Brown talks Arkansas game
Head coach Larry Brown was disappointed with how the team played in Arkansas last night. "It was a lot more than a lack of effort," he said. "It was a lack of execution, too. I don't think we matched their energy for the whole 40 minutes, not just the first half." Brown said he was happy the team continued to get the ball inside and doesn't mind the lack of three-point attempts. "Obviously, we have a size advantage so when we do get it inside we need to finish at a higher rate," Brown explained. "You play against a team that runs, like Rhode Island, it helps to get it inside to keep them from running. We didn't do that enough vs. Arkansas and we didn't get to the free throw line or finish well." Brown was pleased with how the team handled the press. He noted they only turned the ball over once while the Razorbacks were pressing. "It's hard to press Nic," he said. "The press didn't hurt us. Their effort hurt us, us not getting back hurt us, the offensive board hurt us, us not challenging their three-point shooters hurt us and us turning the ball over 18 times without the press effecting us hurt us."
Moore enjoys successful first week
Ben Moore has started scorching hot this season for the Mustangs through the first three games. After being named AAC Rookie of the Week last week, Moore scored 19 points and grabbed five rebounds while shooting 8 of 10 from the field in 19 minutes vs. Arkansas. "I think I have done pretty decent," he said. "Last night I didn't do as well because our team didn't win, and that's all that really matters to me." Moore has had to adjust to the constant up-tempo style of college basketball so far and credits his teammates for helping him through his first couple games. "I wouldn't be able to do anything without my teammates, so they were the ones picking me up and helping me out," he said. "Winning the award was great, but I couldn't talk about one particular person. It's everybody from our point guard to other bigs that help out. Even the people on the bench cheering us on play a big role." Moore said he takes pride in being the guy who provides energy off the bench and loves the fact he is known for playing hard all game. "In Arkansas, we learned that giving effort at the beginning of the game is more important than anything," he said. "We have to give effort throughout the whole game, that's very important for us to win a lot of games."
Team prepares for Texas State
The entire practice was dedicated to preparing for the Texas State game tomorrow night at the Curtis Culwell Center. Coach Brown was very complimentary of the Texas State coaching staff and says the Bobcats can provide the Mustangs with problems. "I love their coach," Brown said. "They always play hard and they had a chance to beat Houston at Houston. They run a lot of the same kind of offense as Arkansas. They do a lot of motion and passing game which is tough to guard if you are all not giving a great effort and sticking to your principals." Brown said the Mustangs were lucky to win last year when they played at Texas State and the Bobcats have only improved since then. "They got a low-post scorer who scored 30 against us last year, and he's back again this year. They also got their point guard back, too," Brown said. "They got a new coach and some new junior college kids, so they are a team that will play hard and play the right way. That's what their coach is about." Ben Moore added: "We have to prepare for how they play and bounce back from the loss. We can't think about Arkansas. We need play as a team and give effort from the beginning of the game."
Frazier back at practice
Keith Frazier practiced at full strength for the Mustangs today. He didn't play last night in Arkansas due a sore ankle but looked like he was feeling much better. Coach Brown indicated that Frazier would be a game-time decision vs. Texas State. "I'll see how he is today," Brown said. "If he runs like he did yesterday, he won't play. If he runs better and looks to me like he can run, he will play." Frazier appeared to be running well and participated in every drill. The coaches were being careful with him, and Eric Snow pulled Frazier aside to check on his ankle multiple times throughout practice. I didn't get a chance to ask him how he was feeling, but I would expect him to play tomorrow just by how he looked.
• The team was much more quiet and focused today at practice. The coaches were in a good mood, but there was not as much joking around between the players.
• The team also focused more on free throw shooting today. Coach Brown made Ben Moore shoot free throws for a long time during one of the drills.
• Yanick Moreira had a very good practice. He worked on catching and finishing with both hands to help him when he's traffic in the paint.
• Markus Kennedy practiced with good energy today, too. He had a couple nice finishes under the basket and asked the coaches a lot of questions about his defense.
• Cannen Cunningham ran the floor well and had a couple nice dunks. All of the SMU big men battled hard against one another today.
• Nick Russell continued to struggle shooting the ball. He missed multiple three-point attempts and an open midrange jumper.
• Ryan Manuel also did not have a good practice today. Coach Brown jumped on him a couple times for playing bad defense and not closing out well on shooters.
• Sterling Brown ran with the starters for some of practice. He replaced Nic Moore who left the second half of practice to ice his ankle. It did not look serious though.
• The team worked on a lot of X's and O's to prepare for Texas State. They also worked on setting harder screens and fighting through screens better.
Hoops Practice Notebook
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