The SMU Mustangs should have made the 2014 NCAA tournament, but they had a great outing in the NIT regardless. Larry Brown‘s team was expected to compete for an AAC title in the upcoming season, but Emmanuel Mudiay reportedly heading overseas hurts the Mustangs’ hopes of doing so. Still, the team will compete without their top prospect.
The Mustangs were considered by many to be a top 25 team for the 2014-15 college basketball season. Losing a player of Mudiay’s talent seriously hurts that, but there are some key pieces coming back. That includes the top two leading scorers from last year’s team.
The AAC will look much different. Connecticut loses its two best players, Cincinnati loses leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick, Memphis loses some seniors and the conference, as a whole, loses Louisville. That should make the AAC less competitive, which could be looked at as a good thing for SMU.
The Huskies will probably be predicted to take home the regular season conference title, but the Mustangs really do bring back some talented players. May I remind you that this team was ranked during the 2013-14 season.
SMU could still realistically defend for an AAC title and make the 2015 NCAA tournament, but who knows what this team is capable of doing beyond that.
Hopefully SMU will not be overlooked this time around since it really did deserve to make the dance. Having a player with as much hype as Mudiay would have given the Mustangs some much-needed national attention, but the team will have to move on without him.