Men's countdown: No. 16 SMU
We are counting down the top 30 men's teams heading into the fall college season.
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2012-13 Golfweek ranking: 22
Go-to guy: Sophomore Bryson Dechambeau
Season outlook: Despite starting as many as four freshmen at times last season, the Mustangs still managed three runner-up finishes and placed sixth at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional, three shots out of fifth place and a berth in the NCAA finals.
Now head coach Josh Gregory, entering his third season at SMU, is expecting more, and it starts this fall. The Mustangs haven't reached the NCAA Championship since 2005.
“We need to win, period. . . . We need to prove we can beat the top teams in the country to best prepare us for an NCAA run,” said Gregory, who knows a little about such things, having won back-to-back NCAA titles with Augusta State in 2010 and '11.
SMU loses Mario Clemens, an NCAA individual qualifier last spring and the team’s scoring leader, but return senior Harry Higgs and a foursome of talented sophomores: Bryson Dechambeau, Austin Smotherman, David Lee and Ryan Burgess. Dechambeau, who routed the field at this summer's Trans-Miss Championship, has the potential to be one of the top players in the country after posting a 72.48 scoring average in 33 rounds and notching five top 5s as a freshman. Freshmen Andrew Buchanan and Alex Higgs also will join the mix for playing time.