When: Thursday, February 25 at 6 p.m.
Where: FedExForum (Memphis, Tenn.)
TV/Radio: ESPN2/KAAM 770 AM
Series: Memphis leads 7-12
Last Meeting: The Mustangs won 80-68 on Jan. 30 at Moody Coliseum.
Line: SMU -4.5
The No. 24 SMU Mustangs have been in a weird win one, lose one pattern over their last nine games. They just defeated East Carolina, so this is their chance to notch back-to-back wins for the first time since January 17 (Tulane) and 19 (Houston).
SMU is just a half-game behind first placed Temple in the AAC standings. Given that the only thing worth playing for if you are a Mustang is the regular season title, this game is very important—as are all the remaining games on the schedule.
Here’s hoping Nic Moore continues being superman until the very end—he had 22 points and seven assists against ECU. Markus Kennedy is also coming off a strong game against the Pirates, pouring in 19 points and nine rebounds in the win.
For some reason Memphis simply dominates Texas schools (for the most part at least). Out of the 23 Division 1 Texas teams, Memphis holds a 118-46 record and has faced 20 of those 23 teams.
Still, all that being said, SMU has beaten Memphis each of the last three meetings and is 4-1 against them since both teams joined the AAC.
Downside, SMU is 2-8 against Memphis when playing at the Tigers’ house.
Three Players to Watch
Dedric Lawson: The freshman has recorded a double-double in five straight games—most recently a 17-point, 10-rebound performance against South Florida five days ago. He’s also been named Rookie of the Week six times.
Avery Woodson: He’s made 64 3-pointers this season. His 3-point shooting percentage is .398.
Shaq Goodwin: Goodwin is averaging 8.2 rebounds a game and 14.9 points a game. He's physical and is a player that loves to stir things up under the rim with who he's battling.
Projected Starting Lineup:
F Dedric Lawson
F Shaq Goodwin
G Avery Woodson
G Craig Randall II
G Ricky Tarrant, Jr.
Matchup to Watch
Shaq Goodwin vs Markus Kennedy: This is always a fun matchup, but also one that provides some unwanted levels of stress. Goodwin and Kennedy are both physical players. Odds are there will be a few whistles blown their way. A few is okay, as long as it stays a few. Kennedy looked like he was just heating back up against ECU, it’d be a shame to see him cooling off on the bench because of foul trouble.
Keys To the Game
When will rebounding and taking care of the ball not be a key to the game? But seriously, Goodwin is a pretty formidable foe on the glass so Jordan Tolbert and Kennedy will have their work cut out for them.
But most importantly, SMU needs to defend without fouling. Memphis likes to get to the line and as a team they are a decent 72 percent from the charity stripe.
And it’d be nice if they defended Memphis’ perimeter shooting, but I won’t hold my breath.