Jones working as perimeter player
Jalen Jones appears to be attempting to move his game further out on the perimeter. He ran drills with the guards today and has been working on his midrange jumper a lot. I think this is because the coaching staff wants to play him at small forward. Jones is still too slow on the defensive end to guard perimeter players, which drove head coach Larry Brown crazy in practice today. Assistant coach KT Turner said Jones has the athleticism to play more outside, but needs to adjust to certain nuances. Turner believes Jones will be effective because of his ability to slash and finish at the basket.
Williams receives praise from coaching staff
The most impressive player in all the practices so far has been Shawn Williams. He is working mostly as a stretch-four and he appears to be doing everything right out on the floor. He plays extremely hard on both ends and has taken on a leadership role with the younger players. Coach Brown said Williams ‘makes it easier on everybody because he is always in the right spot and always communicating with his teammates.' Williams has a good grasp of the offense and has really improved his rebounding on both ends. He will play a much bigger role this season than people expect.
Frazier struggles on both ends of the floor
It was a very difficult practice for Keith Frazier today. On offense, he made poor decisions with the ball and threw a couple lazy, one-handed passes that resulted in turnovers. Frazier also had bad shot selection as he continued to take contested three-pointers instead of trying to take anything towards the basket. Frazier really struggled defensively today as well. He was out of place a lot and didn't run back in transition hard enough at all. Brown and assistant Ulric Maligi continued to get on Frazier to play harder and make good decisions with the ball. Eventually, Kevin Dunleavy replaced him after Brown couldn't take the lack of effort anymore.
Moreria and Cunningham battle in the post
With Markus Kennedy still not practicing, the team is relying on Yanick Moreira, Cannen Cunningham and Ben Moore to play in the post a lot. Moreria has really impressed on both ends of the floor. He is a dominant force on defensive end and has a couple really nice offensive moves he can rely on. He hits the turnaround jumper consistently and is working on adding a jump hook. Cunningham has struggled a bit guarding Moreira in practice but has worked hard on improving his presence in the post on both ends. Meanwhile, Moore continues to provide good energy, rebounding, and shot blocking when he is on the floor. The SMU post players aren't incredibly skilled with their backs to the basket, but they are very athletic and great finishers. The coaches recently watched a Dallas Mavericks practice and referred to Samuel Dalembert as somebody the SMU big men should watch play.
• Former NBA player and head coach Avery Johnson stopped by practice today. He spoke to the team about always competing on every play in practice than stuck around to watch them.
• Markus Kennedy did not practice with the team, but he was in the weight room working out. Crandall Head also did not practice.
• Ryan Manuel had a nice alley-oop pass to Ben Moore. Manuel also ran down Nic Moore for a big block in transition.
• Eric Snow worked a lot with Nick Russell on passing and playing off the ball. Snow has been much more vocal recently in practice.
• Sterling Brown had a very good practice today. He can just flat out score the basketball.
• Jean-Michael Mudiay banged knees with Sterling Brown in practice and sat out with an ice pack. He said he felt fine after so nothing major.
• The team scrimmaged for a long time today. The red team consisted of Nic Mooore, Nick Russell, Sterling Brown, Shawn Williams and Yanick Moreira vs. the blue team of Ryan Manuel, Keith Frazier, Jalen Jones, Ben Moore and Cannen Cunningham. The red team dominated both ends and won every period.
Hoops Practice Notebook
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