Mustangs look to increase record to 7-1, host Utah at home Wednesday
Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 23:11
The men’s basketball team is off to a strong start this season, but will face a tough test when SMU hosts Utah on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
SMU went 3-1 last week with wins over Malone, Rider and Missouri State.
They suffered their first loss of the year to Arkansas- Little Rock.
Utah is 4-1 for the season and is coming off a 3-0 showing in its Thanksgiving Utah tournament.
The biggest challenge the Mustangs will face Wednesday night is in the Utes’ defense.
The Utah Utes have the top-scoring defense in the Pac-12, limiting opponents to 54.4 points per game.
The Utes have multiple weapons for the Mustangs to worry about, but the two big ones are Dallin Bachynski and Jared DuBois. Bachynski is averaging 13.2 points per game and DuBois 12 points per game.
The team, however, has its own weapons.
Kansas State transfer Nick Russell has been particularly impressive so far for Larry Brown’s team.
Russell has been averaging 16 points per game in the early portion of the year. The team will need this sort of production in order to overcome a tough Utah defense.
The Mustangs will also take on a struggling Hofstra team Dec. 1.
Hofstra is coming off losses to Manhattan College and George Washington University causing their record to fall to 3-4 for the season.
Despite the losing record, Hofstra will be a stern road test for SMU, as the team has played a tough schedule to start out the year.
Hofstra will also be well rested, as they have a week off before playing the Mustangs. If SMU wants to pull out a win against Hofstra, it will have to slow down Taran Bule and Jimmy Hall.
Bule is averaging 14.4 points per game while Hall is averaging 12.7 points per game.
On the year, the Hofstra Prides has four players averaging double figures.
Defense has been the problem for Hofstra as it has given up close to 78 points per game while only scoring 67 of its own per game.
Another aspect SMU might be able to exploit is the turnover problems Hofstra has had early on in the year.
Hofstra has been giving the ball up 15.1 times per game.
Although Hofstra has given up turnovers, it has also forced 13.9 per game.
If SMU hopes to beat Hofstra, the team will have to maintain control of the ball.
The Mustangs will look to finish out this next week strong.
After this, the team will have two weeks before it takes on Rhode Island and then faces Utah again.