Men's basketball looks to win over East Carolina at home
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 22, 2013 00:02
SMU will welcome East Carolina to Moody Coliseum on Saturday at 2 p.m. for the first of the last two home matchups in Moody Coliseum’s current configuration.
The Pirates, 6-6 in conference play, face the Mustangs for their first and only matchup against each other on the season.
East Carolina is one of the highest scoring teams in the country this season, averaging 76.9 points per game, which is good for 18th nationally.
Senior forward Maurice Kemp, leads the Pirates in scoring with 18.2 points per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field, and for the Mustangs, that has to be where the team’s attention is on Saturday afternoon.
In the post is where the Pirates have done the best, with Robert Sampson grabbing over nine rebounds paired with Kemp’s average of seven rebounds per game.
The Pirates veteran roster includes senior Miguel Paul, who is the second leading scorer for the Pirates with 12.9 points per game and also adds 6.7 assists per game to help get the ball to East Carolina’s post threats.
SMU on the other hand has struggled with depth this season, but Jalen Jones continues to be the Mustangs’ best scoring option with 15.1 points per game and also leads the Mustangs in rebounds with an average of 8.1 boards each contest.
The biggest part of Jones’ game has been his ability to crash the offensive glass, grabbing over three offensive rebounds per game and the Mustangs will rely on him to get second chance opportunities against the Pirates.
The Mustangs have relied on junior Nick Russell and sophomore Ryan Manuel to share the job of point guard and the two have had an up and down season doing so, but the two have improved over the course of the season in their ability to operate head coach Larry Brown’s offense.
SMU has one game left in Moody Coliseum after its game against the Pirates before two road games and then the season finale in Garland against the UTEP Miners.
The Mustangs are 3-8 on the season in C-USA play, which leaves them second to last in the conference in their final season of C-USA play.