#23 Southern Methodist Mustangs at Temple Owls
Liacouras Center – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sunday, February 16, 2014, 2:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS Sports Net
Opening Line: SMU -8 1/2
Current Line: SMU -7 1/2
Opening Total: 147 1/2
Current Total: 146 1/2
Opening Money Line: SMU -375 / Temple +305
Current Money Line: SMU -340 / Temple +290
The surprising SMU Mustangs are 20-5 this season and 9-3 in the new American Athletic Conference. The Mustangs are in third place in the conference behind 12-1 Cincinnati and 9-2 Louisville. SMU is ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 1985 and looking for their first NCAA tournament berth since 1993. Next up for the Mustangs is a trip to Temple Sunday. Temple is 6-17 this season and in last place in the conference at 1-10. Both teams played games on Friday night that were postponed from Thursday because of bad weather in the Mid-Atlantic region. SMU beat Rutgers in New Jersey 77-65 and Temple lost at home to Louisville 82-58.
Temple leads the series 2-1 against SMU. The Mustangs beat the Owls 75-52 February 6 in Dallas. Before that game, the new conference rivals hadn’t played since 1956.
SMU is coached by Larry Brown. SMU has losses at Arkansas, Virginia in tournament in Corpus Christi, TX, at Cincinnati, at Louisville, and at South Florida. The Mustangs have won 9 of their last 10 games including 4 straight games. SMU has key wins over TCU, Rhode Island, Texas A&M in Corpus Christi, at Wyoming, UConn, South Florida, at Central Florida, Hofstra, Rutgers, at Houston, Memphis, Temple, and against Cincinnati. SMU is 15-6 ATS and the total is 9-11 this season.
SMU is outscoring teams 73-61 this season. The Mustangs are #17 in points allowed nationally. SMU is shooting 49.6% from the field and 36.4% from 3 point range. The Mustangs are #8 nationally in field goal percentage. SMU makes 68.3% of their free throws. Mustang opponents are shooting 36.7% from the field and 30.8% from 3 point range. SMU is #2 in field goal defense and #38 in three point defense nationally. The Mustangs average 37.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.6. SMU averages 15.5 assists, 13.9 turnovers, 7.6 steals and 4.6 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.8 assists, 14.3 turnovers, 7.9 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.
Guard Nic Moore averages 13.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Forward Markus Kennedy averages 11.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game. Guard Nick Russell averages 8.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Center Yanick Moreira averages 8.1 points and 5.1 rebounds. He is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Forward Ben Moore averages 7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Keith Frazier, Shawn Williams, Cannen Cunningham, Ryan Manuel, and Sterling Brown also get significant time in the rotation.
Temple is coached by Fran Dunphy. The Owls ha wins at Pennsylvania, Georgia and UAB in tournament in Charleston, SC, St. Joseph’s, LIU-Brookyln, and Rutgers. Temple started the season 4-3 but has gone 2-14 since then. The Owls have lost 4 straight games. Temple has losses to Kent State, at Towson, Clemson in Charleston, Texas, Texas Southern, at Rutgers, at UCF, South Florida, Memphis, Cincinnati twice, LaSalle, at UConn, Villanova, at SMU and at Houston. Temple is 8-12-1 ATS and the total is 10-10 this season.
Temple is being outscored 78-75 this season. The Owls are #325 out of 351 teams nationally in points allowed. Temple is shooting 43.5% from the field and 35% from 3 point range. The Owls make 69.4% of their free throws. Temple opponents are shooting 46.4% from the field and 36% from 3 point range. The Owls are #301 nationally in field goal defense. Temple averages 35.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 34.8 per game. The Owls are #323 nationally in rebounds allowed. Temple averages 13.5 assists, 10 turnovers, 5.6 steals and 4 blocks per game. Opponents average 14.6 assists, 10.9 turnovers, 5.3 steals and 4.5 blocks per game.
Guard Dalton Pepper averages 17.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Wil Cummings averages 16.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Quenton DeCosey averages 15.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Forward Anthony Lee averages 14 points and 9.2 rebounds. Guard Daniel Dingle is out for the season with a knee injury. He averaged 6.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game. Mark Williams, Josh Brown, Jimmy McDonnell, and Devontae Watson will also get minutes in the rotation. Temple only has 9 players on the roster with the Dingle injury.
SMU is 4-0 ATS against teams with losing records, 11-1 overall, 10-1 against AAC teams, 9-1 after a cover, 8-1 after a straight up win, 4-1 in Sunday games and in road games, and 9-4 against teams with losing home records.
Temple is 6-1 ATS after a double digit home loss, 20-7-1 in Sunday games, 4-9-1 after a straight up loss, 9-21 at home, 1-4-1 against teams with winning records, and 0-4 overall.
SMU should roll in this game, but they shouldn’t overlook the Owls even though they only have six wins this season. The Mustangs are a young team with a hall-of-fame coach, and sometimes it takes a while to get used to success. I don’t think Brown will let the Mustangs have a let down.