SMU looks to improve 0-2 record

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Mouhammad Faye goes up for a shot against the University of South Florida last Friday evening. (MICHAEL DANSER/The Daily Campus)

Still looking for their first win of the season, the SMU men’s basketball team hosts Florida Gulf Coast University (0-1) on Saturday, followed by Huston-Tillotson (0-2) on Monday. Both games will be in Moody Coliseum at 7 p.m.

Having dropped a pair of losses to the University of South Florida and Texas A&M University in the team’s opening week, the Mustangs enter their second week at home at 0-2.

The team’s experience in playing Big East and Big 12 teams last weekend will, according to head coach Matt Doherty, increase the team’s ability and better prepare them for the upcoming season.

In the second week, senior forward Mouhammad Faye leads the Mustangs with 16.5 points per game, followed by point guards sophomore Paul McCoy with 14 points per game and senior Derek Williams with 13.5.

The FGCU Eagles enter the game shooting just 37 percent from the field and 48 percent from the line in their opening games. Selected as the seventh team in the 2009-10 Atlantic Sun Preseason Coach’s Poll, the Eagles return with just three players from last year’s roster. The three players were the team’s leaders in points, rebounds and blocks last season.

The Eagles are playing Prairie View A&M on the road Thursday evening before coming to Dallas and could enter Moody Coliseum at 0-2 or 1-1.

In comparison, SMU is shooting 47 percent from the field and 60 percent from the line, but struggle in getting a solid performance out of their bench. So far, SMU’s secondary unit has added just 16 points in two games, only 12 percent of the team’s total points.

However, the return of sophomore forward Robert Nyakundi should help the Mustangs. Out with a bruised heel and knee, Nyakundi has only seen nine minutes of playing time this season after averaging 6.3 points per game last season and 14 total steals.

Guarding against FGCU’s Reed Baker should be a top priority for the Mustangs if they hope to quiet the 6-foot-1-inch point guard from adding to his 13.4 points per game average.

McCoy currently leads SMU’s defense with nine defensive rebounds and three blocks. However, SMU’s starters will have to stay out of foul trouble, so as not to rely on their bench to generate points.

Monday’s game against Huston-Tillotson University, a National Intercollegiate Athletic Association Division I school, could feature two teams seeking their first win of the season.

Returning for the Rams are Titus Butler and Darrell Glover, both 6-foot-4-inch point guards with 14 and 13 point per game averages, respectively.

Last season, the Rams finished the season at 7-11 and 10-20 in the Red River Athletic Conference.

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