SMU Mustangs vs Houston Cougars: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: The Fertitta Center in Houston, TX, USA.

When: Thursday, March 7th at 9pm EST.

How (TV/Radio): ESPN

SMU Mustangs (Away)

Head Coach: Tim Jankovich {Overall: 13-15, .464 W-L% | Conference: 5-11, T-9th in AAC}

With major postseason play an afterthought, the Mustangs head to Houston looking to play spoiler and put a dent in the Cougars’ resume. February was not kind to SMU, as Tim Jankovich’s squad won just one game that month, which came at home against UConn on February 21st.

In their most recent game, the Mustangs fell to Wichita State at Moody Coliseum on March 3rd. The Shockers took down SMU 67-55, on a disappointing Senior Day where freshman reserve Feron Hunt led the team in scoring with 14 points. Senior leading scorer Jahmal McMurray finished with 13 points in his final home game on 5 of 15 shooting from the field, and 1 of 7 from three-point range.

The Mustangs will look to avenge their earlier 69-58 loss to Houston on January 16th. If history is any indication, evening the score will be a tall task for SMU, who has not beaten a ranked Houston team since 1993 and has not accomplished this feat on the road since 1982.

Houston Cougars (Home)

Head Coach: Kelvin Sampson {Overall: 27-2, .931 W-L% | Conference: 14-2, T-1st in AAC}

After rampaging through their conference schedule, the Cougars finally hit a blip this past weekend against UCF on their home court. Houston fell to the Knights 69-64 where leading scorer Corey Davis Jr. had 19 points. Sophomore guard Dejon Jarreau came off the bench to contribute 14 points, in a game where the Cougars shot themselves in the foot by hitting their free throws at just a 50% clip.

Despite the loss, bracket experts have Houston as a 3 seed in their projections, which should give them a very favorable matchup starting out.

SMU Roster Notes

There are no injuries or roster news to report for the Mustangs.

Houston Roster Notes

Houston has no injuries or roster changes to report.

Head-to-Head: Jahmal McMurray vs Armoni Brooks

Jahmal McMurray

Shooting Guard | 6-0, 175lb (183cm, 79kg) | Sunrise Christian Academy | Topeka, KS | Senior

17.8 PPG | 2.4 APG | 2.4 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 0.1 BPG | 1.7 TOV | .438 FG% | .378 3P%

Armoni Brooks

Shooting Guard | 6-3, 195lb (190cm, 88kg) | McNeill HS | Round Rock, TX | Junior

13.5 PPG | 0.9 APG | 6.4 RPG | 0.7 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 1.0 TOV | .398 FG% | .396 3P%

The matchup to look out for in this contest will be between two volume shooters who are capable of scoring in bunches. Despite their relatively high usage rates, they have managed to take care of the ball, as evidenced by their top-10 conference rankings in turnover percentage.

Jahmal McMurray has been a scorer from the moment he started his career at South Florida to his second season in Dallas. After averaging an alarming 4.7 turnovers per game his sophomore year in Tampa, McMurray has cut that figure down by more than half, making him a player Tim Jankovich can trust in crunch time. The man can also get buckets as he has managed six games with 25 or more points.

Like McMurray, Armoni Brooks has been an asset to his team not just with his scoring touch, but his ability to not cough up the ball. Brooks’ 4.9 turnover percentage ranked fourth in the country last year and second in his conference. The Texan has also proven to be a solid three-point shooter, leading the conference this season in threes made and three-point percentage.

SMU at Houston Predictions and Odds

Oddsmakers currently favor Houston at home by 14 points over SMU, while the over/under for the game is 136.