1. Today was a day of big debuts from SMU's transfers and freshmen. Keith Frazier provided a huge spark for the Mustangs off the bench with 11 points on seven shots. Markus Kennedy was great on defense, as was Yanick Moreira. Moreira sparked SMU's fast start in the first half with hustle plays and a strong effort on the boards (eight rebounds). But he later faded away. Nic Moore was everywhere for SMU- he had 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Crandall Head extended a number of possessions for SMU with hustle plays. Overall, it was a great opener for SMU's new players.
2. SMU's defensive effort was fantastic. The Mustangs held TCU to 35.4% shooting and forced 17 turnovers from the Horned Frogs. SMU had three blocks and did not allow TCU to get anything going in the paint. Defense wins championships, and SMU fans should be very encouraged by this opening performance from their team.
3. Larry Brown praised Cannen Cunningham in the postgame press conference and said, "He was the only one of our bigs who played big." When Moreira, Kennedy and Shawn Williams faded in the second half, Cunningham stepped up with solid defense, rebounding, and some offense as well (six points and an assist).
1. SMU's three-point defense was abysmal. TCU shot 8-18 from downtown for 44.4%. This was the only thing that kept the Horned Frogs in the game. Considering that TCU was playing without any dangerous options down low, SMU should have smothered the TCU shooters all game. SMU will need to do a better job closing out on shooters in the future or it could cost them close games.
2. SMU did a great job getting to the line throughout the game, but the Mustangs' stroke from the charity stripe was off. They shot only 13-22 from the free throw line (59.1%). If you take out Ryan Manuel's 6-of-8 shooting from the line, then SMU's free throw percentage drops to 50%. Good teams do not miss free throws, and SMU will have to improve in this area if they are to beat some of the better teams in the American Athletic Conference this season.
3. Jalen Jones did not play for SMU today and was not even on the bench with the team during the game. During the postgame press conference, Larry Brown would not outright say it, but he strongly implied that Jones was not playing because of a dispute over his playing time and role on the team. Brown said he would speak more on the subject at a later time so expect more updates on the story soon.
3 Up, 3 Down
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