By Philip Kilgore
Last Sunday, hundreds of SMU faithful showed its undying loyalty to its basketball program by attending its first Selection Sunday event in recent memory. Unfortunately for the team, we were only the 2nd team in history to be ranked but not make the tournament. After defeating numerous top 25 teams and coming in 3rd in one of the toughest basketball conferences, many people were expecting us to make the tournament. The only excuse from the selection committee was our “weak” out of conference schedule (even though we played teams like number 1 seeded UVA), but everyone knows that politics reined in a very controversial bracket selection.
Afterwards, the SMU faithful wasted no time in congratulating our team and began getting pumped up for a number 1 overall seed in the NIT. Whether it be through twitter or walking around campus, our fans built up the players’ spirits and show them that not only their fans but the rest of the country realizes their hard work.
The season is not over though. The NIT is still underway, and our basketball team is playing with a chip on its shoulder to prove to those who doubted our team. Tonight’s game is featuring a talented LSU basketball team, but I can tell that the SMU team is playing with a purpose now. I can’t wait to be amongst another sellout crowd at Moody Coliseum, especially in an atmosphere where Hall of Fame coach of the Louisville Cardinals said was the worst he has been to in his coaching career.
Although we will miss team leaders Shawn Williams and Nick Russell, the Mustangs will be returning most of its talent including McDonalds All-American Keith Frazier, lights out shooter Nic Moore, dominate force Markus Kennedy, and freshman phenom Sterling Brown. After finally having a year under their belt, Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown will use his magic to make our team even better. With the addition of the number two recruit in the nation Emmanuel Mudiay, our team is going to be a force to be reckoned with. With the combination of a dedicated and fierce fan group along with an extremely talented roster with a hall of fame coach in Larry Brown, it is safe to say that the SMU Basketball program is here to stay for a very long time.