SMU Hoops Non-Conference Preview

Scott breaks down all of SMU's non-conference basketball schedule and gives you his predictions!

11/14/14- Lamar Win
In the Mustangs season opener, Moody Magic returns as the Mustangs win easily in front of a rocking crowd against a Lamar team that won just four games a season ago. Whether SMU forward Markus Kennedy plays or not, the Mustangs should have no trouble starting off their season on the right foot.

11/17/14- at Gonzaga (ESPN 2) Loss
The Mustangs head to Spokane for an early road test and come up short. The Bulldogs return a veteran backcourt with Gary Bell Jr. and Kevin Pangos, which in the end, proves to be too much for the Mustangs. SMU will undoubtedly keep it close, but Gonzaga’s home court advantage proves to be too much in the end for the Mustangs.

11/20/14- at Indiana (BTN) Win
Even with Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson set to return after four game suspensions, the Mustangs pull off an impressive road win despite a big night from freshman James Blackmon Jr. This one should come down to the wire, but senior Yanick Moreira and junior Nic Moore lead SMU into Assembly Hall and prove to skeptics that the Mustangs are for real. With the return of Williams and Robinson, the Hoosiers get some depth back, but they still remain thin up front which could lead to big nights for Moreira and possible Kennedy or Ben Moore.

11/22/14- Eastern Washington (ESPN3) Win
With the Mustangs returning home, Moody Magic will once again be in full swing, but SMU does have to keep an eye on sophomore guard Tyler Harvey. As a freshman, Harvey averaged nearly 22 points a game. Harvey is a bigger guard, so staying out of foul trouble will be important for the Mustangs in this one.

11/25/14- Arkansas (ESPNews) Win
The Razorbacks return three players in Rashad Madden, Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls who averaged double figures last season when they beat the Mustangs in Bud Walton Arena, But in front of a wild Moody Coliseum crowd SMU cracks down on the defensive side of the ball. The Razorbacks shot lights out against the Mustangs last season, but don’t expect this Larry Brown coached team to let that happen again.

11/26/14- Texas Southern (ESPN3) Win
Once again, the Mustangs who seldom lost at home last season continue to win the games they’re supposed to with a win over Texas Southern. The Tigers lost their leading scorer Aaric Murray, which likely means they’ll struggle to score against the Mustangs swarming defense.

11/30/14- Monmouth (ESPN3) Win
The Mustangs should once again have no trouble taking on a Monmouth team that won just 11 games a season ago. While Hawks prized recruit, and former Prime Prep guard, Micah Seaborn has been ruled ineligible, they did add some depth thanks to Oklahoma transfer Je’lon Hornbeak. The Hawks, however, are still a thin team and just do not have the talent to compete with SMU.

12/05/15- Wyoming (ESPNews) Win
The Cowboys return their three top scorers from a team that battled the Mustangs well last season. Wyoming’s 6-foot-8, 235-pound senior forward Larry Nance Jr. dropped 16 points and 13 rebounds against SMU last season and his size could prove to be a problem inside if Kennedy is not playing at this point for SMU. Two guards to keep an eye on as well for the Cowboys are Josh Adams and Riley Grabau who provide a nice one-two punch out of the backcourt. The Mustangs, returning 8 of their 10 top scorers, have much more depth than the Cowboys and should be able to win again here.

12/08/15- UC Santa Barbara (CBSSN) Win
With another game in Moody Coliseum comes another win for the Mustangs. The key for the Mustangs this game will be stopping 6-foot-8, 265-pound senior center Alan Williams. As a junior, Williams averaged 21.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks a game, while taking 37 percent of the Gauchos’ shots. If the Mustangs can shut down Williams, the Gauchos have no chance, but if Williams goes off like he very well could, the Mustangs will have to make sure they stay out of foul trouble and keep guard Michael Bryson in check.

12/17/15- UIC (CBSSN) Win
The Mustangs get a nice tune-up game before heading to take on Michigan. The Flames lost Kelsey Barlow who dropped 31 points on the Mustangs last season, so don’t expect this game to be as close as last year.

12/20/15- at Michigan (ESPN2) Win
The Mustangs will undoubtedly have their hands full when they take on the Wolverines in Crisler Center. Michigan isn’t as good as they’ve been in recent years, but they can’t be discounted. To keep it close, SMU needs to keep junior wing Caris LeVert in check and prevent him from driving in the lane. LeVert is the Wolverines key piece returning from a team that lost Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary. The Mustangs will also need to keep an eye on talented freshman forward Kameron Chatman and sophomore Zak Irvin. If the Mustangs can limit Michigan’s second-chance opportunities, they can pull off the win.

12/29/15- Midwestern State (ESPN3) Win
Here’s another case where SMU take on a team that just cannot match up with them. As long as SMU plays the right way, they should head into AAC play on a high note.

Projected record heading into conference play: 11-1


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