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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Travis Mays has been named the new Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Director of Athletics Rick Hart announced last week. Mays previously served as an assistant coach for 14 years at various schools, serving under three hall of fame coaches. He has also played 11 years of professional basketball both domestically and abroad.
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“After meeting with Travis, I immediately knew that he was ready to be a head coach,” said Hart. “He has a tremendous coaching pedigree, having learned from some of the best in the business. Everyone spoke so highly of Travis — even those outside his immediate coaching circle, like Geno Auriemma. Travis displays strong character and a will to succeed. In short, he is a winner.”
Not only is Travis a gifted floor coach but he is also a recruiter with Texas roots. He graduated from the University of Texas, playing as a guard from 1986-90, later going on to serve a three-year stint for the women’s basketball program from 2004-07 and then returning in 2012 to serve as Assistant Head Coach. He comes to SMU from Texas where he spent the past four seasons. His duties at Texas included recruiting, preparing opponent scouting reports, instructing guards on the court and public speaking at various community service and campus events.
“I think as a former player at Texas, Travis has name recognition and the ability to recruit that will make him a tremendous hire at SMU,” said Van Chancellor, a Hall of Fame Coach. “Sometimes during a hire, the Athletic Director is trying to hit a home run, and I think SMU has hit a grand slam.”
> Find more information on Coach Mays’ extensive background on the SMU Athletics page