Gradebook: SMU Hoops

PS Managing Editor Billy Embody hands out grades to each player on the SMU basketball team. Come inside to find out what they got!

The Starters

#1 Ryan Manuel: Manuel was charged with sharing the responsibility of sharing the role as point guard and played admirably, but Nick Russell emerged as the main ball-handler towards the end of the season. Manuel's minutes did not diminish though, the last seven games of the regular season, he played 35 minutes or more. Manuel struggled in the last game against UAB though, turning the ball over five times and struggled shooting. Overall Manuel was up and down this season and that was a big reason why Russell took over down the stretch at point guard.

Grade: B-

#2 Shawn Williams: Williams also had an up and down season, finishing with an average of 8.5 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game. Williams was also the elder statesman of the starters as a junior and did provide solid leadership, pushing his teammates on the court. Williams' shooting percentage was solid most of the season, shooting over 50 percent or higher 16 times on the season, but also had three games where he shot zero percent. Williams though was one of the versatile players, being able to hit threes from the outside, but could be physical down low for the Mustangs. Williams has all the talent in the world, but will definitely be down on the bench with Kennedy and Moreira ready to play and Cunningham returning.

Grade: B-

#12 Nick Russell: The most improved player of the year, Russell took almost sole possession of the point guard job late in the season as he elevated his game. Russell cut down on turnovers and improved his scoring so much that Jalen Jones and Russell tied for the scoring lead for the Mustangs. He gets a B grade because of his play late in the season and his overall improvement. He wasn't ever a true point guard, but he gave it his all and was able to do a fair amount of things well for the Mustangs.

Grade: B

#15 Cannen Cunningham: Caunningham was one of the most talented players on the Mustangs roster this season and played a very well-rounded game all season, but made his presence felt the most on the defensive side of the ball. Cunningham averaged nearly two blocks per game and over six rebounds per game. He also showed the ability to score many different ways including from three-point range and his mid-range jump shot.

Grade: B+

#21 Jalen Jones: Jones could be a Conference USA first team selection and was the MVP for the Mustangs especially due to his physical play rebounding and his hustle plays. Jones had plenty of double-doubles most of the season and had big performances for the team. He got into foul trouble a little bit, but without a doubt, Jones was the MVP of the squad.

Grade: A

Off The Bench

#5 Uche Ofoegbu: Ofoegbu lost his dad in the later part of the season and that had to wear on him. He didn't contribute much offensively and his minutes went up and down.

Grade: C-

#11 London Giles:The only senior on the SMU roster, Giles was hampered by a leg injury that could not be cured during the season so he played through it. Giles had a tough time playing through it, but he was a leader for the team even if he didn't contribute much.

Grade: C+

#22 Brian Bernardi: Coming out of New York, Bernardi was a sharp shooter and was expected to be able to contribute from beyond the arc for the Mustangs. Bernardi was somewhat of a liability at times, but came on strong at the end of the season.

Grade: C+

#25 Garrett Wilson: A walk-on that saw a couple minutes a game rarely. He didn't score a point and didn't contribute much, but wasn't expected to.

Grade: F

#30 Jordan Dickerson: Once Blaise Mbargorba went down, the depth at big man for SMU went down significantly and Dickerson did not contribute that well. He was awkward, slow and extremely lean. He was not able to do anything offensively for the team, but did spell the big men for a couple minutes a game.

Grade: D-

Did Not See Time

#4 Kevin Dunleavy, Jr.: Did not contribute as a walk-on this season, but was always one of the first people in the gym.

#10 Marcus Holyfield: Coming over from the football team after the season, he was used more of a body in practice but is very athletic.

#55 Blaise Mbargorba: Sat out due to injury. Was able to resume practicing late in the season, but will take the off season to be 100 percent.

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