October 31, 2013
The start of Mustang basketball is just a few days away — Nov. 8 for the men and Nov. 10 for the women — as SMU enters its first year in the newly formed American Athletic Conference.
The SMU Men's Basketball team will take on rival TCU at the Tip-Off Showcase at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Metroplex bragging rights will be on the line as SMU enters its second season under Hall of Fame Head Coach Larry Brown. Game starts at 6:30 p.m.
The women open against Grambling State at 2 p.m. in the Curtis Culwell Center of Garland, the temporary home of SMU men's and women's basketball until the renovated Moody Coliseum is ready for use. Both teams will play their first American Athletic Conference games in Moody on Jan. 4.
The 2013-14 Men's Basketball team returns with all five starters, while adding the No. 14 ranked recruiting class and three transfers who sat out last season. The Mustangs went 15-17 last year with Cannen Cunningham, Jalen Jones, Ryan Manuel, Nick Russell, and Shawn Williams starting the entire season. They are joined by transfers Nic Moore (from Illinois State), Markus Kennedy (from Villanova) and Crandall Head (from Illinois). The recruiting class that is ranked as high as No. 14 includes McDonald's All-American Keith Frazier, the nation's top junior college prospect in Yanick Moreira, and a pair of Illinois' Mr. Basketball finalists from the Chicago area in Sterling Brown and Ben Moore.
Hall of Fame Coach Larry Brown was named head men's basketball coach at SMU on April 19, 2012. Brown is the only head coach to win both an NCAA title and an NBA Championship, having won an NBA title with the Detroit Pistons in 2004 and an NCAA title with Kansas in 1988. Brown was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach on Sept. 27, 2002. Brown is in his 39th season (2013-14) as a head coach, his ninth at the collegiate level.
SMU Women's Basketball returns four starters from the 2012-13 team, which won the program's third regular-season conference championship. The Mustangs advanced to the WNIT and finished with a 21-10 overall record. Keena Mays was named conference Player of the Year, averaging 18.4 points per game in her first season on the Hilltop. Akil Simpson returns after earning her second all-conference award. Kiara Perry joins the team after winning back-to-back state championships at Duncanville. This season, the Mustangs will host both national champion Connecticut and runner-up Louisville in Moody Coliseum, and will play two nationally-televised contests.
Women's Coach Rhonda Rompola first took over the SMU women's basketball team as head coach in 1991 and has forged ahead the past 20 seasons with record winning percentages and the first postseason tournament appearances in school history. In her 22 years as head coach, Rompola has tallied a 401-263 mark, earning her 400th career victory Feb. 21, 2013 in a win over Tulsa.
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