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

Men’s basketball releases non-confernce schedule

Mustangs face five major conference opponents and cross-town rival TCU
SMU mens basketball team huddles around center court after a game against the Rice Owls
John Schreiber
SMU men’s basketball team huddles around center court after a game against the Rice Owls

SMU men’s basketball team huddles around center court after a game against the Rice Owls (John Schreiber)

The SMU men’s basketball team announced Monday its non-conference schedule for the 2008-2009 season, and the Mustangs won’t be criticized for taking it easy.

The Mustangs face nine of their 13 non-conference opponents at Moody Coliseum, but they must travel to face teams from the Big 12, Big 10, Big East and Mountain West conferences. The Conference USA schedule is yet to be announced, but the Mustangs are slated to face national runner-up Memphis twice.

“The scheduling is tough, but we have a vision for a certain schedule, and it was tougher than we thought it would be,” said head coach Matt Doherty. “Our schedule is more challenging, and it will continue to get more challenging (with) the more talent we get.”

SMU opened the 2007-2008 season with four games against teams from lower-tier conferences, but still struggled to an 0-4 record with a roster that featured seven freshmen. This year, the team is a year older, but the schedule has been bumped up a notch.

The Mustangs begin the season Nov. 14 with a trip to South Florida from the Big East, then return home a week later to host the SMU Tip-Off Classic. This year, the tournament features Alabama State, which beat the Mustangs 64-54 last year, along with Houston Baptist and Illinois State.

The Mustangs will try for their fourth straight victory over archrival Texas Christian on Nov. 24 in Fort Worth. Last year, SMU rallied from an eight-point deficit to beat the Horned Frogs 71-65.

The Mustangs will hit the peak of their non-conference schedule during Christmas Break. On Dec. 17, SMU faces Texas A&M, which fell two points shy of advancing to the Sweet 16 in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Then the Mustangs go up against the Northwestern Wildcats on Dec. 23 in Evanston, Ill.

After home games against Texas-San Antonio and Texas A&M Corpus Christi, SMU hosts Colorado – arguably its most difficult non-conference home opponent of the season. Last year, the Buffaloes beat SMU 72-63 in Boulder, Colo.

The Mustangs conclude the non-conference schedule with a home game against Cal State-Bakersfield.

Conference dates have not yet been announced, but the Mustangs will face Tulsa, Houston, Rice and Texas-El Paso twice. The Mustangs suffered two losses to Tulsa, the conference’s runner-up, last year. They swept Rice in two games and beat UTEP in a thrilling, three-overtime game at home. East Carolina, Tulane and Southern Mississippi will also make trips to Moody.

SMU’s Bamba Fall goes up for a dunk against the Memphis Tigers (Stuart Palley)

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