SMU Mustangs

Hampton guard Quinton Chievous (3) battles SMU forwards Ben Moore (00), Jordan Tolbert (23) and guard Jerry Foster (10) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
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Tolbert’s 20 points, 19 boards lead No. 18 SMU past Hampton

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DALLAS (AP) Jordan Tolbert posted another big double-double, getting 20 points and 19 rebounds as No. 18 SMU remained unbeaten with a 105-72 romp over Hampton on Thursday night.

A night after having 18 points and 23 boards in a rout over Nicholls State, Tolbert helped the Mustangs (9-0) to their highest-scoring game since November 2010. SMU is off to its best start since going 10-0 to open the 1997-98 season.

SMU played its final game under the direction of associate head coach Tim Jankovich. Head coach Larry Brown served a nine-game suspension after the NCAA ruled in September that a former men’s basketball administrative assistant completed online course work for a student to help him be admitted to school. The Mustangs also are banned from postseason play this season, including the American Athletic Conference tournament.

Hampton (4-4) was led by Quinton Chievous and Brian Darden with 18 points each. The Pirates trailed 58-53 with 15:20 left before SMU pulled away.

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: No. 18 SMU, No. 20 West Virginia win

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins gestures to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Marshall in Charleston, W.Va., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Tyler Evert)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: South Dakota 92, Milwaukee 91 (2OT)

Fittingly it was Wisconsin native Tre Burnette (Madison) who made the deciding play, as his floater in the finals seconds of double overtime gave the Coyotes the one-point win over the Panthers in Milwaukee. D.J. Davis and Tyler Hagerdorn scored 17 apiece to lead five USD players in double figures, while Milwaukee’s Matt Tiby led all scorers with 31 points while also grabbing 17 rebounds.


No. 20 West Virginia 86, Marshall 68: The Mountaineers pulled away in the second half of this in-state battle, beating the Thundering Herd by 18 after leading by just three at the half. Bob Huggins’ team scored 50 second-half points, with Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr. leading a balanced offensive effort with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Ryan Taylor led Marshall with 15 points, but the big news for them moving forward is the left knee injury suffered by forward James Kelly. Kelly, who finished with 11 points, left the game in the second half and was not at full strength when he returned some six minutes later.

No. 18 SMU 105, Hampton 72: Like WVU the Mustangs, playing their final game without suspended head coach Larry Brown, pulled away in the second half. SMU scored 62 points in the game’s final 20 minutes, and all six players who attempted a shot scored in double figures. Sterling Brown led all scorers with 23 points (10-for-11 FG) and Jordan Tolbert added 20 along with 19 rebounds. Larry Brown will be back on the sidelines for the 9-0 Mustangs when they host Kent State Tuesday night.


Jordan Tolbert, SMU: Tolbert finished with 20 points and 19 rebounds in a win over Hampton.

Henry Caruso, Princeton: Caruso scored 29 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the field and grabbed nine rebounds in the Tigers’ 77-72 win over Liberty.

Matt Tiby, Milwaukee: One of the top players in the Horizon League, Tiby was highly productive in the Panthers’ one-point loss to South Dakota. He finished with 31 points and 17 rebounds.


Armel Potter, Charleston Southern: Potter shot 1-for-12 from the field in the Buccaneers’ 71-65 loss at Wright State.

Chace Franklin, Jackson State: Franklin scored eight points but did so on 3-for-15 shooting in the Tigers’ loss at Ohio.


  • Deckie Johnson racked up 26 points and four assists to lead North Texas to an 87-74 win over Mississippi Valley State. The Delta Devils dropped to 0-13 on the season as a result.
  • Middle Tennessee limited Belmont to 37.7 percent shooting from the field, winning by a final score of 83-62. Perrin Buford led the way offensively with 20 points while also grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out three assists.
  • In a matchup of struggling teams Rodney Pryor scored 20 points to lead Robert Morris to a 69-67 win over Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks played without injured junior forward Tim Kempton (right foot).
  • Ohio moved to 7-3 on the season with a 72-67 win over Jackson State. Jaaron Simmons scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Bobcats.
  • Jameel Warney scored 22 points, shooting 10-for-12 from the field, to lead Stony Brook to an 86-68 win at American.
  • D.J. Balentine became the fourth player in Evansville program history to surpass the 2,000-point mark, scoring 26 points in the Purple Aces’ 84-70 win over Norfolk State.
  • Katin Reinhardt scored 22 of his 29 points in the first half as USC beat Cal Poly, 101-82. Six Trojans scored in double figures and Julian Jacobs, who sat out their last game with tendonitis in his Achilles, dished out 13 assists.

No. 19 SMU earns blowout win over Michigan

Caris LeVert, Nic Moore, Jarrey Foster
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Despite playing most of the game without injured senior center Markus Kennedy, No. 19 SMU thoroughly outplayed Michigan for an impressive 82-58 home victory.

The Mustangs led the final 31 minutes of the game as Jordan Tolbert gave a huge lift with 23 points and nine rebounds as he went 11-for-12 from the field. SMU also had 15 points from senior guard Nic Moore and junior wing Keith Frazier as the Mustangs shot 57 percent (31-for-54) from the field and 53 percent (8-for-15) from 3-point range.

Playing without injured starting point guard Derrick Walton Jr., Michigan (6-3) struggled to find itself on offense as senior Caris LeVert played one of the worst games of his college career. LeVert started the game 0-for-11 from the field and finished with five points and three assists on 1-for-13 shooting. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Duncan Robinson led the Wolverines with 15 points on the night.

Considering that SMU (7-0) has no postseason to play for and they’re playing for interim head coach Tim Jankovich, this was a very impressive home win. The Mustangs still have a ton of pride when they take the floor and they’re looking like major contenders in the American despite that postseason ban. Moore is as tough as it gets when it comes to senior floor leaders and he’s not afraid to take and make big shots.

If Frazier is shooting well and someone like Tolbert steps up in Kennedy’s place, SMU is going to be tough to beat, especially at Moody Coliseum.

As for Michigan, they clearly need to get a healthy Walton back in the lineup as soon as possible because when he’s been missing with injury the last two seasons, the Wolverines haven’t been nearly the same team. LeVert clearly struggled with the defense focusing on him and he needs more help on the wing as well.

Kennedy sprained his ankle in the win for SMU and it is uncertain when he will return to the lineup. Even though Kennedy didn’t play for the Mustangs, they outrebounded Michigan 45-20 for the contest.

SMU’s deep perimeter rotation takes hit with Emelogu injury

Ben Emelogu, Preston Mattingly
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As if the 2015-16 season wasn’t going to be tough enough for SMU as they’re sitting out postseason play as a result of an NCAA investigation, the program announced Wednesday that one of their guards will undergo season-ending knee surgery.

Junior Ben Emelogu won’t be available for the Mustangs this season, leaving Larry Brown’s team a guard short as they begin the regular season Friday against Sam Houston State. Emelogu, who began his career at Virginia Tech, played just over 15 minutes per game and made four starts in 2014-15.  Minutes likely would have been tough to come by again this season, with the Mustangs have a host of options on the wings.

Included in that mix are juniors Sterling Brown and Keith Frazier and freshmen Shake Milton and Jarrey Foster. Emelogu will have two seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2015-16 campaign.

Australian SG Tom Wilson commits to SMU

Larry Brown
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SMU landed its second commitment in the Class of 2016 Wednesday afternoon, as 6-foot-3 shooting guard Tom Wilson made his pledge to Larry Brown’s program. News of Wilson’s commitment was first reported by Fox Sports Australia, and he joins fellow guard Dashawn McDowell in the Mustangs’ 2016 class to date.

Wilson, who is a scholarship athlete at Basketball Australia’s National Centre of Excellence in Canberra, has plenty of international experience as he served as captain for Australia’s U17 and U19 national teams. At this summer’s FIBA U19 World Championships, Wilson averaged 6.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

And in Olgun Uluc’s story on Wilson’s commitment, SMU’s newest recruit spoke about the opportunity to play for Brown and the fact that Brown coached one of his favorite players.

Wilson noted his admiration for Iverson, with his time watching the legendary shooting guard also an introduction to his new head coach.

“I was a big Allen Iverson fan growing up, so I watched all of his documentaries and I knew who Larry Brown was for quite a while, probably since I was 11 or 12 years old,” Wilson said.

“I know Larry’s a guy that, wherever he is, he’s been able to win, and he takes a winning culture wherever he goes. I think the most exciting thing for me is the fact that I get to play under a coach who’s coached the likes of Allen Iverson.”

SMU has just one senior in its current perimeter rotation in Nic Moore. With three juniors and three freshmen making up the rest of the current backcourt, Wilson and McDowell’s fight for minutes as freshmen won’t be an easy one. SMU, which is banned from postseason play this year due to NCAA rules violations, won’t have that issue when Wilson arrives on campus next year.

SMU won’t appeal tournament ban, Brown suspension

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Last month the NCAA announced that due to rules violations found in their investigation of the SMU men’s basketball program, the team would be banned from postseason play in 2015-16 and head coach Larry Brown would be suspended for the first nine games of the 2015-16 season. With a team led by seniors Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy and just one player (Keith Frazier) being the subject of the investigation, it was assumed that SMU would at the very least appeal the postseason ban.

Friday, the school announced that while it will appeal some of the penalties handed down by the NCAA to the men’s basketball and men’s golf programs they will not appeal the postseason ban or Brown’s suspension.

“After careful consideration, however, we will not appeal the NCAA post-season ban on men’s basketball or partial season suspension of Head Men’s Basketball Coach Larry Brown,” SMU president R. Gerald Turner stated in the release. “Although we regret the severe impact on our student-athletes, the simple fact is that the NCAA penalty structure mandates at minimum a one-year post-season ban for the level of misconduct that occurred, in our case, when a former staff member completed an online high school course for a prospective student-athlete, committing academic misconduct.

“In addition, should we appeal this matter, the lengthy process and uncertainty during this period could harm many aspects of the program. Coach Brown and his staff also agree that it is in the best interests of the program to accept these sanctions and move forward.”

Among the penalties the school will appeal (with regards to the basketball program) are the “duration of scholarship losses” and how long the recruiting restrictions placed on the program will last, and the vacating of games Frazier played in during the 2013-14 season.

This a tough turn of events for players who had nothing to do with the violations, as they see their opportunity to return to the NCAA tournament taken away. As a result of the school’s decision, SMU’s season will end March 9 following their regular season finale against Cincinnati.