SMU's Kendric Davis recently spoke to the challenges of a long layoff after setting a program record for scoring in a season opener with 33 points.
Davis and the Mustangs (1-0) aim to continue their acclimation on Monday when they host Texas AM Corpus Christi five days after cruising to a 97-67 win over Sam Houston State.
"We've been practicing for a year straight, so, I mean, it felt a little different," Davis said, a nod to the adjustments prompted by the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. "I mean, you've got to kind of get loose, get warm, just get back used to playing a game. That was pretty much the biggest thing was getting back (to) normal."
As SMU awaits the return of other players expected to fill key roles this season -- namely Tyson Jolly, who is dealing with a personal matter -- the Mustangs will keep looking to a rejuvenated Davis, recovered from an early summer bout with COVID-19, for leadership.
"He is a gym rat. He always has been," Mustangs coach Tim Jankovich said. "He's really worked on some things that he was good at, but not great at. I see a much better player this year."
Three teammates joined Davis in double figures Wednesday, including William Douglas. He had a career-high 15 points.
The Islanders (1-1) endured a night of what coach Willis Wilson called "dramatically woeful" shooting during a 75-63 home loss to Texas State on Saturday.
Texas AM Corpus Christi finished 16-for-47 (34.0 percent) from the floor compared to 26-for-48 (54.2 percent) for Texas State.
"There's a lot of things to be hopeful for, but we've got to show a greater commitment to defense," Wilson said. "When the ball is not falling, you've got to get stops. That's the story at the end of the day."
Although six Islanders drilled 3-pointers in the game, the team was a mere 7-for-27 from long range, a 25.9 percent effort. Wilson wants to be closer to 39 to 42 percent.
"If we're going to be a team that's going to take 27 3s, then we've got to be a team that's going to make a high percentage of those," Wilson said. "We're not close to that in these first two games."
Myles Smith paced the Islanders with 13 points, marking the 39th time the senior has registered double figures in his career. Smith matched a career high with four assists, while Rasheed Browne nearly notched a double-double with 11 points and eight rebounds.
--Field Level Media