SMU Basketball looks to focus between the lines not outside them in Florida Tuesday
BY: Richard W. Humphrey
DALLAS, Texas – FIRST a correction. Yesterday’s post indicated the next Mustang basketball game would be against the South Florida Bulls in Tampa on Wednesday. The game will actually be played Tuesday night at 6:00 PM (Central). The game will be nationally televised on ESPN News and can be heard locally on KAAM 770 AM.
SECOND. There was a report last night on Channel 8 news indicating that a grade was changed at Kimball High School that enabled freshman basketball player Keith Frazier to graduate and seemed to infer that someone at SMU was complicit in making that happen. Monday afternoon, Brad Sutton SMU’s Associate A. D./Public Relations and Marketing issued a statement to correct the record. The statement is somewhat confusing, but the following points are clear.
SMU made a decision on admitting Frazier based upon documentation submitted by DISD. SMU received a transcript for Frazier on July 1 which confirmed his graduation with grades and credits that qualified him for SMU admission and NCAA eligibility. The grade change that was referenced in Channel 8′s report occurred on an earlier interim report and was not reflected on the transcript that SMU received.
SMU’s statement references an auditor; presumably someone from the NCAA. The statement indicates that SMU’s compliance officer was in contact with this auditor in August and September and submitted a formal written response to the situation on October 4.
It is likely that there will be more to the story.
Frazier by the way was injured Sunday shortly after entering the game against Houston. Pony Rap has not been able to confirm if the injury will prevent Frazier from playing in Tuesday’s game against South Florida.
THIRD. The American Athletic Conference announced it’s weekly honors today. Connecticut’s Shabazz Napier was named the Conference “Player of the Week”. Five more players were named to the weekly “Honor Roll”, including SMU’s Markus Kennedy, who recorded double-digit totals in points and rebounds in both SMU games last week. He averaged 16.5 points and 10 rebounds. Forward Ben Moore was named the “Freshman of the Week”.
FOURTH: SMU received votes in the AP Top 25 poll for the fourth time this season in this week’s poll. The Mustangs also received votes in the USA Today/ESPN poll for the first time.
FIFTH: Last week’s wins over Houston and Rutgers boosted the Mustangs RPI rank from 46 to 41. SMU is now 3-4 this season against teams in the RPI top 100, up from 2-4 last week, as Sam Houston State, who the Mustangs beat in December is now ranked no. 100.
SIXTH: Yesterday’s 47.8% (22-46) shooting performance by Houston boosted SMU’s opponents’ scoring percentage for the season to 36.2%, which still leads the American Athletic Conference and ranks second in the nation.