Stock Up, Stock Down: We should take SMU seriously

Photo Courtesy of SMU Athletics

Welcome back to Stock Up, Stock Down, your weekly look around women's college basketball in Texas. Let's take a look at what's going on around the state.

Stock Up: SMU

With the Mustangs coming into this season with an almost entirely new roster and a new coaching staff, you'd be forgiven for expecting a relatively lost season.

But it looks like you would have been wrong.

SMU is riding a five-game winning streak and is sititng at 3-0 in AAC play, in large part because of Kayla White:

In the ECU game, White put up 34 points on 11-for-18 shooting and was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe. She also added six rebounds.

The guard from DeSoto is one of the few pieces on this team that has been around the Hilltop for a while. She was an AAC All-Freshman pick back in the 2018-19 season, but she's really hit that next level this season.

SMU followed that win up with an overtime victory over Tulane, holding Moon Ursin to six points. White once again led the team in scoring with 19 points, but another notable was Savannah Wilkinson, who pulled down 17 rebounds.

Wilkinson has a double-double in five consecutive games and has scored in double figures in each of SMU's games, sitting at 15.5 points per game this season. According to Her Hoop Stats, Wilkinson ranks 28th in the country in rebounds per game — and fifth in defensive boards — as well as ranking 185th in blocks per game, 155th in points per game, and 11th in two-pointers made per game. The Florida State transfer has made an instant impact.

Stock Down: Houston

What a difference a week makes.

Last week, Houston landed in the Stock Up side of things, but the team is now on a three-game losing streak and sits just a game over .500. Last year's Cougars lost eight games all year; this year's Cougars are already at eight losses.

Inconsistency plagued this team in non-conference, but it really looked like they'd put something together. A week after I thought that, I'm back to wondering what this team is and what it can be.

Stock Down: Rice

The departure of coach Tina Langley to Washington — and star center Nancy Mulkey following her — meant Rice was probably not going to be the Conference USA power that it has been, especially with a lot of key players transferring out.

But the Owls now sit at 5-6 on the year after going 23-4 last year. At 0-3 in conference play, the team already has more conference losses than last season.

This current three-game losing streak has seen the team lose by double-digits to Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky, and Marshall. In the Marshall game, only Destiny Jackson scored in double figures.

Losing basically your entire rotation minus Haylee Swayze...well, that'll lead to struggles, but I don't think I expected this level of struggle.

Stock Down: Incarnate Word

I could do a Stock Up section on A&M Corpus, but considering how much I've been writing about them, let's look elsewhere in the Southland.

The dream of UIW being a surprise conference contender is over, I think. Four losses in a row for the Cardinals, who are officially 0-2 in conference play but alsoi dropped a pair of "non-conference" games to A&M Corpus.

In fact, UIW's last three games have all been losses to the Islanders. Maybe the team's luck turns around when they're facing someone else, but things don't look great in San Antonio right now.

Stock Up: Texas State

Texas State is another team that's like Houston: inconsistent play in non-conference from a team we thought would be solid but left us with questions. But the Bobcats seem to be pulling out of that murkiness. While the team is still under .500 on the season, it's won two in a row and is over .500 in conference play. The team just won a pair of road games in the state of Georgia, including a 73-55 win at Georgia State that saw Da'Nasia Hood go off for 26 points and 14 rebounds on 11-for-15 shooting. In addition, Kennedy Taylor added 15 points and 10 assists.

Those two are just so good. The team around them might have some lapses sometime, but Hood and Taylor means that the Bobcats are never out of a game.

Stock Down: Sam Houston

Look, let's not dwell on this much. Without its head coach, Sam Houston is in a tough spot, but it's still disappointing to see a team that was contending in the Southland over the past few seasons look this bad in the WAC. The Bearkats are one of two teams without a conference win, and the team is now 5-10 overall on the season and 0-6 on the road. They just lost a 62-61 game to Tarleton, which is the kind of game this team would have won by double digits in recent years. Instead, the team made just eight field goals in the first half and couldn't complete the comeback attempt, even with a solid second half and 19 points from Faith Cook.

Stock Up: Texas A&M-Kingsville and West Texas A&M

Let's take a quick look at the Lone Star Conference, where Lubbock Christian might not be the best team this year. The 2019 and 2021 national champions are just 3-2 in conference play. Meanwhile, Texas A&M Commerce is 2-2 in conference play.

Two teams sit 4-0 in conference play: A&M Kingsville and West Texas A&M.

A&M Kingsville scored a convincing 59-42 win over Lubbock Christian earlier this season. WTAMU lost what was technically a non-conference game against LCU in early December, but is 4-0 in its official conference games, including a big 82-72 win over A&M Commerce.

Could things be changing in the LSC? WTAMU is always competitive, but A&M Kingsville was 8-8 last year.

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