clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

TCU Basketball Preview Series: SMU

We are counting down the days to the start of the 2015-2016 TCU Basketball season with daily previews of the Frogs' opponents. Today we look at TCU's oldest and most-played rivalry series.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to day six of our TCU Basketball Preview Series. Today we'll take a look at the SMU Mustangs and the basketball version of the Battle for the Iron Skillet, the oldest and most played rivalry series in TCU hoops history. The Frogs and Mustangs have met at least once every season since 1919, with the exception of 2003, 2011, and 2014. TCU and SMU have faced off a total of 189 times, that's 15 more than the Frogs next most-played series, against Rice. This year's meeting will carry added significance in the wake of SMU's recently discovered NCAA violations.

Game 6: SMU Mustangs

Game Information

Date: Wednesday, December 2
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena - Fort Worth, TX
TV: FOX Sports Southwest

Know the Foe

Conference: American Athletic
Location: Dallas, Texas
Head Coach: Larry Brown (Suspended)

2014-2015 Record: 27-7 (15-3)
Postseason: NCAA Second Round
Key Losses: C Yanick Moreira, G Ryan Manuel, C Cannen Cunningham
Key Returners: G Nic Moore, F Markus Kennedy, G Keith Frazier
New Additions: G Shake Milton, G Sedrick Barefield, F Jordan Tolbert

Summary

The SMU Mustangs enter the 2015-2016 season after the NCAA hammered the program for a series of violations involving academic fraud and unethical conduct. Most notably, the Mustangs are banned from all postseason play. Head coach Larry Brown will be suspended for the first nine games of the season, including the TCU game, after being cited for lack of head coach control while the violations were being committed. SMU was also placed on three years' probation by the NCAA, including the reduction of nine scholarships over that time period.

Even with the Mustangs unable to advance to the postseason, this year's SMU squad looks to be competitive. Nic Moore returns for his senior season after leading the Mustangs in scoring with 14.5 points per game a year ago. He also dished out 5.1 assists and grabbed 2.3 rebounds per game. Two more dynamic scorers return this season in Markus Kennedy and Keith Frazier. Kennedy was a sparkplug for the SMU offense last season, averaging nearly 12.0 points and 6.3 assists per game. Frazier, who was the centerpiece in the NCAA's academic fraud investigation, averaged 10.5 points and 4.0 assists per game.

Freshman guard Shake Milton looks to have an immediate impact on the SMU offense, as he joins the program after averaging nearly 30 points per game in high school. A pair of transfers - Semi Ojeleye from Duke and Jordan Tolbert from Texas Tech - are eligible this season and will likely be big keys to SMU's success. Tolbert, a Fort Worth native, transferred to SMU after leading the Red Raiders in scoring with 10.7 points per game in the 2013-2014 season.

Prediction

SMU 75, TCU 65

How SMU responds to their NCAA penalties will be a major storyline in this game. If the Mustangs are unmotivated without their head coach and without the possibility of postseason play, the Frogs could have a shot to steal one from their cross-town rival. However, SMU does have a very solid offensive core and will be able to score points in bunches this season. The Mustangs provide Trent Johnson and his defense another solid early-season test.

SMU Preview Graphic

---

Opponent Team Previews:
Game 1: Southeastern Louisiana
Game 2: Houston Baptist
Game 3: South Dakota State
Game 4: Rhode Island
Game 5: Maryland /Illinois State
Game 6: SMU
Game 7: Colgate (10/20)
Game 8: Washington (10/21)
Game 9: Prairie View A&M (10/22)
Game 10: Abilene Christian (10/23)
Game 11: Bradley (10/24)
Game 12: Delaware State (10/25)
Games 13 & 24: Oklahoma State (10/26)
Games 14 & 25: West Virginia (10/27)
Games 15 & 20: Texas (10/28)
Games 16 & 29: Baylor (10/30)
Games 17 & 23: Kansas (10/31)
Games 18 & 28: Texas Tech (11/1)
Games 19 & 27: Iowa State (11/2)
Game 21: Tennessee (11/3)
Games 22 & 31: Oklahoma (11/4)
Games 26 & 30: Kansas State (11/5)