WHEN: Wednesday, January 21, at 8 p.m. CT
WHERE: Devlin Fieldhouse (New Orleans, La.)
TV/RADIO: CBS Sports Network/770 KAAM
SERIES: The Mustangs hold a 15-13 series advantage over the Green Wave.
LAST MEETING: SMU lost to Tulane 78-67 on the road back on Feb 16, 203. That was also when SMU was still in C-USA. The Mustangs are 3-11all-time against Tulane on the road and haven’t won in New Orleans since 2010.
SMU is second in the American Athletic Conference and have won four consecutive games and 12- of their last 13. SMU is 3-3 on the road but will be away and without Keith Frazier for the first time this season. Markus Kennedy, Ben Moore and Ryan Manuel have been playing great lately, so expect much of the same on Wednesday. And maybe we will finally see Sterling Brown, have a break out game this season.
The Green Wave lead the American in scoring per game with an average of 70.2 points a game- relying heavily on the play of their three guards. Tulane has also been shooting the ball well this season and is shooting 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from three-point range. SMU likes to score. Tulane likes to score. If- for some reason- SMU doesn’t play its usual brand of defense, this could be a shootout.
Lousi Dabney: Tulane has a three headed monster at guard and Dabney is possibly the mostly lethal head. The junior is averaging 14 points a game for the Green Wave and is shooting an incredible 43.6 percent from three-point range and 43.1 percent from the floor.
Three Players to Watch
Johnathan Stark: Stark is head number two. This sophomore is averaging 12.3 points per game and is the primary facilitator on offense. Stark is averaging 4.3 assists a game and is shooting 42.6 percent from the floor.
Jay Hook: The senior is the final head of this offensive beast and is averaging 11. 7 points and 4.5 rebounds a game. Hook is shooting 39.8 percent from three-point range and is shooting 42.7 percent from the floor.
SMU backcourt vs. Tulane backcourt: It has been fun watching Ryan Manuel fins his spot on this team and it has been even more fun watching him play stellar defense on some of the tougher opponents and then show off his athleticism with absolutely awesome dunks on the offensive side of the ball. So far he has done a pretty stellar job being a “defense first” guy, but even a couple games before Frazier left the team, Manuel started to attack more and became a regular contributor to the scoreboard. It will be interesting to see how coach Brown plays him, Nic Moore, Sterling Brown, and maybe even Ben Moore against the Green Wave’s trio of guards.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Rebounding and turnovers. Until this team can consistently demonstrate the ability to hold onto the basketball these will be the keys. They did a good job against ECU and only turned the ball over nine times- they just need to be consistently good at protecting it. And rebounds are always important; you can’t give these guys second chance looks because if Dabney, Stark and Hook get multiple looks on a possession, the likelihood of them scoring significantly increases- that’s just percentages bro. But seriously, second chance looks can be killer especially when a team has a plethora of super-efficient scoring machines.
KEYS TO THE GAME