Mustangs lose 9 of last 12, look for remedy versus Marshall
Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 23:01
The SMU Men’s basketball team finishes up a three game road trip by visiting Marshall Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. The Mustangs have hit a tough stretch, losing nine of their last twelve and enter the game with a 1-5 record in Conference USA play.
The Mustangs started the season 8-1, but have struggled since then and especially in conference play. A big problem for the Mustangs has been a lack of depth due to three transfers sitting out this season due to NCAA rules and freshman center Blaise Mbargorba being out for the year after he underwent a shoulder surgery.
Along with the problems with depth, SMU also has history working against them when the team goes to Huntington, W. Va. SMU is 0-8 all-time against Marshall. SMU and Marshall started playing in 2006 and last time the teams met, the Thundering Herd beat up the Mustangs 74-56 in the C-USA tournament in what was former Head Coach Matt Doherty’s last game as coach.
For this upcoming game, SMU will need to have a big game from Nick Russell and Jalen Jones, who have scored 10 or more points in seven and six straight games, respectively. Jones has been a big player for the Mustangs, with six double-doubles on the season.
The Thundering Herd come into the game with a 9-11 record overall and a 2-3 C-USA record, but the Mustangs will have to watch for junior guard DeAndre Kane, who is averaging 15 points per game and averaging 4.6 rebounds per game.
Down low for Marshall, the team has a talented freshman in Elijah Pittman, who is averaging 14.5 points per game and averaging over 50 percent from the field shooting.
Marshall does have a problem turning the ball over, averaging 16.3 turnovers per game and the Mustangs will have to take advantage of that to get back on the right track as the team moves deeper into conference play.
SMU guard Ryan Manuel, coming off a 17-point game against UCF in a loss, leads SMU in free-throw percentage, averaging just over 80 percent from the line. SMU leads C-USA in free-throw percentage so if the Mustangs can get Marshall in foul trouble, the team may be able to grab SMU’s first ever win against Marshall.
After Marshall, SMU has two home games in a row with Houston on Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. and Memphis on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. Both games are C-USA games and for the Memphis game, SMU is calling for a white-out from the fans.