Before the SMU football team plays the United States Naval Academy on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Gerald J. Ford Stadium, make the trek to Moody Coliseum to catch the SMU men's basketball's home opener against McMurry University at 7:00 p.m on Friday.
The Mustangs and head coach Matt Doherty have high expectations following them after the success of last season. SMU recorded its first 20-win season and first postseason bid since the 1999-2000 season. At the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT), the Mustangs made it all way to the semifinals before getting knocked out by Santa Clara. SMU won eight Conference USA games - the most since joining the conference - and led the league in field goal percentage (.482), 3-point percentage (.394) and free throw percentage (.742).
The team will be leaning on the leadership of senior Robert Nyakundi, sophomore Jeremiah Samarrippas and sophomore Shawn Williams. One of the team's top performers last season, Papa Dia, graduated and signed a two-year contract with KK Zagreb, a professional club in the Euroleague Basketball. SMU will have five incoming freshmen and four players that sat out for either a redshirt year or due to transfers.
The Mustangs do have a history of doing well in season openers at home and an even better record against McMurry. In the history of SMU men's basketball, the team is 39-16 in season openers at home and has won 12 of their last 15. Against McMurry University, SMU is a perfect 4-0. They'll try to keep that perfect record going on Friday.