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Papa Dia
Can't wait for the Final Four in Houston? At Moody Coliseum, you can watch the Tournament semifinals this Friday; the SMU Mustangs host the Santa Clara Broncos. It might not be the Big Dance, but you can still enjoy SMU's Papa Dia (above), who had a CIT-record 21 rebounds in the road win Monday to send the team to the semis. Didn't hear much about the Ponies this year? Here's the recap: Papa?s the Conference USA defensive player of the year, All-CUSA first team, and NABC All-District First Team. SMU coach Matt Doherty is making his fourth postseasonappearance as a head coach. He also led Notre Dame to the NIT championship game in 2000, took North Carolina to the NCAA second round in 2001, and then led UNC to the NIT quarterfinal round in 2003.
Collin Mangrum
SMU?s got brains and brawn. Senior guard Collin Mangrum was selected to the CUSA all-academic team (one of five selected nationwide). He's started the last 18 games and has a 3.850 GPA. We told you last March about Collin dancing with the UNT Mean Green as the only player in the school?s history to play in multiple NCAA tournament games. He graduated from UNT last year with one year of eligibility left and went to work for SMU while starting his graduate studies in dispute resolution. He's got a CRE connection, too. His parents, David and Robbie Mangrum, own Howe-based Mangrum Commercial Real Estate.