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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Men’s basketball team hopes to surf out of two-game skid tonight

Mustangs play at home against Hawaii’s Rainbow Warriors

7 p.m. Thursday, Moody Coliseum

 

Key Match-up

Hawaii’s Michael Kuebler versus SMU’s BryanHopkins

With both players leading their respective teams in scoring, thebattle between these two guards should be an explosive one comegame time. Kuebler (6-foot-5 inches, 185 pounds) comes into thecontest as the WAC’s leading scorer averaging nearly 20points per game. In Hawaii’s last contest, an 83-76 winagainst San Jose State, Kuebler scored 16 points and had twoassists. Hopkins (6-foot, 195 pounds) is averaging 16.4 points pergame. Against Nevada, in the Mustangs’ last outing, Hopkinsscored 25 points with one rebound and one assist. Hopkins hit threestraight three-pointers in a four-minute span against the WolfPack. This match-up features two of the WAC’s standoutguards, and the performance of either of these players could be thedeciding factor at the end of the night.

 

Ex-Factors

Hawaii’s Jeff Blackett

An explosive player off the bench, Blackett can add amuch-needed spark to the Rainbow Warrior’s scoring ability.Against San Jose State, Blackett provided 19 points off the benchwhile playing for a total of only 23 minutes. Blackett was 9-of-11on free throws, which proved crucial in Hawaii’s 7-pointvictory over the Spartans. His free throws made a big difference,especially after the Rainbow Warrior’s lead was reduced tothree. Blackett also added four rebounds, an assist, and ablock.

SMU’s Justin Isham

Isham is coming off a scoreless game against Nevada. Although heplayed 23 minutes, “J-Ice” was cold from the fieldshooting 0-for-4. Averaging 9.9 points per game, Isham’soffensive output was greatly missed as the Mustangs lost 74-84.Isham will be a key figure in tonight’s game as fans expectpoints out of the vastly improved starting guard.

 

Inside the Rainbow Warriors

Surfs Up?

Despite Hawaii’s reputation as a surfer’s heaven,the Rainbow Warriors have not had much time to hit the wavesbecause for the past three years, the team has earned a postseasonappearance. In 2003, Hawaii made it to the NIT tournament winningone before being eliminated. In 2001 and 2002, the Rainbow Warriorscompeted in the NCAA tournament. The team lost both times in thefirst round. Hawaii already has ten wins and is looking to extendits postseason streak to four years.

Lucky 13

Hawaii head coach, Riley Wallace’s win tally stands at287, just 13 wins shy of the 300-win club. Wallace could get his300th win this season as the Rainbow Warriors have 16 games stillon their calendar.

Road Warrior Wannabes

Last season, Hawaii posted a miserable road record going 3-11 onthe road. However, the team still finished the year with a 19-12record overall.

 

Inside the Mustangs

Bouncing Back

After two tough losses, a heartbreaking 53-54 loss to FresnoState and a 74-84 loss to Nevada, the Mustangs are looking to getback in the win column. Last time the Mustangs lost two in a row(66-78 to Wake Forest and 82-85 to Appalachian State) theyresponded by winning the Boilermaker Invitational upsetting17th-ranked Purdue at home along the way.

A Block-work Red

Leading the Mustangs in blocks this season is starting forwardPatrick Simpson. Simpson has 12 blocks in 13 games. Last season,Simpson was third for blocks in the WAC with 1.5 blocks per game.Coming into the season, Simpson was already poised at fifth on thecareer blocks list with 86 rejections in just two seasons. DespiteSimpson’s success, the team has an 8-block differential,trailing opponents 37-45 in this statistic.

Wipeout

The Rainbow Warriors have defeated the Mustangs four of the lastfive times the teams have met. The only Mustang win of the previousfive games was last season’s 78-69 in Moody Coliseum.

“Hawaii is a tough team to prepare for, they are a verybalanced team,” Simpson said. “They have a good star inKuebler and he gets good support from Martin and Lee.”

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