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


Overseas experience to help bring maturity to Faye

The SMU men’s basketball team was focused on rebuilding last year and although they improved significantly, they also lost their defensive anchor to graduation.

A first-year player led the team in scoring in 27 out of 30 games last season, which was the highest percentage in the nation. Newcomers Paul McCoy and Derek Williams, shooting guard and point guard respectively, lit up the scoreboard the most for the Mustangs. McCoy led all scorers 12 times and Williams did it 10 times.

“Last year, we had a really inexperienced team; six of our top eight players were in their first year of the program,” said Matt Doherty, the head coach of the Mustangs. “Now, those guys have a year under their belt and I think we’ll be a bit more experienced and a little deeper and I hope to win.”

The other members of the team have not been slacking off. Mouhammad Faye, who led the Mustangs three times in scoring last year, has been playing with Senegal in the FIBA African Championship and has led his team in scoring in six different games. His experience overseas on a national stage should benefit the Mustangs immensely.

“I would anticipate that gave him a tremendous amount of confidence,” Doherty said. “Because, not only did he play, he played well. He’s scored more points than anybody in the tournament, from what I understand.

Doherty, who will be in his fourth year as the head coach, is expecting Faye and Williams to step up and take the leadership role, especially with the departure of last year’s leader Bamba Fall.

“I think the leaders will be, and should be, Mouhammad Faye and Derek Williams, because they’re two of our best players and they’re seniors,” Doherty said. “I’m really going to push those two in the forefront to become the leaders of our team.”

Someone will have to step up and fill the void that Fall left when he graduated last year. He was on a two-time Conference USA All-Defensive team and was ranked No.29 in the nation in blocks per game (2.23). His rim-rattling dunks often brought the crowd to their feet and swung momentum in the team’s favor.

Perhaps one of Doherty’s two new recruits can step into Bamba’s shoes. Both recruits, Rodney Clinkscales and Myles Luttman, have previous experience in collegiate basketball and are expected to bring toughness and maturity to the team. Luttman, especially, is expected to guard the interior paint.

“We needed some interior toughness, especially with the absence of Bamba Fall,” Doherty said.

SMU really needs that defense and maturity, especially in C-USA where the team has struggled in the past few seasons. Aside from powerhouse Memphis, other strong teams in the conference include Tulsa, the University of Houston and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. However, Doherty feels that such strong competition in the conference is good for all teams.

“I think having a team like Memphis in our league is good because most of the teams in the league are catching up to Memphis,” he said. “I think it’s only a matter of time where, whether it be us or several other teams beat them. And then I think that will be healthy for our league.”

Make no mistake though; Doherty and the entire SMU team wants and expects only one thing.

“I expect to win,” he said. “I think it’s time for us to win and make a move.”

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