AAC Basketball Conference Play Preview and Predictions: SMU Mustangs

By Daniel Karpuc
Nic Moore
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

When Larry Brown was hired to be the next basketball coach of the SMU Mustangs, I don’t think even he imagined their basketball program would already be transformed. After a 15-17 season last year — Brown’s only losing season as a collegiate head coach — the Mustangs are sitting pretty at 10-2 heading into American Athletic Conference play.

After falling to Virginia and Arkansas, two worthy opponents, SMU has won the rest of their games, most of which in decisive fashion. Point guard Nic Moore has been SMU’s best player so far, averaging 13.8 points while posting 54 assists to just 26 turnovers. Yanick Moreira will be one of the best big men in the AAC and has put up 10 points and six rebounds per game. Others like Markus Kennedy at 10.3 points per game and Nick Russell at 8.3 points per game add to the depth and balance of the team. Keith Frazier, one of the most highly-touted freshman in the country, is only playing 17.3 minutes a game while putting up 6.3 points. I expect both of those numbers to rise as the season progresses as Frazier might bolt for the NBA after this season.

Here’s how I think SMU will do in the AAC.

They will win against South Florida, at Central Florida, Rutgers, Memphis, at Houston, at South Florida, Temple, Cincinnati, at Rutgers, Connecticut, at Temple, Houston, and against Central Florida.

They will lose at Cincinnati, at Connecticut, at Memphis, at Louisville, and to Louisville at home.

Overall, they will go 12-4 in conference and finish 22-6 in the regular season. Right now no one is talking about them, but by the end of the season they will be the talk of college basketball. I’m calling that right now.

Dan Karpuc is an American Athletic Conference basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @dan_karpuc, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

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