1. The Big Men: The SMU big men dominated the game today and outscored Arkansas-PB by 28 points in the paint. They were lead by Yanick Moreira who finished with 19 points and six rebounds, but each one of the big men played a role. Cannen Cunningham added 15 points of his own on five of six shooting and sophomore Markus Kennedy looked like the player everyone has been waiting to see with 12 points and four rebounds. SMU outrebounded Arkansas-PB 38 to 16 as a team and had five blocks in the game. Larry Brown knew they had an advantage inside with their size and the players took full advantage. "We got the ball inside and rebounded really well," he said. "They were really undersized and we played great."
2. Free Throw Shooting: SMU finally solved their woes from the free throw line today. The Mustangs made 20 total attempts and shot 80 percent from the line as a team. Yanick Moreira was seven for nine and Cannen Cunningham was a perfect five for five. The team had been shooting 60 percent from the charity stripe heading into the game and Markus Kennedy made more free throws today than he had all season. Head coach Larry Brown said, "There is no consistency on what makes your team shoot better except for great shooters," he continued. "The last week we have shot free throws, and I made them keep track of how many they were making. In all my years of coaching, I still don't know whether to emphasize it or not. It's just about good shooters."
3. Defense: The Golden Lions couldn't handle the Mustangs suffocating defense in this game. Arkansas-PB shot 40 percent from the field and couldn't get the ball into the paint much on SMU at all. The Golden Lions also shot 21 percent from three on 28 attempts and only scored 24 points in the paint. The Mustangs caused 14 turnovers on 11 steals and limited the Golden Lions to just two second chance points. Arkansas-PB's bench was also outscored 45 to four and the team never led once in the second half.
1. Turnovers: The Mustangs were very careless with the basketball throughout the today. They finished with 19 total turnovers and had 11 in the second half. The Golden Lions struggled to score all game, but got bailed out multiple times by the Mustangs' reckless play. For the game, Arkansas-PB got 17 points off turnovers against the Mustangs and coach Brown was not happy. "I was disappointed with the amount of turnovers," he said. "A lot of them were unforced. They had 14 steals against us, so they were doing good things defensively."
2. Three-point shooting: SMU struggled shooting from behind the three-point line once again today. The team made three of 12 from behind the arc for just 25 percent shooting. Nic Moore was two of four from deep, but the Mustangs didn't even manage one three-pointer in the first half. Larry Brown said after the game that he is happy when his team only shoots a limited amount of three-pointers. He believes they will be most successful when they are getting free throws and easy buckets. "We scored 46 in the second half, so I love that," Brown said. "Even though I was brought up in the ABA, I hate that three point shot. Kids get so locked in on it. We have some guys who can shoot it, but if we can score 46 and only attempt three three-pointers then I'm excited."
3. The Rotation: After the game, Larry Brown said he felt bad about the inconsistent minutes he has given to some of the players. Sterling Brown only played 12 minutes and Ben Moore only got 13 minutes of action. "I'm struggling now and I feel bad," Brown said. "Ben has been as good as any player we have had. But I also have a lot of faith in Cannen. He is bright and gives us a lot of depth and stability. Some of the guys coming off the bench were starters for us last year, so it's a lot different." Brown also said he wanted to get Keith Frazier more minutes after he had seven points, five assists and four rebounds. "Keith is going to get more minutes," he said. "He is still trying to figure things out. He can really pass the ball and rebound. He is taking little steps, and I can see it in practice."
3 Up, 3 Down
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