Southern Methodist University depended on several young players to fuel the Mustang's home opener 79-60 win over Houston Baptist Friday night in the opening round of the annual SMU Tip Off Classic held at Moody Coliseum.
Four true freshmen, one red shirt freshman and newcomer junior college transfer Derek Williams saw first time action at Moody against the Huskies. Point Guard Paul McCoy from Oregon, Justin Haynes and Frank Otis both of California and Ryan Maag of Houston Texas were all true freshmen that received playing time.
Young but talented is a great way to describe this year's squad, it was sophomore Papa Dia that turned in perhaps the most impressive performance.
The talented forward from St. Louis Senegal finished the game with 17 points, 8 for 12 from the field to earn Trader Vic's Player of the Game honors.
"I expect Papa to be a double, double guy every night," Coach Matt Doherty said. "I challenge him to have at least 17 points a game. I was proud of the way he played."
The soft spoken talented athlete gave most of the credit for his performance to his coaches and fellow teammates.
"It was good, tried to play hard," Dia said. "We had one on one down in the post; I want to start off fast every game."