[7:00 PM] Pittsburgh v. Southern Methodist

Who will WIN this matchup?

Pittsburgh Panthers (2-0)

Southern Methodist Mustangs (2-0)


Just two games into the season, Pittsburgh and SMU already have two common opponents for comparison purposes when they meet Thursday in the semifinals of the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Pittsburgh survived Eastern Michigan 93-90 in double overtime of the season opener last Friday and posted a 19-point victory over Gardner-Webb the last time out, while the Mustangs easily dispatched the same two teams by a combined 55 points.

Pittsburgh beat Gardner-Webb 99-80 on Monday behind 18 points and four 3-pointers by Cameron Johnson and 18 points and seven rebounds in just 15 minutes off the bench by Michael Young, but Pitt first-year coach Kevin Stallings wasn’t impressed with the club’s effort.

Semi Ojeleye had 26 points in a 72-44 rout of Gardner-Webb and added 18 and eight rebounds as SMU led by as many as 29 in a 91-64 pasting of Eastern Michigan. Mustangs coach Tim Jankovich, who was 9-0 last season filling in for suspended coach Larry Brown, is off to a fast start since being named head coach in July after the 76-year-old Brown’s resignation.

Senior forward Sheldon Jeter added 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds against Gardner-Webb – his second career double-double – while Jamel Artis had 11 points and six assists for the Panthers, who shot 53.8 percent from the floor and drained 13-of-26 shots from the arc. Despite lack of effort at times, Pitt has scored 90 or more points in each of the first two games in Stallings’ up-tempo offense.

Sophomore guard Jarrey Foster scored a career-high 18 points against Eastern Michigan and shot 8-of-9, senior forward Ben Moore – a preseason All-Conference pick – had 11 points and six rebounds as the Mustangs shot 53 percent from the floor and dominated the boards 44-26. Ojeleye, a 6-7 transfer from Duke who played in 23 games there in two seasons, was named the American Athletic Conference’s Player of the Week on Monday after tallying 44 points and 22 rebounds in his first two games. Sterling Brown, a 6-6 guard, is averaging 11.5 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the first two games.


StreakSmarts Pick: Southern Methodist Mustangs

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick