SMU Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

SMU Mustangs
American (27-6, 15-3)


SMU had a solid argument for making the 2014 NCAA Tournament, but had to settle for the NIT. Once there, the Mustangs and Coach Larry Brown made the most of their opportunity and made it all the way to the NIT finals before losing to Minnesota. But this time around SMU is not settling for the NIT. Despite never getting potential super recruit Emmanuel Mudiay, losing Keith Frazier half way through the year and making due without Markus Kennedy for the first month of the season, this is a team that has been consistent and will be very dangerous in the tournament.

Big Wins: 1/14 at Temple (60-55), 2/7 at Tulsa (68-57), 2/19 Temple (67-58)
Bad Losses: 11/20 at Indiana (68-74), 2/5 Cincinnati (54-62), 3/1 at Connecticut (73-81)
Coach: Larry Brown

Why They Can Surprise:
What makes SMU so dangerous, besides the man on the sidelines, is that they play smart basketball. This team will play inside-outside basketball and work through their big man. Yanick Moreira and Markus Kennedy have certainly made the most of their opportunities. Moreira, a 6-11 center, averages 11.3 points and 6.4 rebounds, while Kennedy, a 6-9 forward, averages 11.7 points and 6.1 rebounds. Kennedy will usually come off of the bench and has been one of the most dangerous sixth men in the country. Ben Moore has been starting beside Moreira and Cannen Cunningham is an experienced senior off of the bench who can give Moreira a break without much of a drop off in production. Point guard Nic Moore deserves a lot of credit for keeping this team under control. Of course, Moore does a lot more than run the point; he is also the team’s top scorer.

Why They Can Disappoint:
It is not Nic Moore’s fault, but this team can commit too many turnovers. They are extremely strong on the glass and can make up those possessions, yet eventually turnovers will catch up to the Mustangs. The other potential issue is that Moore is the only proven outside shooter on the team. Frazier was a nice complimentary shooter before he was declared academically ineligible in January. That leaves a lot of pressure on the remaining wings. Ryan Manuel is a quality scorer, but is not a shooter. Sterling Brown and Ben Emelogu are young and inconsistent sophomores. This team can get open looks from long range and somebody besides Moore needs to be a threat to knock down a shot or two or the opposition can attempt to clog the paint and stop the slashers and interior scorers.

Probable Starters:
Nic Moore, Junior, Guard, 14.1 ppg, 5.2 apg
Ryan Manuel, Senior, Guard, 6.6 ppg, 2.1 apg
Sterling Brown, Sophomore, Guard, 5.3 ppg, 2.1 apg, 4.6 rpg
Ben Moore, Sophomore, Forward, 7.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Yanick Moreira, Senior, Center, 11.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.2 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Cannen Cunningham, Senior, Center, 6.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg
Ben Emelogu, Sophomore, Guard, 2.8 ppg, 1.0 apg
Markus Kennedy, Junior, Forward, 11.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.5 (119th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.8 (25, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.4 (18, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.2 (10, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.3 (327, 10)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.3 (87, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.6 (117, 1)
Rebound Margin: 6.5 (21, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.7 (19, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.0 (222, 8)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NIT    First Round win over UC Irvine
2014    NIT    Second Round win over LSU
2014    NIT    Regional Final win over California
2014    NIT    National Semifinal win over Clemson
2014    NIT    National Final loss to Minnesota
2011    CIT    First Round win over Oral Roberts
2011    CIT    Second Round Jacksonville
2011    CIT    Quarterfinal win over Northern Iowa
2011    CIT    Semifinal loss to Santa Clara
2000    NIT    First round loss to Southwest Missouri State
1993    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to BYU
1988    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Notre Dame
1988    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Duke
1986    NIT    First round loss to BYU

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules