SMU vs Boise State Prediction
SMU vs Boise State Prediction: The National Invitational Tournament is packed with talent this season. The Boise State Broncos and the SMU Mustangs will collide in the first round.
HISTORY: These two schools have previously met on two occasions, and they’ve split both games, with the Mustangs winning the last meeting, 86-63.
SMU Eyeing Redemption
SMU (11-5, 7-4) opened the season-like tournament hopefuls with non-conference wins over Sam Houston State and Dayton. They remained solid as American Conference play began, but weather hazards and health protocols altered their season. They returned after missing over a month of action and loss to Cincinnati in the first round of the AAC tournament. They were well deserving of an NIT spot in a crowded field.
SMU is led by junior point guard Kendrick Davis, who made first-team All-AAC. Davis leads the team in scoring (18.8), and he’s tied for fourth in the nation with 7.4 assists per game. In their first game in over a month, Davis led the Mustangs with 35 points and nearly guided them to a comeback win over the Bearcats.
Emmanuel Bandoumel and Tyson Jolly join him in the backcourt. Bandoumel is third on the team in scoring with 9.8 points per game. Jolly missed the first half of the season, and he’s returned to average 8.1 ppg, and he grabs 5.2 rebounds per game.
Ethan Chargois and Feron Hunt man the frontcourt. Hunt made third-team All-AAC, but he missed the second half of the loss to Cinci with an ankle injury. He’s a big part of this SMU team, and his health will be key. He’s second on the team in scoring (11.1), and he leads them in rebounding (7.9). Chargois averages 9.1 ppg to go along with 5.6 rpg.
Broncos Can Dominate Field
Boise State (18-8, 14-6) comes into the NIT as one of our favorites. The Broncos won 12 of their first 13 games, including road wins over Sam Houston State and BYU. They were solid early through Mountain West play, as they swept UNLV and Utah State. Two losses to both Nevada and San Diego State left them vulnerable for the Bubble, and then the last season’s home loss to Fresno State all but shattered their tournament hopes.
Despite their last four games, Boise is one of the stronger teams in the country size-wise. They’re impressive on both sides of the ball, and they’re led offensively by Derrick Alston Jr. The senior guard averages 17 points per game, and he’s been their most consistent threat this season.
Senior forward Abu Kitab is one of the best defenders in the country. He’s scoring on the team in scoring (12.8), and he’s versatile enough to guard all five positions on the floor. RayJ Dennis and Marcus Shaver Jr. man the backcourt, while Arizona transfers Devonaire Doutrive and Emmanuel Akot have come on strong lately, giving head coach Leon Rose an even deeper bench as March approaches.
Mladen Armus leads the team in rebounding (7.8) and brings a formidable paint presence, making this defense even tougher to score on.
SMU vs Boise State Prediction & Pick
This could be the best first-round game on the NIT slate. SMU’s season had been highly affected by factors beyond their control, and the injury bug may be approaching at the wrong time. If Feron Hunt is affected by his ankle, or if he misses the game, the Mustangs will be in trouble. Both of these teams have big chips on their shoulders, and the Broncos are entering this one at full strength.
Boise State was one of the steadier teams in the country prior to their four-game losing streak. They will have experience and size on their side, especially if Hunt misses the contest.
You should trust Derrick Alston Jr.’s to lead Boise State to a victory tonight. Look for them to defeat SMU and advance to their second round of the NIT.
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