Judging by the statistics, Alabama State has no shot at pulling the upset over SMU.
Of course, anything can happen after the opening tip, so don't anticipate an old-fashioned stomping.
The Hornets do not have a single player averaging 10 or more points in a game, whereas SMU has two players averaging 15 or more (Papa Dia and Robert Nyakundi).
Junior guard Kenderek Washington leads the Hornets with 9.1 points per game. After Washington, the next highest scorer is Tramaine Butler, who is averaging 6.8 PPG. That's a big drop off in terms of points.
That explains why their team averages 53.9 PPG, which ranks them 341st in the nation. SMU, on the other hand, is ranked 176th in the nation with 69.7 PPG.
As a team, Alabama State ranks 327th in assists per game with 10.2 and 337th in the nation with a .366 field goal percentage.
The only category they are ranked ahead of SMU, as a team, is rebounds per game. The Hornets average 33.2 RPG, while SMU averages 27.8 RPG. Of course, Dia averages 8.3 of those boards and Nyakundi averages 4.9 RPG. Aside from those two, there's no other player who averages four or more RPG.
The only chance Alabama State has at winning Wednesday's game is to beat SMU from behind-the-arc. Unfortunately for the Hornets, they shoot .263% from three-point range compared to SMU's .388% from three-point range.
Between November 22 and December 14, Alabama State had not won a game. During their five-game losing streak, the Hornets averaged 52.4 PPG. During SMU's two-game losing streak to start the season, they averaged 55.5 PPG.
Even when times are tough, SMU is still better, on paper, than Alabama State.
What I expect from the SMU-Alabama State matchup:
1.) Papa Dia has a good chance at recording yet another double-double in his career, which would give him four on the season.
2.) SMU needs to draw fouls on the offensive side because they are leading the C-USA in free-throw percentage at .793%. As of now, SMU would set the school-record (.769) for FT% if the season concluded today.
3.) This will be the fourth matchup in the series, with SMU holding a record of 2-1. I expect SMU to improve the series record to 3-1 with ease.
4.) Keep an eye on Alabama State's junior guard, Ivory White. He has scored 10 points in back-to-back games, and posted a season high 12 points against Central Florida earlier in the season.