Alright Mustang fans, it’s almost time for Moody Magic!
SMU basketball held its second practice of the season in the Crum Basketball Center on Monday. This was the first practice that allowed media availability. This season marks the Mustang’s third season under Head Coach Larry Brown who led SMU 27-10 in the 2013-14 season, which ended at the NIT championship game.
“We didn’t make a lot out of it,” Brown said. “The big thing is we got to play in a great tournament against quality teams, and when you play five games like we did in the NIT against good teams you get that practice time and it has to help. I think we have to build on that.”
SMU made the top 25 poll in four of the last five regular season polls last season. It was the first time the Mustangs were ranked since the 1984-85 season. At the end of last season, the inaugural season for the American Athletic Conference, SMU finished tied for third after going 12-6.
“It was a good year, but we just want to be consistent and get better,” Brown said. “We have a great schedule and a lot of terrific challenges ahead. All of the guys coming back I think have gotten a lot better.”
The Mustangs had two wins over NCAA Champion Conneticuit and wins over NCAA Tournament teams Cincinnati and Memphis.
“I doubt we’ll be the conference favorites with the national champs in our conference, but it really doesn’t matter what people think or what expectations are,” Brown said. “We just have to come to practice every day and get better. I think we owe it to our fans and we owe it to the school.”
SMU basketball continued to break records upon records, starting by establishing a new home attendance record at 107,412. The previous record was 101,296 which was set in the 1984-85 season.
“We write the same thing on the board every day ‘play hard, play together, play smart, have fun’ and then Coach Smith allowed me to put down ‘it would be nice if we defended and rebounded,” Brown said. “That’s the identity of this team and I think it’s probably the identity of any good team.”
Last season the Mustang’s defense allowed just 62.2 points per game, 24th in the NCAA and 3rd the AAC. SMU also held 23 of 37 opponents under 40 percent shooting and outrebounded 26 of 37 opponents this season. On offense, the Mustangs led the conference in field-goal percentage, shooting 48.3 percent and shot 37.9 percent from beyond the arc. SMU also averaged 71.0 points per game.
“The reality is we’re getting better,” Brown said. “We look forward to going to practice and working on things that all the good teams need to do to be successful.”
SMU opens its season against Lamar in Moody Coliseum on Nov. 14 at 8:30 p.m.
“November 14th will come quickly for them,” Brown said. “But I wish we had a little bit longer so we would have more time to prepare.”