Breakdown: SMU Mustangs

The University of Dayton Flyers will get there first true test Saturday night in Dallas, Texas. The SMU Mustangs will play host to the Flyers and hope to end the two game winning streak Dayton will be bringing to town. Dayton Insider will breakdown the SMU mustangs for the FlyerCountry.com fans.

Nickname: Mustangs
Conference: Conference USA
Record: 2 - 1
RPI: 68
Strength of Schedule: 101
Conference RPI: 8
Pre-Season Conference Poll: 11th
Location: Dallas, Texas
Students: 11,152
Returning Starters: 4
Coach: Matt Doherty (1st Year)

The University of Dayton Flyers will get there first true test Saturday night in Dallas, Texas. The SMU Mustangs will play host to the Flyers and hope to end the two game winning streak Dayton will be bringing to town. Dayton Insider will breakdown the SMU mustangs for the FlyerCountry.com fans.

The Flyers are bringing a 2 – 0 record to Dallas but are facing the toughest challenge of the year so far this season. Dayton will try and start the road season off with a win; however this was something the Flyers were able to do only 4 times in 16 games. A question coach Gregory and his staff hope to answer is, will the flyers be ready to handle such a difficult task.

The SMU Mustangs will be playing there first home game of the season and the crowd at Moody Coliseum is going to be ready to make the Flyers feel unwelcome. Just as the Aggies started the season playing in a tournament, the mustangs also opened the season playing 3 games in 3 days in the Colonial Classic in Tallahassee, Fla. The Mustangs went 2 – 1 in the Classic, beating Illinois State and McNeese State before losing to Florida State in the final game of the Classic.

Senior Devon Pearson had a tip in at the buzzer of the Mustangs opener to beat Illinois State 57 – 55. Devon also had a team high 10 rebounds for the Mustangs. SMU led most of the game and went into the locker room leading 29 – 23. They continued to lead throughout the second half before Illinois State ties the game at 55 on a three pointer with just 26 seconds to play. SMU held the ball for the final shot and while Derrick Roberts missed the off balanced shot Devon was there to give Coach Doherty a win in his opening game as coach. Ike Ofoegbu led the Mustangs in scoring with 21 points (12-17 FT).

In game two of the Classic SMU used their three point shooting to defeat McNeese State 70 – 54. After only making one three pointer in the opening game SMU responded with making 12 in the McNeese St. game. This was a balanced attack as 4 players scored in double digits with Devon Pearson leading the way scoring 17 points. Bamba from Senegal in Africa tied a career high with six blocked shots and Ike Ofoegbu also had a career high eight rebounds.

Florida State ruined the Mustangs bid for a perfect weekend beating them 59 – 52. The Mustangs shot lights out (66.7%) and took a 26 – 25 lead at halftime. They were unable to play great defense as they did in the first half and allowed Florida State to get to the free throw line fifteen times compared to the two shots taken by SMU. SMU was also unable to handle the pressure turning the ball over 19 times. Fatigue may have been a factor as the weekend was long and the Mustangs bench is small. The Mustangs currently have only ten players and three of them averaged less than 2 minutes a game. That is a lot of basketball for seven players to play over a weekend.

Dayton fans can expect a hard fought game as Coach Doherty is trying to turn the program around and the Flyers are trying to start a new trend of winning on the road. Brian Roberts and company will have there hands full and must play well from start to finish.

Stay tuned to FlyerCountry.com as Dayton Insider will bring another SMU Mustangs preview to all the Dayton Fans.

Probable Starters
F – Devon Pearson (SR)
F – Ike Ofoegbu (SR)
C – Bamba Fall (SO)
G – Jon Killen (JR)
G – Derrick Roberts (JR)

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