The SMU Mustangs showed off their newly-renovated Moody Coliseum and treated the sellout crowd to a show, defeating the No. 17 Connecticut Huskies in an upset by the score of 74-65. Coach Larry Brown has already transformed SMU into a completely different program, and at 11-3 on the season, they are just four wins away from their win total from last season. They deserve to be respected.
On the season, SMU is shooting 50.4 percent from the field, which is good for the sixth overall rating in the country. Coach Brown is preaching balance and finding the open shot as eight players are averaging over five points per game. Point guard Nic Moore leads the team in both scoring (13.5 PPG) and assists (4.5 APG). He has established himself into one of the best perimeter shooters in college basketball as well, hitting 32-of-60 attempts on the year for 53.3 percent. He began the week having gone 30-of-50 from 3-point range.
In the win over UConn, Moore dominated despite being guarded primarily by the speedy Ryan Boatright. He was by far the best player on the court, scoring 20 points while dishing out six assists. He hit 3-of-4 3-pointers as well. Nick Russell added 14 big points, including two three-pointers, and Markus Kennedy had 10 points off the bench for the Mustangs.
This was a coming-out party for SMU as their play seemingly came to the surprise of everybody but them. I expect them to keep rolling and finish in the top half of the AAC come season’s end and have a nice top-25 ranking attached to their name very soon. A win against No.14 Louisville on January 12 would ensure that.