Keep an eye on SMU this season

Leave a comment

Rhode Island took a trip down to Dallas to take on Larry Brown’s revamped SMU squad on Monday night, and it was a match-up that had “intriguing” written all over it.

Both the Mustangs and the Rams brought in a number of high profile recruits this season. Both programs also had a number of transfers that were sitting out become elligible. As a result, you saw both teams become trendy sleeper picks in the American and the Atlantic 10, respectively.

So what happened when they took the court?

SMU poleaxed URI. The final score? 89-58, and that still doesn’t really do the whipping justice. The game was unwatchable by the second half’s first TV timeout.

There’s a lot to like about this Mustang team. They are deep and they are talented at every position. Illinois State transfer Nic Moore has been a revelation at the point; he had 20 points and seven assists on Monday night. We heard plenty about Yannick Moreira, Shawn Williams and Markus Kennedy during the preseason, but how about Ben Moore? The athletic, 6-foot-8 forward had 13 points, nine boards, three assists and two steals against the Rams. Keith Frazier, the McDonald’s All-American that Brown landed this season, has played a grand total of 35 minutes in two games, providing 18 points off the bench during SMU’s 2-0 start.

Let’s keep all of this in perspective. SMU now has wins over TCU and URI, two teams that combined for 19 wins last season. That’s not exactly going to vault them into the top 25.

But all you have to do is watch this team play and you’ll start to believe what Larry Brown is selling.

Don’t be surprised if the Mustangs are a factor in the American this season.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
Leave a comment

Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
Leave a comment

South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.