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

Tale of two cities

The Mustangs aren’t having the season anyone had hoped they would.

Losing the first four games of any season is not a good thing, especially when they are against teams like Southern University and Alabama State.

However, the team is full of freshmen who need to gain experience, and so some of that can be forgiven, especially after a much needed win against Paul Quinn, who beat Southern earlier in the year, and a win against Texas-San Antonio on the road. There is still much left to be desired from this team.

Some of that comes tonight against rival TCU.

It doesn’t matter too much what sport it’s in, a meeting between SMU and TCU is always going to get more notice than any other game during the season. I may be going out on a limb here, but I would venture a guess that people who haven’t paid attention to the equestrian team all season may even know they beat TCU early in November. But then again, maybe not.

My point is, a meeting between SMU and TCU is something to take notice of. The Mustangs are riding a two game-winning streak this season and a two-game winning streak in the series.

Last season’s meeting in Ft. Worth was capped with a game-winning three-point shot from Dez Willingham as the final buzzer sounded to give the Mustangs a 64-62 win.

This game will have a different tone to it. The Mustangs came into the game with an 8-1 record. Two of the leading scorers were seniors, and Willingham, who made the winning shot, is no longer on the team.

If there were ever a game for the Mustangs to step up their play, it would be this one.

A game against TCU, at home and one of the final home games before the holiday break needs to leave SMU fans with some hope for the Conference USA schedule that starts when break ends.

The Mustangs have tried some different lineups that have Bamba Fall coming off the bench while Papa Dia has been getting regular starts, and it seems to be working. Freshman Ryan Harp has seen more playing time in the last couple of games, and two starts, and has taken advantage of it. A 10-point performance against Paul Quinn in a season high 27 minutes earned him another 27-minute outing against UTSA.

Mike Walker has also gotten starts half way through the season, against Dayton, Paul Quinn and UTSA Walker was in the starting lineup, and turned in his two top scoring performances of the season.

Even Papa Dia, who has started all but one of the six games, has had an improvement within the last two games.

The Mustangs need production from the freshmen. Yes, they are young, yes, they are inexperienced and yes, they will get better over time. But if it can happen quickly, this might not turn into the scary season it looked like it could be at the beginning of the year.

It still could be that kind of a season, but a win against TCU always eases the pain.

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