dallas Mavericks held training camp at SMU's Crum Basketball Center.
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.
NEXT LEVEL: The last three seniors from SMU are playing professionally. Two are in the NBA D-League: Bamba Fall (Reno Bighorns) and Mouhammad Faye (Rio Grande Valley Vipers). Derek Williams is playing in Latvia.
PRESEASON HONORS: Papa Dia was selected preseason All-Conference USA by Blue Ribbon College Yearbook and All-C-USA second-team by the league's coaches. Last year, he led the team and was fifth in C-USA in rebounds (8.6) while also ranking second on the team and 17th in C-USA in scoring (12.3). Additionally, Dia finished fourth in the league in field goal percentage (.544), sixth in free throw percentage (.800) and sixth in blocked shots (1.2). In C-USA games, he averaged 13.9 points (13th C-USA), 9.1 rebounds (4th C-USA), and 1.4 blocks (4th C-USA). He had 10 double-doubles for the season.
SENIORS: SMU has six seniors this season with Papa Dia, Ryan Harp, Tomasz Kwiatkowski, Myles Luttman, Collin Mangrum and Mike Walker. Dia, Harp, Kwiatkowski, and Walker are the first four-year student-athletes for Coach Matt Doherty. SMU had just two seniors in 2009-10 (Mouhammad Faye, Derek Williams) and one in 2008-09 (Bamba Fall).
SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT: SMU improved statistically in league play in 15 of 20 categories kept by C-USA.
STAYING AT HOME: The Mustangs play an SMU-record 19 home games at Moody Coliseum in 2010-11.
HEAD COACH Matt Doherty...is in his 10th season as a head coach and his fifth season at SMU. This is his 20th season in collegiate coaching with 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. He has a 150-154 record including a 60-83 mark on the Hilltop.