Papa Dia, SMU Rising with Weak Schedule Ahead

Despite SMU's 2-3 start to the season, they aren't necessarily in a bad spot.

Despite SMU's 2-3 start to the season, they aren't necessarily in a bad spot.

Their schedule, which includes a Wednesday night match up against Wayland Baptist University, is getting much easier.

Their next two games should all result in a win, and their December 1st matchup against Lousiana Tech (5-1) will be their toughest game until January.

Counting their last victory against Lamar, I honestly believe that SMU could pull of a nine-game winning streak before their January 5th contest against Ole Miss.

By the time conference play comes around, SMU could easily be 11-5, and that's including losses to both Louisana Tech and Ole Miss. If they could upset one of those two teams, they could wind up 12-4 before their first conference game against Tulane.

But before I get ahead of myself, SMU still has to play at the level they are capable of, which means that Papa Dia will need to keep up his level of play.

Since his dreadful start to the season, in which he scored six points against Arkansas-Little Rock, Dia has posted double-figure scoring totals in every game, including a season-high 28 against Lamar. He also has recorded two games of 10 or more rebounds.

As of now, Dia is averaging 15.8 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game. With a handful of stat-boosting games coming up, Dia should see an increase in both of those statistical categories

Assisting Dia in the scoring department are Robery Nyakundi and Rodney Clinkscales.

Nyakundi is coming off a 23 point affair against Lamar, while Clinkscales scored a season-high 19 points against UC-Riverside and has posted double-digit scoring figures on three different occasions.

Clinkscales is also finding his stroke from long-range, hitting on 15 of his 29 attempts from three-point range.

However, as I mentioned before, the team can't look ahead to their lackluster opponents or else they will come up short in a few of their easy -win games just as they did to open the season against Arkansas-Little Rock.

But, coming from an outsider's viewpoint, SMU has the chance to get themselves in a great position heading into their Conference USA games.


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