The Mustang men and women open their 2017-18 basketball seasons on Friday, Nov. 10 in Moody Coliseum.
First up will be the women’s team, working to build on a season that took the squad to both the third round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (NIT) and to a record-high team G.PA. This year’s roster features returning senior starter Alicia Froling, recently named to the American Athletic Conference All-Preseason team. The first 400 SMU students, faculty and staff members (with SMU ID) at the 11:30 a.m. game against Nicholls State will receive a free lunch from Rudy’s Bar-B-Q, courtesy of Head Coach Travis Mays.
At 7 p.m., the men’s squad led by Head Coach Tim Jankovich begins the defense of its American Athletic Conference championships with the season opener against UMBC. Junior guard Shake Milton has made the watch lists for the 2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award and the Lute Olson National Player of the Year. Milton was also named the 2017-18 preseason American Athletic Conference Player of the Year. Wear red for the first game of the season, which is also the Mustangs’ inaugural meeting with the Retrievers.
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The No. 14 SMU men’s basketball team locked up at least a share of the 2016-17 American Athletic Conference regular-season championship with a decisive 93-70 victory over Tulsa on Thursday, March 2 in Moody Coliseum.
Redshirt junior psychology major Semi Ojeleye, who earlier in the day had been named to the CoSIDA 2016-17 Academic All-America second team, was perfect from the field. Yet he was more impressed with a play from a sitting position by sophomore Shake Milton that set up a Mustang goal and made highlight reels throughout sports media. (See a video profile of Ojeleye by SMU News’ Myles Taylor in the video link above.)
Milton maintained control of the ball after tripping just past midcourt, even dribbling between his legs, before passing to senior sport management major Sterling Brown, who delivered the alley-oop to Ojeleye. Milton racked up his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 assists, even without getting any stats for the highlight play.
Ojeleye made all nine of his field goal attempts, including three 3-pointers, and all five starters scored in double figures for the Mustangs (26-4, 16-1). Sophomore Jarrey Foster added 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting, while Brown scored 19 points and senior English major Ben Moore netted 12 .
The Mustangs have a 12-game winning streak and a one-game lead in the AAC standings over No. 18 Cincinnati (26-4, 15-2), which won its home finale 65-47 over Houston earlier Thursday night. They can take sole possession of the league title with a win at home Saturday over Memphis.
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