The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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New season, new captains

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Sophomore guard Paul McCoy dribbles the ball up the court against Illinois State last season in Dallas. CASEY LEE/The Daily Campus

Sophomore guard Paul McCoy dribbles the ball up the court against Illinois State last season in Dallas. CASEY LEE/The Daily Campus

The first topic head coach Matt Doherty addressed at the 2009 SMU Men’s Basketball Tip-Off Dinner was the sold-out crowd on hand for the event, held Thursday at the Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas.

“This is exciting to walk in here to a full house,” he said. “I wanted the players to come in here and feel the energy and the excitement to kick off this season.”

Entering his fourth year as head coach of the Mustangs, Doherty named three team captains for the 2009-10 season: seniors Mouhammad Faye and Derek Williams and sophomore Paul McCoy.

“Last year I did not name captains; I didn’t feel like we had that leadership,” he said. “This year we have it.”

After spending two years at Georgia Tech, Faye, a 6-foot-9-inch forward, averaged 9.6 points per game and pulled down 120 rebounds in his first season at SMU.

Williams, a 6-foot-1-inch guard, led the team with 105 assists and a .725 free-throw percentage last year.

He was named co-MVP with McCoy, who last season had a team-high 47 steals, and he became the first freshman to lead SMU in scoring with 13.4 points per game.

As a 5-foot-11-inch guard from Portland, McCoy made the C-USA All-Freshman Team and was selected preseason All-Conference USA by “Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.”

“I’ve never been more excited to start a season than I am this year with you guys,” Doherty said to his players. “It’s amazing what a difference a year makes in your maturity and your leadership.”

Hubert Davis, former NBA player and University of North Carolina alum like Doherty, served as keynote speaker for the Tip-Off Dinner and recalled his time playing with the Tar Heels.

“The 12 years I was in the NBA, I played for great coaches [and] I played with great players,” he said. “But my favorite time of playing the game of basketball was in college.”

Now an analyst for ESPN, Davis spoke of the drive and determination he learned from his dad after his mother passed away in 1986.

“He had to do everything and pay the bills,” Davis said. “And during that time, there were two things that my dad did. One, he never complained, and two, he always showed up.”

“I’m sure there were days when he didn’t want to show up, but that didn’t stop him. He was determined to be the best dad that he could become.”

Davis told the SMU players that the decisive factor in whether or not the team has a successful season is going to be their willingness to show up.

“It’ll be easy to show up in the game,” he said. “But Coach Doherty needs you to show up, putting forth your best effort every day.”

This year, the Mustangs (9-21 last season) have the benefit of playing their first six games at Moody Coliseum.

After opening against the University of South Florida (9-22), SMU will host the Texas A&M Aggies (24-10), and Doherty would like to see his team go 2-0 to start the season.

“That’s our vision, that’s our goal,” he said. “If you work hard each and every day, you can achieve your goals as an individual player and as a team.”

“Our time is now.”

Other home games this season will feature match-ups with the TCU Horned Frogs (14-17), Tulsa Golden Hurricane (25-11) and No. 9 Memphis Tigers (33-4).

The Mustangs will tip-off against the USF Bulls on Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at Moody Coliseum.

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