A Closer Look At SMU's Non-Conference Foes

SMU basketball season begins on Friday! More on their opponents inside.

TCU on Nov. 8: TCU was one of the worst scoring teams in high-major basketball last season, but freshman Karviar Shepherd is expected to provide a big presence in the middle immediately. There's a lot of unproven players for the Horned Frogs, but a talented freshman class could change that. Prediction: Win

Rhode Island on Nov. 11: Rhode Island has three key transfers joining the team that should make an immediate change in how the team plays. SG E.C. Matthews is a true freshman that should also be able to attack the basket after being a consensus top-100 recruit. Prediction: Win

Arkansas on Nov. 18: SMU will have to take care of the ball in this game since Arkansas forced turnovers on 26 percent of SEC opponents' possessions, easily the highest figure in the conference. McDonald's All-American Brandon Ashley is expected to be a force in the paint that SMU will have to contain. Prediction: Loss

Texas State on Nov. 20: New coach Danny Kaspar is one of the best in mid-major basketball and will bring in an extremely slow tempo approach and has a senior-laden roster to do so with. The Bobcats love to get to the line, with senior forward Joel Wright leading D-I at getting to the line. Prediction: Win

Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 24: SMU can be expected to pressure the Golden Lions, whose point guard Tevin Hammond turned the ball over on 30 percent of their possessions. The Golden Lions won't be eligible for postseason play because of poor Academic Progress Rate scores. Prediction: Win

Sam Houston State on Nov. 26: Seven of the 13 players on the roster are seniors, but the Bearkats will need them to improve their layups, which they converted just 41 percent of them last year. The team could blame that on only one player on the roster being taller than 6-5. Prediction: Win

Virginia on Nov. 29: The Cavaliers missed out on the tournament last year because of some tough non-conference losses, even with a 9-0 ACC record at home. Guard Joe Harris is the star of this team and gets put into good positions by his team to take shots, something SMU can't allow. Prediction: Loss

Texas A&M/Missouri State on Nov. 30: Texas A&M recorded the slowest pace of any SEC team, averaging 61 possessions per 40 minutes so if the Ponies face the Aggies they should be able to take advantage of that. Missouri State finished 11-22 last year but returns a deep roster headlined by Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year Marcus Marshall, who broke the program's freshman scoring record last year. Prediction: Win

McNeese State on Dec. 2: Kevin Hardy is the team's point guard and best defender and led the team in steals, blocks and defensive rebounds. The Cowboys take care of the ball and SMU will have to do the same. Prediction: Win

Illinois-Chicago on Dec. 4: UIC will look to feed forward Hayden Humes, the team's most efficient scorer from last year. The Flames also have a pair of senior transfers, Kelsey Barlow and Jordan Harks that should help on offense. Prediction: Win

Hofstra on Dec. 7: Joe Mihalich takes over Hofstra, who has posted just seven conference wins over the last two years. Mihalich hopes to have 69 possessions a game, easily the most in the CAA. Larry Brown likes high-tempo too so this should be an exciting one. Prediction: Win

Texas-Pan American on Dec. 18: The Broncos added transfers Shaun Noriega and Javron Farrell into the fold and should be a good balance of scoring and defense. Starters Justin Leathers and Lauri Toivonen return in the front court, but will have to improve significantly offensively. Prediction: Win

Wyoming on Dec. 20: There aren't any great offensive playmakers here so watch for a slow tempo Cowboys team, but that has led them to two postseason tournaments the past two years. Prediction: Win

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