The Mustangs are coming off a 49-45 defeat from the hands of UTEP. Standing at 5-8 on the season, SMU will need to do the following to come out with a victory against the 2-13 North Carolina Central Eagles on Saturday…
Start Off Quick
This is pretty much a basic must-do for every team, but it is even more important following a narrow defeat in your previous game, just as in SMU's case. Senior guard, Derek Williams, will be the key to starting the Mustangs off to a fast start. His 16 points per game leads the team, but is coming off of a 37% shooting night against UTEP, in which he scored 14 points. In addition to Williams needing to pick things up, the Mustangs will also look for help from sophomore Paul McCoy, who scored just 2 points against UTEP on Wednesday. He made one shot out of his five attempts, but if he can get back in his groove against NCCU, just as he did against Texas State two games ago when he went for 16 points, the Mustangs should be able to control the game.
Keep C.J. Wilkerson in Check
The best player for North Carolina Central is junior guard, C.J. Wilkerson. On the season, Wilkerson is averaging 15.2 points per game, which leads the team, and he is also the only player on the team who averages double figures. Another thing that should scare fans is Wilkerson is coming off a poor performance against Colgate, as he only scored 7 points, and committed five personal fouls in what ended up becoming a 75-54 rout by Colgate. Even when Wilkerson is struggling, you will always find him on the court, and never on the bench, and this is simply because he is their best player. He averages 37.9 minutes per game, and has totaled 569 minutes this season. Sophomore Nick Chasten is second on the team with 397 minutes total, which is 172 minutes behind Wilkerson, further showing you how important he is to NCCU's hope for a victory.
The Mustangs need to bounce back strong after their loss this Wednesday, and have a great chance against a week NCCU team. As mentioned previously, Derek Williams will be a huge factor in this game, as well as C.J. Wilkerson for NCCU. These two guys will go head-to-head in this one, but let's hope Williams is the one with the last laugh at the final buzzer.