1. Jalen Jones
Jones, who will be relied on heavily this year, stepped up big time against TCU, nailing four three pointers, and totaling 19 points, a career high. Jones not only made some big time buckets, but also came up big on the boards, notching 9 rebounds, including one important one, after Ryan Manuel missed two free throws with seven seconds left. Jones has started off this season playing with a controlled aggression, and it has showed in his production, and Larry Brown will look for more as the season goes on.
2. Ryan Manuel
Manuel continues to impress Mustang fans everywhere, as he dropped 16 points and played a well-rounded game. More importantly, Manuel played with great poise and control and seemed to control the pace of the game. Although he only ended up with two assists, Manuel made numerous hustle plays to keep the ball in the possession of the Mustangs. If he can continue his growth, Manuel could end up having a big year for the Mustangs.
3. Defensive Pressure
Throughout the entire game, SMU played outstanding defense, especially when it came to creating turnovers. In total, SMU forced 16 TCU turnovers, and made the Horned Frog guards feel uncomfortable all game. With constant pressure and tight defense from Nick Russell and Manuel, the TCU guards weren't able to get into a groove. As the game wore on, the constant pressure seemed to wear down on the TCU guards, allowing for easy turnovers.
Although SMU did a great job forcing TCU into turnovers, they were not much better themselves, turning the ball over 17 times, which was one of the main reasons TCU was able to get back into the game. Turnovers came from all over the court, not just the guard position, so as the season goes on, SMU players need to be more careful with the ball and make opponents beat them, rather than allow them back into the game.
Although the SMU offense scored 64 points, that number can often be deceiving. With over half their points off TCU turnovers, the SMU offense did struggle when forced to run their offense in the half court. With only nine total assists all game, SMU was not able to run their system to the effectiveness they would have liked to. In future games, SMU will need to be able to distribute the ball more effectively, which will allow for easier baskets.
3. Clutch Free Throws
As the game came to a close, SMU had possession of the ball up three points with Manuel at the line. Only needing to make one free throw to wrap up the win, Manuel was unable to convert on the line. Luckily, Jones was able to recover the rebound, and after being fouled, he too missed both free throws. When only needing to make one free throw, SMU was 0-4 down the stretch, and although SMU escaped with the win, they may not be so lucky in the future.
3 Up, 3 Down
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