Men's College Basketball
Preview
New Orleans at Southern Methodist
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Where: Moody Coliseum, Dallas, Texas

SMU looks to bounce back from a tough road loss to nationally ranked TCU when it hosts New Orleans on Wednesday in a non-conference matchup. The Mustangs fell by 11 to the then-20th-ranked Horned Frogs while the Privateers are coming off a blowout win over NAIA foe Williams Baptist and are looking for their first victory over a Division I opponent.

Coach Mark Slessinger's squad, which had 11 days off for finals prior to this contest, is led by senior forward Travin Thibodeaux's 14.1 points per game, as he is the team's lone double-figure scorer. By contrast, SMU boasts four double-figure scorers -- led by junior guard Shake Milton's 18.6 points per game -- with a fifth starter, sophomore guard Jimmy Whitt, coming up just short at 9.9 points per contest. Whitt and Milton are 1-2 on the team -- and in the American Athletic Conference -- in assists, with Whitt dishing out 4.6 per game compared to Milton's 4.5. Defensively, coach Tim Jankovich has a tenacious group that holds opponents to 41.1 percent shooting from the floor and just 60.1 points per contest.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPNU

ABOUT NEW ORLEANS (2-5): The Privateers have shown a lot of depth this year, with 12 different players averaging in double figures in minutes, but the team's bench is about to get longer -- and taller -- with the debut of 7-3 freshman Bol Riek. The center from the South Sudan by way of Moosheart (Ill.) High School will bring some obvious height to the New Orleans front line, which doesn't have another player taller than 6-9. While it's easy to get excited about the possible impact of Riek, the Privateers are certainly cognizant that it will be his first-ever college basketball game and want to temper expectations for him from teammates and fans.

ABOUT SMU (7-3): The best thing about the Mustangs this season could be the team's willingness to share the basketball, with SMU averaging 17.6 assists with a 1.5 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks 19th in the nation. Besides Milton, Jarrey Foster (15.1 points), Ethan Chargois (12.7) and Ben Emelogu (10.5) are averaging in double figures in scoring, and the Mustangs have recorded assists on 176 of their 263 field goals this season (67 percent). Jankovich tries to preach to move the ball, and it was shown against TCU that the team doesn't rely just on point guard Whitt to get the offense rolling, as he had to sit because of foul trouble and Milton stepped in and led the Mustangs with nine assists.

TIP-INS

1. Emelogu's current shooting percentage from 3-point range of 54.5 would be the best in school history since the stat was first kept in 1986-87.

2. The Mustangs have won 28 consecutive home games, the second longest active streak in the country.

3. SMU has been outscored in the paint in just one of its first 10 contests.

PREDICTION: SMU 78, New Orleans 62
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
New Orleans 2-5 W1 2-0 0-5 0-0 2-1 0-4 0-0
Southern Methodist 7-3 L1 6-0 0-1 1-2 1-0 6-3 0-0
Last Meeting
New Orleans Southern Methodist
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
New Orleans N/A
Southern Methodist N/A
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
New Orleans N/A
Southern Methodist N/A
Assists Player  
New Orleans N/A
Southern Methodist N/A
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
New Orleans T. Thibodeaux 99 56.5 19
Southern Methodist S. Milton 186 39.1 53
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
New Orleans M. Puou 43 12 31
Southern Methodist B. Emelogu II 60 16 44
Assists Player  
New Orleans T. Green 23
Southern Methodist J. Whitt 46
Quickchart Matchup
blue bar New Orleans Off vs  red bar Southern Methodist Defense
blue bar 59.8 Points For
red bar 60.1 Points Against
blue bar 44.4 FG%
red bar 41.1 FG%
blue bar 29.4 Reb
red bar 28.8 Reb
red bar Southern Methodist Off vs  blue bar New Orleans Defense
red bar 74.9 Points For
blue bar 71.4 Points Against
red bar 46.1 FG%
blue bar 47.8 FG%
red bar 32.9 Reb
blue bar 27.0 Reb