Men's Basketball

[1] SMU Hosts [8] UC Irvine In NIT Opener On Wednesday At 8 PM CT On ESPN2

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Go smu!

Go smu!

March 17, 2014

  No. 1 SMU (23-9) vs. No. 8 UC Irvine (23-11) - NIT First Round
 Date & Tip Time  Wednesday, March 19 at 8 p.m. CT
 Live Stats  Gametracker
 Location  Moody Coliseum (7,000) - Dallas, Texas
 TV/Web  ESPN 2   |  Channel Finder
 Radio  SMU - KAAM 770 AM
 Game Info  SMU Game Notes (.pdf)   |  UC Irvine   |  NIT
 Facebook  /SMUMustangs   |   /SMUBasketball
 Twitter  @SMUMustangs   |   @SMUBasketball   |   @LarryBrownSMU
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No. 1-seeded [-/RV] SMU (23-9) will open the National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday, when it hosts No. 8-seeded UC Irvine (23-11) in the first round in Moody Coliseum at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN2. This is the Mustangs 15th postseason appearance, first since 2011 and third in the NIT (1986, 2000). SMU enters the NIT with 23 wins, its highest since 1987-88 (28). SMU also tied its record with 12 conference wins, the most since the 1992-93 season (SWC). The Mustangs' third-place finish in the American Athletic Conference was its best since 2002-03 (third WAC).

On Feb. 27, head coach Larry Brown was named a National Coach of the Year finalist by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). In just his second year on the Hilltop, Brown and the Mustangs have posted the top NCAA RPI turnaround from 2012-13 (213) to 2013-14 (53), improving their mark 160 spots. SMU also has a +8 win improvement from last year to this year, after finishing the 2012-13 campaign at 15-17. On March 11, Brown was named the District VII Coach of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

The Mustangs are fifth in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (1st American), holding opponents to 37.7%. The Mustang defense is allowing just 62.3 points per game, 20th in the NCAA (3rd American). SMU has held 28 of its last 41 (22 of 32 this year) opponents under 40% shooting. SMU has outrebounded 22 of 32 opponents this season. On offense, SMU led the conference in field-goal percentage, shooting 48.7% (15th NCAA). The Mustangs are also shooting 37.2% from beyond the arc, finishing second in the conference. SMU was third in the league in assists per game at 15.2 (33rd NCAA), and is averaging 71.4 points per game. Additionally, the Mustangs have outscored 26 of 32 opponents in the paint by an average of 34.1-21.8.

Heading into postseason play, SMU is receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches' Poll. Last week, SMU was ranked in both polls this season for the first time in program history. The Mustangs got as high as No. 18 in both polls (March 3). SMU received votes in the AP Poll for eight-straight weeks and in the USA Today Coaches' Poll for seven-straight weeks. The Mustangs finished at No. 53 in the NCAA Men's Basketball RPI, one of five American Athletic Conference teams in the top 55. SMU finished the regular season 4-5 against teams in the RPI top 65.

Sophomores Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy earned postseason accolades. Moore was selected to the first team for the American Athletic Conference, USBWA District VII and NABC District 25. Kennedy was a second-team honoree for The American and the NABC All-District 25. Moore finished the regular season averaging 13.9 points, 4.7 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals. The Winona Lake, Ind., native led SMU with eight appearances on the conference's weekly honor roll. Kennedy, who earned second team honors on Tuesday, made four appearances on the weekly honor roll this season. The sophomore transfer averaged 12.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks in the regular season. Senior Nick Russell was named to the conference's weekly honor roll on March 10, his first appearance of the season. Junior center Yanick Moreira was also on the honor roll once, while freshman Ben Moore was named the conference's rookie of the week three times this season.

LAST GAME (L, 68-64 VS HOUSTON ON MARCH 13): -- MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Jherrod Stiggers scored 19 points, including five 3-pointers, and Houston upset No. 25/23 SMU 68-64 in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament Thursday. The Cougars (17-15), who will face either No. 5 Louisville or Rutgers, which play later Thursday, converted 9 of 19 3-pointers in the game. L.J. Rose finished with 16, hitting all three of his shots from outside the arc. TaShawn Thomas added 14 points and nine rebounds and four blocks, including a key one down the stretch, while Danuel House finished with 11 for the sixth-seed Houston. Cannen Cunningham led SMU (23-9), the tournament's third seed, with 14 points, while Markus Kennedy scored 13 and grabbed nine rebounds. Nick Russell had 10 points. Nic Moore, SMU's leading scorer at 13.9 a game, had eight points, but missed all nine of his shots from the field. He had eight assists. The Mustangs were within 64-61 when Kennedy went inside, but was blocked by Thomas, his fourth of the game, and Houston held on from there. SMU swept the season series with the Cougars, winning 75-68 at Houston and 68-64 on Feb. 19. The Mustangs struggled after halftime, connecting on only 5 of 20 shots, allowing the Cougars to erase a double-digit lead early in the second half. SMU missed six of its last seven shots in the final 6 minutes. The only shot they made was a 3-pointer by Kennedy just before the final buzzer. After relying on Stiggers and Rose in the first half, the rest of the Cougars started to contribute after SMU had taken the lead to double digits -- 42-32 -- early in the second half. Houston rattled off a 19-4 run with Thomas scoring five and Rose, Stiggers and Danuel House making 3-pointers. That allowed Houston to overtake SMU for a 51-46 lead and Mustangs coach Larry Brown took a timeout. The Houston lead would eventually reach 55-47. SMU scratched back to make it 55-52 when Kennedy fell under the Mustang basket holding his right ankle. While he was down, Richardson scored on the other end for Houston for a 57-52 lead. Kennedy returned, and the Mustangs would get within two points on a couple of occasions, but could never overtake Houston.

THE SERIES VS. UC IRVINE (0-0): Wednesday's meeting is the first between the two programs.

HALL OF FAME HEAD COACH Larry Brown...was named head men's basketball coach at SMU on April 19, 2012. He is the only head coach to win both an NCAA title (Kansas 1988) and an NBA Championship (Detroit 2004). Brown was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach on Sept. 27, 2002. He is in his 39th season as a head coach and 9th at the NCAA level. He has an overall record of 1691-1218 when combining his head coaching marks from the NBA, the ABA, the NCAA and USA Basketball. His collegiate record is 215-87 (38-26 at SMU), making the NCAA tournament in his first seven seasons including three Final Fours (1980, 1986, 1988) and the 1988 NCAA title.

ACTIVE HALL OF FAMERS: There are five active coaches that have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
- Jim Boeheim, Syracuse - HOF 2005
- Larry Brown, SMU - HOF 2002
- Mike Krzyzewski, Duke - HOF 2001
- Rick Pitino, Louisville - HOF 2013
- Roy Williams, North Carolina - HOF 2007

HOF vs. HOF: There will be at least 8 matchups this season between Hall of Fame head coaches. SMU's Larry Brown will be in at least two of them, facing Louisville's Rick Pitino twice during American Athletic Conference play.
Nov. 24: [24/19] North Carolina (Williams) vs. [3/2] Louisville (Pitino) (UNC Wins 93-84)
Jan. 11: [RV/RV] North Carolina (Williams) at [2/2] Syracuse (Boeheim) (Syracuse wins 57-45)
Jan. 12: [RV/-] SMU (Brown) at [12/8] Louisville (Pitino) (UL wins 71-63)
Feb. 1: Feb. 1: [17/16] Duke (Krzyzewski) at [2/2] Syracuse (Boeheim) (Syracuse wins 91-89 OT)
Feb. 20: [5/6] Duke (Krzyzewski) at [RV/RV] North Carolina (Williams) (UNC wins 74-66)
Feb. 22: [1/1] Syracuse (Boeheim) at [5/6] Duke (Krzyzewski) (Duke wins 66-60)
Mar 5: [11/9] Louisville (Pitino) at [18/18] SMU (Brown) (UL wins 84-71)
Mar. 8: [14/14] North Carolina (Williams) at [4/4] Duke (Krzyzewski) (Duke wins 93-81)

ACTIVE NCAA CHAMPS: Larry Brown is one of 11 active Division I head coaches to win an NCAA Championship as a head coach.
- Jim Boeheim, Syracuse (Syracuse 2003)
- Larry Brown, SMU (Kansas 1988)
- John Calipari, Kentucky (Kentucky 2012)
- Billy Donovan, Florida (Florida 2006, 2007)
- Steve Fisher, San Diego State (Michigan 1989)
- Tom Izzo, Michigan State (Michigan State 2000)
- Mike Krzyzewski, Duke (Duke 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010) <- > - Rick Pitino, Louisville (Kentucky 1996, Louisville 2013) br> - Bill Self, Kansas (Kansas 2008)
- Tubby Smith, Texas Tech (Kentucky 1998)
- Roy Williams, North Carolina (North Carolina 2009, '05)

Larry Brown AT HOME (NCAA): His teams are 117-19 (.860) at home. He is 22-8 (.733) at SMU. His teams were 24-6 (.800) at Pauley Pavilion at UCLA and 71-5 (.934) at Allen Fieldhouse while at Kansas. (At KU, his teams won a Big 8-record 55 straight home games, which is 3rd all-time at KU - Started 3/3/84 vs. Oklahoma State W, 91-70 - Ended 1/30/88 vs. Kansas State L, 72-61).

Larry Brown ON THE ROAD (NCAA): His teams are 53-46 (.535) in road games, 12-13 (.480) at SMU.

Larry Brown IN NEUTRAL SITE GAMES (NCAA): His teams are 45-22 (.672) in neutral site games. He is 4-5 (.444) in neutral site games with SMU.

Larry Brown IN CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT GAMES: His teams are 9-5 (.643) in conference tournament games with two championships. He is 0-2 at SMU. While at Kansas, his teams won the 1984 and 1986 Big Eight Tournaments.

Larry Brown IN POSTSEASON TOURNAMENTS: His teams are 19-6 (.760) in the postseason, all in the NCAA Tournament. His teams have reached the Final Four three times; with UCLA in 1980 and with Kansas in 1986 and 1988. The 1988 Kansas team won the national title.

SIGNING DAY - CONSENSUS TOP-5 PROSPECT EMMANUEL MUDIAY SIGNS WITH SMU: SMU Head Coach Larry Brown announced that McDonald's All-American Emmanuel Mudiay has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Mustangs beginning with the 2014-15 season. Mudiay is a consensus top-5 prospect from Prime Prep Academy in Dallas. He is rated No. 2 overall by Rivals, No. 3 overall by Scout and No. 5 overall by ESPN. As a junior, Mudiay averaged just over 15 points and 10 rebounds as he helped Prime Prep to a 37-2 record, reaching the semifinals of the National High School Invitational. He played AAU basketball for MWA Elite, averaging 14.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 2013 after averaging 21.2 points and 6.0 assists in 2012. Mudiay's signing follows a 2013 class that ranked as high as No. 14 nationally.

THE GRADUATES: SMU seniors Nick Russell and Shawn Williams have already earned their bachelor's degrees and are enrolled in graduate courses. Williams graduated in May 2013 with a degree in sociology. Russell earned his bachelor's degree in psychology in August 2013.

SMU VS. DEFENDING NCAA CHAMPIONS: The Mustangs will face defending NCAA champion Louisville at least twice this season. The Mustangs have faced the defending champ in seven other seasons.
Date Opponent Result
12/19/1952 at Kansas L, 66-83
12/20/1952 at Kansas L, 55-72
3/22/1956 vs. [1] San Francisco L, 68-86 in NCAA Semifinal
12/11/1958 at [3] Kentucky L, 60-72
12/10/1966 UTEP L, 62-71
12/8/1973 at [1] UCLA L, 60-77
1/9/1989 at [20] Kansas L, 82-90 (2OT)
12/8/1994 [3] Arkansas L, 66-78
1/12/2014 at [12/8] Louisville L, 63-71
3/5/2014 [11/9] Louisville L, 71-84

- All-American Athletic Conference
Nic Moore (First Team)
Markus Kennedy (Second Team)
- NABC All-District 25
Nic Moore (First Team)
Markus Kennedy (Second Team)
- USBWA All-District VII
Larry Brown (Coach of the Year)
Nic Moore
- National Team of the Week
ESPN & NBC Sports (Feb. 10 after 76-55 win over then-7/7 Cincinnati)
- USBWA Henry Iba National Coach of the Year - Larry Brown named 1 of 10 finalists
Larry Brown named 1 of 10 finalists (Feb. 27)
- College Hoops Daily - Larry Brown named 1 of 10 finalists
Larry Brown named AAC Coach of the Year (March 10)
- American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week
Ben Moore (Nov. 18) - 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks in win over Rhode Island
Ben Moore (Jan. 27) - 8.5 points, 3.5 rebounds in 2-0 week Ben Moore (Feb. 10) - 12.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 2-0 week>
- American Athletic Conference Weekly Honor Roll
Nic Moore (Nov. 18) - 20 points, 7-9 FG, 4-4 3FG, 7 assists in win over Rhode Island
Yanick Moreira (Nov. 25) - 15.0 pts, 5.3 rebs, 1.7 blks, 62.2% FG (15-23) in 3 games
Nic Moore (Dec. 2) - 13.0 pts, 2.3 asts, 2.3 rebs, Corpus Christi Challenge All-Tournanment
Nic Moore (Dec. 9) - 17.5 pts, 5.0 asts, 3.0 rebs, 64.7% FG (11-17), 80.0% 3FG (8-10)
Markus Kennedy (Dec. 23) - 16.0 pts, 7.0 rebs, 68.4% FG (13-19) in 2 wins
Nic Moore (Jan. 6) - 14.5 pts, 5.5 asts in 1-1 week
Markus Kennedy (Jan. 20) - 15.0 pts, 10.0 rebs, 2.7 asts, 2.3 stls, 1.3 blks, 2 dbl-dbls, 3-0 week
Markus Kennedy (Jan. 27) - 16.5 pts, 10.0 rebs, 3.0 blks, 2.0 asts, 1.5 stls in 2-0 week)
Nic Moore (Feb. 3) - 18.5 pts, 6.0 asts, in 1-1 week including win over No. 22/22 Memphis
Nic Moore (Feb. 10) - 12.5 pts, 4.5 asts, in 2-0 week including win over No. 7/7 Cincinnati
Nic Moore (Feb. 17) - 18.0 pts, 4.5 asts
Nic Moore (Feb. 24) - 15.5 pts, 4.0 asts in 2-0 week, including win at 21/21 Connecticut
Markus Kennedy (March 3) - 18 pts, 8 rbs, 3 asts, 2 blks, 2 stls in win over UCF
Nick Russell (March 10) - 15.5 pts, 4.0 asts, 3.5 rebs vs. Louisville & Memphis
- Corpus Christi Challenge All-Tournament Team (Nov. 29-30)
Nic Moore - 16.5 pts, 3.0 rebs, 1.5 asts, 1.0 stl, 11-21 FG (.524), 7-12 3FG (.583)
- Capital One Impact Performance of the Week
Markus Kennedy (Feb. 3 - 1 of 4 nominees) - 21 pts, 15 rebs, 3 stls in win over 22/22 Memphis - American Athletic Conference Preseason Awards
Keith Frazier - Preseason Rookie of the Year

20 WIN PLATEAU: The Mustangs have reached the 20-win mark for the 10th time in program history, and the first time since they went 20-15 in the 2010-11 campaign. SMU has 23 wins for the first time since the 1987-88 season, when the Mustangs went 24-6 in the regular season (28-7 overall). 2013-14 also marks the earliest calendar date (Feb. 14) the Mustangs have reached 20 wins in program history. The campaign is also SMU's first 20-win regular season since the Mustangs went 21-7 in the 1999-00 campaign. The Mustangs reached the 20-win mark in 25 games; matching the number of games it took the 1999-00 team to reach 20 wins. It's the seventh time SMU has reached 20 wins in 25 games or less. This season is SMU's eighth 20-win regular season. SMU also had 12 conference wins for the first time since the 1992-93 season (SWC).

"AP"PROPRIATE VOTE OF CONFIDENCE: SMU is ranked in both polls this season for the first time in program history. The Mustangs got as high as No. 18 in both polls (March 3). SMU received votes in the AP Poll for eight-straight weeks and in the USA Today Coaches' Poll for seven-straight weeks. The Mustangs finished at No. 53 in the NCAA Men's Basketball RPI, one of five American Athletic Conference teams in the top 55 SMU is 4-6 against teams in the RPI top 100.

ATTENDANCE UP: The Mustangs are averaging 5,520 this season, including an average of 6,813 in the 10 games in the newly renovated Moody Coliseum. SMU's game against Louisville (7,305) marked the seventh game the Mustangs sold out this season. SMU also recorded sellouts against Connecticut (7,166), Memphis (7,058), Temple (6,852), Cincinnati (7,278), Houston (6,991) and UCF (7,086). The March 5 sellout against Louisville set the new Moody Coliseum standard with seven this season. 2013-14 marks the first season SMU has recorded multiple sellouts in the same season since the Mustangs had five in 1984-85 (9,007 all five games). SMU recorded a sellout against Connecticut (W, 74-65; 7,166), its first sellout since 2001. The Mustangs last averaged over 6,000 fans in games in Moody Coliseum in the 1984-85 season when SMU drew 6,331 at its 16 games in Moody. SMU has more than 1,000 new season tickets for 2013-14. Avg. attendance from 2011-12 to 2012-13 - 71.1% increase (3,443 from 2,013).

BALANCED SCORING: On offense, seven Mustangs are averaging at least 5.0 points per game. The team is averaging 71.4 points per game with Nic Moore (13.7) and Markus Kennedy (12.1) averaging double figures.

BENCH SCORING: SMU is averaging 26.8 points off the bench. SMU had 43 points off the bench on Jan. 18 against Hofstra, the Mustangs' fifth game this season with 40+ bench points (42 vs. Rhode Island, 45 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 49 vs. McNeese State, 40 vs. Texas-Pan American).

BROWN NAMED COACH OF THE YEAR FINALIST: Head coach Larry Brown has been listed as a finalist for the Henry Iba National Coach of the Year award given by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. In just his second year on the Hilltop, Brown and the Mustangs have posted the top NCAA RPI turnaround from 2012-13 to 2013-14, improving their mark 160 spots from 213 a year ago to 53 in Monday's (thru March 16) latest release. SMU is also ranked in the AP Poll for the first time since 1984-85 and in the USA Today Coaches' Poll for the first time in program history. In his basketball career, Brown played for Iba on the 1964 USA Gold Medal Team (Tokyo).

CRASHING THE GLASS: The Mustangs have outrebounded their opponents in 22 of 32 games, averaging 36.2 rebounds per game compared to their opponents' 31.6 per game. SMU is 38th in the nation and 1st in The American in rebounding margin at +4.7. The Mustangs have hauled in double-digit offensive rebounds in 17 of 32 games and have had 15+ offensive rebounds 6 times this year. The Mustangs' best margin was +26 (46-20) versus Sam Houston State on Nov. 26 (W, 72-53).

EVERYONE DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE: The Mustangs enter the game averaging 11.8 second chance points, outscoring their opponents in that department in 22 of 32 games this season. SMU has scored in double digits in 23 games in 2013-14. The Mustangs have outscored their opponents by 10+ in second chance points four times, including an 18-3 margin at then-No. 12/8 Louisville.

FG% 50+: In 12 games this year, including the Mustangs' 84-71 loss against No. 11/9 Louisville (51.1%), SMU has shot 50% or better. In the Mustangs' 87-61 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, SMU shot 66.7% from the field, tying for the sixth-highest clip in program history. The Mustangs are 15th in the nation and 1st in The American in field-goal percentage at 48.7%.

FG% DEFENSE: On defense, SMU is holding opponents to 37.7% from the field (1st American, 5th NCAA). The Mustangs held No. 21/21 Connecticut to 29.6% shooting, the first opponent the Mustangs have held under 30% since Feb. 9, 2013 at Rice (W, 61-39/19.6%). SMU has held 28 of its last 41 (22 of 32 this year) opponents under 40%. The Mustangs have held the opposition to 35% shooting or less 13 times this season. SMU has held 11 opponents this year to 30% or less from the field in the first half. Last season, SMU was 29th in the NCAA in field-goal percentage defense (.395). That was the first time SMU had kept opponents below 40% for a season since 1961-62.

HAPPY HOMECOMING: On Feb. 1, Markus Kennedy had career highs of 21 points (10-10 FG) and 15 rebounds with three steals in the Mustangs' 87-72 win over then No. 22/22 Memphis in a sold-out Moody Coliseum. In the locker room after the game, he learned that he was going to get to fly home that night to surprise his mom Barbara, who is a sergeant in the Air Force and was leaving on Feb. 3 for an 8-month deployment in the Middle East. SMU requested, and was granted, legislative relief from the NCAA to pay for the trip.

A LITTLE HELP FROM THEIR FRIENDS: SMU is 3rd in The American and 33rd in the nation in assists, entering the game averaging 15.2. The Mustangs have assisted on at least 50% of their field goals in 28 of 32 games (18 of last 20) this season. SMU has dished out 20 or more assists in 6 games in 2013-14. Nic Moore (154) and Nick Russell (106) have both crossed the 100 assist mark, the first time the Mustangs have had two players with 100+ assists in a season since Jemeil Rich (108) and Troy Matthews (102) in 1995-96.

MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: In the Mustangs' 87-72 win over No. 22/22 Memphis, Nic Moore distributed 10 assists, while Nick Russell had 7, the first time the Mustangs have had two players with 7+ assists in a game since Feb. 12, 2000, a game the Mustangs won 89-73 over Hawaii.

THE MOODY ADVANTAGE: The Mustangs went 15-1 at home this year, including a 9-1 mark inside the renovated Moody Coliseum in the regular season, for the first time since the 1984-85 season (started 15-0; finished 15-1). SMU averaged 76.4 points per game at home, and had a scoring margin of +17.6. The Mustangs are shooting 52.8 percent in home games, and are holding opponents to 35.3 percent from the field. Prior to its win over No. 17/15 Connecticut on Jan. 4, the Mustangs went 6-0 in games at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas. SMU ended its regular season home slate with 7 sellouts, including each of its last 6 home games. The renovation and expansion of Moody Coliseum was completed in December, so the Mustangs could host all conference games on campus. The renovated Moody Coliseum provides many new and improved features, including a renovated main entry lobby, expanded concourses with raised ceilings, club seats, loge boxes, private suites, videoboards, scoreboards, group suites, new event space, offices, team locker rooms and meeting space.

MUSTANGS ON THE ROAD: The Mustangs are 16-18 under Larry Brown in road/neutral games (12-13 road/4-5 neutral). This season, SMU is 8-8 away from home with a 6-6 road mark. In 2012-13, SMU went 6-7 on the road, winning 6 regular season road games for the first time since doing the same in 2001-02. The Mustangs went 3-2 in non-conference road games, winning 3 non-league games on the road for the first time since 2003-04. Dec. 1 is also the earliest SMU has had 3 road wins, beating the previous date of Dec. 9 in 2003-04.

NATIONAL EXPOSURE: 21 of the Mustangs' games will air on national television this season, six more than the last five years combined. 17 of SMU's 18 American Athletic Conference games aired on either the ESPN family of networks or CBS Sports Network. The Mustangs also had eight non-conference games and its rescheduled conference game at Rutgers available on ESPN3.

PAINT IS KEY: The Mustangs have outscored their opponents in the paint in 26 of 32 games this year (at USF, at Rutgers, Houston (tied), UCF, at Memphis, vs. Houston). SMU has scored 50 or more points in the paint three times this season, a 54-point output against Rhode Island (11/11), and 52 point performances against Arkansas-Pine Bluff (11/24) and No. 22/22 Memphis (2/1). SMU has scored 40+ paint points 8 times. On average, the Mustangs have outscored their opponents in the key by a count of 34.4-21.6.

PASSING LANE CLOSED: Markus Kennedy (48) and Nic Moore (45) have recorded 40+ steals this season, the first Mustang duo to do so since Bryan Hopkins (53) and Eric Castro (43) did it in the 2003-04 season. The last time the Mustangs had multiple players record 50+ steals was the 1999-00 season, when Willie Davis (67), Jeryl Sasser (54) and Stephen Woods (51) did so. The 2013-14 Mustangs have 240 steals, good for 5th on SMU's all-time list.

RPI WATCH: The Mustangs enter the week (Thru March 16) at No. 53 in the NCAA Men's Basketball RPI, one of five American Athletic Conference teams in the top 55. SMU is 4-5 against teams in the RPI top 50, with two wins over No. 29 Connecticut, and wins over No. 15 Cincinnati and No. 32 Memphis. Six of the nine Mustang losses have come against teams in the top 100, including five in the top 30 (at Arkansas 77, vs. Virginia 8, at Cincinnati 21, at Louisville 19, Louisville 19, Memphis 37).

SECOND HALF SURGE: SMU scored 58 second-half points in its 87-72 win over No. 22/22 Memphis, the highest point-total in a half since the Mustangs scored 61 (61-44) points in the second half of their 94-83 win over Houston on Feb. 27, 2010.

TURNAROUND +53: SMU defeated Rhode Island 89-58 (+31) on Nov. 11. That was a 53-point turnaround from the previous meeting, a 72-50 (-22) loss at Rhode Island on Dec. 15, 2012. That tied the largest turnaround in SMU history for consecutive meetings against the same opponent. The previous 53-point mark was set when SMU defeated Memphis 70-60 at Moody Coliseum on Jan. 30, 2010 after falling 90-47 at No. 5 Memphis on Feb. 18, 2009.

UPSET SPECIAL: SMU's road win at No. 21/21 Connecticut was the program's fourth win over a ranked opponent this season (all in conference play). 2013-14 marks the first season the Mustangs have recorded four wins over ranked opponents since the 1955-56 season (4 wins). The victory was also SMU's first road win over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 17 Purdue by a count of 60-59. SMU is 4-3 against ranked opponents, including 3-1 inside Moody Coliseum. The Mustangs win over No. 7/7 Cincinnati (76-55) was the program's first over an AP top-10 opponent since the Mustangs defeated No. 7 Florida 82-76 on Dec. 3, 1987 at Reunion Arena. The win was also the program's first on-campus AP top-10 win since the Mustangs defeated No. 3 Indiana 91-84 on Dec. 29, 1967. SMU has also recorded top-25 wins over No. 22/22 Memphis (87-72) and No. 17/15 Connecticut (74-65). 2013-14 also marks the first season the Mustangs have defeated three or more ranked teams at home in program history.

2013-14 Opponent Stats Season Career
Moreira Sam Houston St 11/26 13 pts, 12 rebs 1st 1st
Kennedy USF 1/15 18 pts, 10 rebs 1st 1st
Kennedy Hofstra 1/19 12 pts, 12 rebs 2nd 2nd
Kennedy Rutgers 1/21 18 pts, 10 rebs 3rd 3rd
Kennedy at Houston 1/26 15 pts, 10 rebs 4th 4th
Kennedy [22/22] Memphis 21 pts, 15 rbs 5th 5th Nic Moore [22/22] Memphis 14 pts, 10 asts 1st 2nd 2012-13 Opponent Stats Season Career
Manuel Rider 11/21 24 pts, 11 rebs 1st 1st
Williams vs. UALR 11/24 15 pts, 10 rebs 1st 1st
Williams at Hofstra 12/1 10 pts, 10 rebs 2nd 2nd
Cunningham [RV/RV] Wyoming 1/2 14 pts, 11 rebs 1st 1st
Manuel Houston 2/2 15 pts, 10 asts 2nd 2nd
Cunningham Rice 2/27 13 pts, 13 rebs 2nd 2nd
N. Moore (ISU) at Ole Miss 3/14 24 pts, 10 asts 1st 1st

FG% - 66.7 (32-48), T-6th, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 11/24
3FG% - 71.4 (10-14), T-3rd, McNeese State 12/2
Blocked Shots - 10, T-6th, Temple 2/6
3FG% - 71.4 (10-14), T-3rd, vs. [RV/RV] Virginia 11/29
3FGA - 34 (10-34), T-6th, McNeese State 12/2
Steals - 6, T-4th, Tevin Hammond, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 11/24

10+points: Nick Russell 5 (15, 15, 18, 13, 10), Markus Kennedy 5 (13, 18, 14, 13, 13), Cannen Cunningham (14) r> Longest This Season: Markus Kennedy 14
8+ rebounds: Markus Kennedy (9)
Long: Markus Kennedy 11
Long: Markus Kennedy 3
5+ assists: Nic Moore 2 (7, 8) Long: Nic Moore 2
3+ steals: r> Long: Markus Kennedy and Nic Moore 2 br> 2+ blocks: br> Long: Markus Kennedy 4

Sterling Brown (6-6, 200, G, Fr.): Has played in all 32 games, starting 21, averaging 4.3 points and 3.6 rebounds in 18.9 minutes per game. Turned in a career-high 15 points on 6-9 shooting, including 2-3 from beyond the arc to go along with a pair of boards in 22 minutes in SMU's 87-72 win over No. 22 Memphis. Scored a season-high (at the time) 9 points on 3-4 shooting and tallied 3 assists in his third career start against UCONN. Had a team-high seven rebounds in 13 minutes against Texas State. Scored first two collegiate points against Rhode Island.

Cannen Cunningham (6-10, 225, C, Jr.): Played in all 32 games, averaging 5.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in 12.7 minutes per game. Scored in double figures for the fifth time this season, with 14 points (10 first half), to go along 5 rebounds, 1 block and a steal against in the conference tournament against Houston. Tallied 10 points to go along with 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block and 1 assist in 13 minutes in SMU's 76-55 win over No. 7/7 Cincinnati. Tallied a season-high 14 points to go along with a season-high 3 blocks and 3 rebounds against Hofstra (1/19). Scored 8 points and hauled in 4 rebounds in a season-high 21 minutes at No. 12/8 Louisville. Tied a season-high in rebounds with 6 in SMU's win over UTPA. SMU Career Rankings: 105 blocks, good for seventh at SMU.

Kevin Dunleavy (6-3, 180, G, Jr.): Played in 8 games. Hauled in an offensive rebound, and scored the put-back for his second basket of the season against Hofstra. Scored his first career points (2) against McNeese State. Made his first appearance of the season against Rhode Island. 2012-13: Averaged 1.8 minutes in five games a year ago. Recorded his first career steal at Hofstra.

Keith Frazier (6-5, 190, G, Fr.): Played in 31 games, averaging 5.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 15.3 minutes per game. Tallied a double-figure night for the third time in his career in SMU's 75-52 win over Temple, scoring 11 points to go along with 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Scored 7 of his 9 points against UCONN in a 2:08 stretch in the early stages of the second half to take SMU from 38-38 to 45-41 to kick-start a 15-6 run. Did not play at Arkansas (injury). Third on the team with 11 points, including nine from beyond the arc, in his collegiate debut against TCU. Prep: McDonald's All-American

Crandall Head (6-4, 180, G, RS-Jr.): Played in 26 games, averaging 1.0 points and 0.9 rebounds in 6.1 minutes. Scored a career-high six points to go along with a season-high two assists against McNeese State. Had two points and two rebounds in his SMU debut against TCU.

Markus Kennedy (6-9, 245, F, RS-So.): Played in all 32 games, starting 17, averaging 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 1.5 steals and 1.6 assists in 24.6 minutes. In conference play, averaged 13.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.8 assists and 1.4 blocks. Scored in double figures for the 23rd time this season, netting 13 in SMU's loss against Houston (3/13). Has led (or tied the lead) SMU in scoring and rebounding in the same game 10 times this season. Scored in double figures in 14-straight games (Dec. 4-Feb. 1) and recorded 5 double-doubles, including his latest against No. 22 Memphis, where he scored a career-high 21 points to go along with a career-high 15 rebounds. Went 10-10 from the field in the win over Memphis, the first to do so since Papa Dia against Southern Miss in Jan., 2011. Recorded his first career double-double, scoring a career-high 18 points to go along with a career-high 10 rebounds, a career-high four steals and three assists in 28 minutes against USF. Led the Mustangs in points, rebounds, blocks and steals at Cincinnati, scoring 12, hauling in 9 rebounds, while adding 3 blocks and 2 steals. Went 8-8 from the free-throw line against Sam Houston State. Tallied four points, four rebounds, one block and a steal in his SMU debut against TCU. Conference Rankings: 6th in FG% (54.1), 9th in blocked shots (1.3), 6th in rebounding (6.9) 4th in defensive rebounds (5.1). Awards: NABC District 25 Second Team. American Athletic Conference Second Team - American Athletic Conference Honor Roll four times (12/23, 1/20, 1/27, 3/3)

Ryan Manuel (6-4, 185, G, Jr.): Played in 31 of 32 games, starting 11, averaging 4.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 17.6 minutes. Scored in double figures for the third time this season in SMU's 70-55 win over UCF. Hauled in a season-high 6 rebounds at Wyoming, all is the first half. Scored a season-high 14 points against UTPA. Had a season-high four assists to go along with eight points against McNeese State. Career-high three blocks to go along with three assists, two points and a steal in 20 minutes against Texas State. School Record: Netted the most free-throws by a sophomore (2012-13) in SMU history with 167, a mark that included nine games of 7+ free throws.

Ben Moore (6-8, 185, F, Fr.): Played in all 32 games, averaging 6.3 points and 3.6 rebounds in 14.8 minutes. Scored in double figures 5 times in the last 12 games. Tied a team-high with 15 points, to go along with 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and a steal in 21 minutes against No. 7/7 Cincinnati. Recorded a career-high and game-high five assists to go along with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting against McNeese State. Tallied 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting while adding two blocks and an assist at Arkansas. Awards: American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week three times (11/18, 1/27, 2/10) Prep: All-Illinois Honorable Mention selection and Mr. Basketball finalist.

Nic Moore (5-9, 170, G, RS-So.): Started all 32 games, averaging 13.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 31.8 minutes. In conference play, averaging 14.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.4 steals. Scored 20+ points (21) for the sixth time this season to go along with 5 assists to lead SMU to a road win over Rutgers. Tied a season-high in the game with 5 3PT FGs made (4 in the second half). Tallied his second-career double-double in the Mustangs 87-72 win over No. 22/22 Memphis, netting 14 points to go along with 10 assists. Has scored in double figures in 26 of 32 games, and has made multiple 3PT field goals in 20 of 32 games. Recorded his second-straight 20+ point game and his fifth of the season, scoring 23 in SMU's 78-71 loss at USF. Scored a career-high 28 points, including 22 in the second half to lead the Mustangs to a come-from-behind 75-68 win over Houston. Tied a season-high (on Jan. 4) with 20 points to go along with 6 assists in 35 minutes to lead SMU to an upset over No. 17/15 Connecticut. Led SMU to its first road win of the season on Dec. 4, scoring 20 points on 6-11 shooting (3-5 from three), while adding 7 assists. First player to go 5-for-5 or better from beyond the arc since Rodney Clinkscales did so on 11/12/10 against Arkansas- Little Rock. Conference Rankings: 14th in scoring (13.7), 14th in FG% (46.6), 3rd in assists (4.8), 4th in FT% (84.0), 2nd in 3PT FG% (44.7), 8th in 3PT made (2.0), 6th in assist/turnover ratio (2.0) and 10th in minutes played (31.8) Awards: NABC District 25 First Team, USBWA All-District Team American Athletic Conference First Team - American Athletic Conference Honor Roll eight times (11/18, 12/2, 12/9, 1/6, 2/3, 2/10, 2/17 and 2/24).

Yanick Moreira (6-11, 220, C, Jr.): Played 20 games, starting 14, averaging 6.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 15.0 minutes. Scored 4 points and hauled in 5 rebounds to go along with 2 blocks in 16 minutes, his highest minute total since injuring his knee on Feb. 6. Returned to the Mustangs' lineup against Temple (Feb. 6) after missing four weeks (knee). Scored 2 points and pulled down 4 rebounds in his return to the lineup. Started 14 games, averaging 9.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in 18.4 minutes prior to the injury. First Mustang to record a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds against Sam Houston State, his fourth-straight game in double figures in points. Shot 6-of-6 from the floor against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the first player to shoot perfect from the field (min. 5 FGM) since Papa Dia went 10-10 against Southern Miss on Jan. 22, 2011. Awards: American Athletic Conference Honor Roll (11/25) Conference Rankings (at time of injury): Seventh in FG% (56.6), 14th in defensive rebounds (3.9). 2012-13: JUCO All-America and the No. 1 junior college prospect by JUCO Junction on Rivals.

Jean-Micheal Mudiay (6-3, 200, G, Jr.): Played 8 games, pulling down 2 rebounds in 9 minutes. Made his NCAA Division I debut against Rhode Island. 2011-13: Played two seasons at Western Texas College, averaging 3.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.9 steals a year ago.

Nick Russell (6-4, 210, G, RS-Sr.): Played in all 32 games, starting 31, averaging 9.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.0 steals in 32.0 minutes per game. Season-high 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists in 37 minutes. Tied for the team lead with 15 points to go along with 4 assists in 31 minutes in the Mustangs 64-55 win at No. 21 UConn. Tallied a season-high 16 points, while adding 5 rebounds and 3 assists in SMU's win at Rutgers. Scored in double-figures for the 8th time (15 points), to go along with 3 rebounds and 3 assists in SMU's 76-55 win over No. 7/7 Cincinnati. Tallied 10 points at USF to put himself in double figures for the sixth time this season. Scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half to help propel the Mustangs to a 9-point win over No. 17/15 Connecticut. Drained his seventh three of the season to kick-start SMU's game-ending 11-2 run in its win at Wyoming. Tied a career-high with 9 assists, and tied a career-high with 8 rebounds against UTPA. 2012-13: Scored in double-figures in all but five games last season, and in 17-straight games from Jan. 2-March 9. Conference Rankings: 11th in assists (3.3), 7th in FT% (79.8), 11th in assist/turnover ratio (1.5). Awards: American Athletic Conference Honor Roll (3/10).

Jonathan Wilfong (6-2, 185, G, Fr.): Played in 7 games, scoring 6 points, pulling down 3 rebounds in 9 minutes. Scored his first collegiate points in his first collegiate game on the Mustangs' second-to-last possession against Rhode Island.

Shawn Williams (6-7, 230, F, RS-Sr.): Played in all 32 games, starting 31, averaging 4.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 17.8 minutes per game. Tied for the team lead with 14 points to go along with 3 rebounds in SMU's win over Temple. Had a season-high 16 points on a season-high 6 made field goals, to go along with a season-high 7 rebounds in a season-high 26 minutes in SMU's win over USF. It was the second-straight game Williams scored in double figures, after scoring 10 at No. 12/8 Louisville 2012-13: Third at SMU in rebound average with 5.2 a game, in addition to averaging 8.5 points and 0.8 blocks per game.



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