Boise State is headed to the NIT!
#2 seed Boise faces #3 Seed SMU
Even though the season ended in a rough way for the Broncos, getting to appear in the NIT is a chance to see a really talented team for the final time with this exact group. Derrick Alston Jr will move on after the season more than likely. So, let’s discuss the opposition here, get to know the SMU Mustangs from the American Athletic Conference
Funny enough, SMU is one spot ahead of Boise State in KenPom’s rankings. An evenly matched game.
Best Win: Memphis, @Dayton
The Mustangs didn’t have a lengthy resume in terms of getting big-ticket wins, part of the reason they find themselves in the NIT. They defeated Memphis, earning them a Q2 victory & won on the road in Dayton earning another Q2 victory. Tim Jankovich’s Mustangs didn’t record a Q1 victory, but only played 16 games due to multiple prolonged COVID pauses in the program, which led to a talented roster struggling to get any momentum rolling.
SMU KEY PLAYERS:
Kendrick Davis: 18.8 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 7.4 APG
Davis is a blast to watch, a speedy undersized guards with elite navigation skills around the floor. He does everything you’d want in a point guard, dropping 35 PTS in the AAC tournament loss to Cincy, but in the prior two games dropped 22 PTS & 10 AST, followed by 25 PTS & 8 AST. A dynamic player that’ll be fun to watch against an up-and-coming guard in Boise’s RayJ Dennis.
Ferron Hunt: 11.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG
Hunt poses a slender body, eerily similar to that of Boise’s Derrick Alston Jr, but vastly different players. Hunt roles more as a four-man as opposed to a wing, but still a tremendous athlete that’s efficient inside, sporting a 56% field goal percentage, but isn’t a shooter. The matchup between two talented four-men, Abu Kigab (if healthy) & Ferron Hunt should make for a fun duel.
Tyson Jolly: 8.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG
Jolly was set for a big senior campaign entering the season but never got it rolling due to an injury keeping him out of commission until late January. Jolly’s had an interesting journey getting here. Jolly started at Baylor. but lasted one season in Waco, before transferring to Trinity Valley CC, where he emerged to be a top Junior College player, ending up at SMU.
If the Mustangs win here, expect Jolly’s shooting to be a major reason why.
The winner of this first round matchup faces the winner of #1 seed Memphis & #4 seed Dayton