WHEN: Sunday, December 4 at 2 pm CT
WHERE: Moody Coliseum (Dallas, Texas)
TV/RADIO: Spectrum Sports/ESPN3 - Subject to Blackout in DFW/770 KAAM AM
SERIES: This is the first meeting between SMU and Delaware State
SMU got back in the win column Friday night with an ugly 49-43 win over CSU Bakersfield. As has been the story most of the year, SMU struggled to move the ball on offense and is still searching for an identity on that side of the ball. Shake Milton led the SMU comeback with 10 of his 13 points coming in the second half, but even he was only 3 for 9 from the floor. Defensively, SMU was much better holding CSU Bakersfield to 29.8 percent shooting and also had 8 blocks with 3 coming from Ben Moore. Any win is a positive, but the Mustangs certainly showed they are still far from a finished product with a couple weeks to go.
Scouting Delaware State
It has been a tough start to the season so far for Delaware State as they come into this matchup 2-7 having lost 7 of their last 8 games. Sunday’s matchup with SMU will also be the Delaware State’s seventh consecutive road game. Despite their record, the Hornets are not a team to sleep on as they upset St. Johns earlier this week on the road 79-72 marking their second win vs a major conference team after defeating Wake Forest in 2014. The Hornets are good offensive team averaging 70 points per game on while shooting just over 45 percent. Defensively, however, they have been suspect allowing close to 80 points per game. The Hornets have been prone to turning over the ball this season averaging close to 15 turnovers per game.
Delaware State Players to Watch
G DeAndre Haywood: The senior guard has emerged as the clear leader of the Hornets averaging close to 15 points per game. He doesn’t traditionally shoot a lot of threes, but is aggressive attacking the paint and trying to either draw a foul or get to the rim. The 6-0, 200-pound guard struggles to get his teammates involved as he’s averaging more turnovers, 3, than assists, 2, on the season. After a hot start to the season, Haywood broke out of a shooting slump in their last game with 15 points in their loss to Delaware.
F DeVaughn Mallory: The sophomore forward does a lot of the rebounding work for Delaware State averaging just over 6 rebounds per game. Mallory has also been scoring more lately including providing 16 points in their win over St John’s earlier this week, while also chipping in 6 rebounds. The 6-7, 200-pound forward is not the biggest guy on the court, but is extremely active in the paint especially on the defensive end of the court.
G Devin Morgan: Another sophomore for Delaware State, Morgan does a little bit of everything and serves as the primary distributor. Morgan is still learning how to efficiently distribute the ball, and has had a problem with turnovers especially the last two weeks. The 5-10, 180-pound shoots a lot of threes, but not necessarily for a high percentage as he’s averaging under 40 percent for the year. In his highest scoring output of the year, Morgan had 23 points again LA-Lafayette, attempted 10 threes while connecting on 5 of them.
G Devin Morgan
G DeAndre Haywood
F Kavon Waller
F DeVaughn Mallory
C Demola Onifade
Keys to the Game
As SMU continues to search for success on the offensive side of the ball, they have to pass it better and have better off the ball movement. For the Mustangs, there has been too much standing and watching on the perimeter with one or two players driving from behind the arc to the rim. SMU has to get more players heading to the rim and the get defensive moving. Threes are obviously going to be a focus for SMU and they have to shoot it better if they are going to rely on scoring from the outside. SMU also has to bring more energy than they did Friday night, where it took their backs being against the wall before they found a spark. Ultimately, SMU is going to be the more talented team by far, but this is a great opportunity to gain some momentum heading into a rivalry matchup with TCU next week.