Hoops Practice Notebook

Come inside for exclusive info from today's basketball practice!

Jankovich happy with team progress

SMU assistant coach Tim Jankovich is very pleased with how the team has played through their first 10 games of the season. "I think we are definitely much improved over last year and headed in the right direction," he said. "I don't know what grade I would give it, but I think we are all fairly pleased with the way things are going." Jankovich believes the team has done a great job on the defensive end of the floor in particular. "Well, we are one of the leaders in defensive field goal percentage in the country, so we are obviously taking care of that end of the floor," he said. "I still think we can get a lot better. We are rebounding pretty well, but we can also get better at that. We have a lot more weapons than last year in terms of scoring, so there are a lot more guys who can pick up the slack. I think that's helped us a lot." Nic Moore says the team is focused on preparing for the upcoming AAC games. "We are starting to come together," he said. "We're going to have to start playing better with conference games coming up. I do feel like we're getting more comfortable with each other in practices and games, so we will keep climbing up."

Moore reflects on first ten games

Point guard Nic Moore has done a terrific job leading the Mustangs so far this season. He is currently averaging 15 points and 4.5 assists per game on 60 percent shooting from three while having the responsibility of running the team's entire offense. "I feel like I'm doing what I have to do," Moore said. "I'm learning how to be patient and see the open guys. I think Coach Brown has done a great job of teaching me how to be a point guard." Coach Jankovich says Moore's game has improved dramatically since their time at Illinois State together. "His all-around game has improved a lot," Jankovich said. "I just think Nic is so much more mature, older, and confident. He was a freshman at that time and so his awareness of what's going on out there is much higher now than it was." The point guard credits the coaches for his development and said he has been most impressed with the play of freshman big man Ben Moore. "He is young and doesn't always really know what he is doing out there, but he tries hard," Nic said. "Once he figures out the college game, Ben is going to be a hell of a player."

Team prepares for Texas-Pan American

The Mustangs take on Texas-Pan American tomorrow night at the Curtis Culwell Center. The Broncs are members of the WAC and currently sit at 4-8 on the season. Although the team has lost four straight games, Texas-Pan American is coming off a close 57-48 loss to TCU earlier in the week, so Coach Jankovich says it's not a team the Mustangs can take lightly. "They just came off a great game and almost beat TCU. That got our attention, to say the least," Jankovich said. "Our main thing is the fact we have been off for a long time. Hopefully we don't have any rust cause that can happen sometimes. Our number one concern is whether we get back to the level that we were playing at before the break. This is a long break, so it will be interesting." Nic Moore says the team should be able to handle the Broncs as long as they come out ready to play from the start. "We just need to focus, execute, and play defense," he said. "Defense has become our biggest thing."

Quick Hits:

Ryan Manuel and Yanick Moreira were not at practice today because of their finals schedule.

• Assistant coach KT Turner was also not in attendance today because he is still out recruiting.

• Nic Moore had one of his fingers taped up. He says it's a minor injury he suffered yesterday and the X-rays were negative, so he should be fine.

Nick Russell threw a couple of very nice alley-oop passes to Ben Moore.

Keith Frazier had a good practice. He dealt with some back stiffness, but had some really nice passes throughout the day.

Cannen Cunningham also had a great practice today. He filled in for Yanick and played strong in the paint.

• Practice was pretty relaxed and light all day. Coach Brown at one point joked that if Shawn Williams could dunk with two-hands, then everybody would get to go home for the day.

• The team did a lot of X's and O's work to prepare for Texas-Pan American.

• I got a chance to check out Moody Coliseum and posted a photo in the forums. Check it out.

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