As expected, Moore has been the leader of this SMU team. He leads the team with 13.8 points per game, but the most amazing thing about his offense is that his three-point percentage (55.2) is actually higher than his field goal percentage (52.9). He also has a habit of stealing the ball from the opponent that is second to none on the team. When it comes to dishing to his teammates, Moore has 54 assists in 12 games.
Moore has been fantastic as a freshman, averaging 5.8 points per game while shooting 71.4 percent from the floor and grabbing 3.3 rebounds per contest. He plays hard on both sides of the floor and does all of the little things that make a coach like Larry Brown sing his praises for everyone to hear. Moore will have a bigger role in conference play and while he may be challenged at first, expect him to rise to the occasion as he has many times this year.
After a poor start against TCU to start the season, Kennedy has been great off the bench for the Mustangs so far this season. His 10.3 points per game are second on the team, and he shoots 52.8 percent from the field. He is also second on the team with 5.3 rebounds per game. Defensively, he blocks a lot of shots and takes the ball away from the opposing team regularly. What Kennedy needs to improve in conference play is his free throw shooting-- he has shot the most free throws on the team but only shoots 56.9 percent from the charity stripe. Good teams like Louisville and Connecticut will take advantage of this if he cannot improve.
Manuel's scoring has been right about where it was expected to be this season, averaging 6.1 points per game. He averages less than three rebounds a game but has been solid on the defensive end, putting together eight steals and seven blocks in his effort to be awarded a spot on the All-American Athletic Conference first defensive team. But the starter needs to do a better job holding onto the ball-- he has a one-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio that needs to be better during conference play.
Expectations were big for the super freshman coming into the season and while he has not put up the big numbers expected of him, Larry Brown has thus far been happy with Frazier's performance. Look for Frazier's minutes and stats (6.3 points and 1.2 assists per game) to increase as Brown starts to tighten up his rotation during conference play.
The junior college transfer's transition to major college basketball has not been seamless, but Moreira has steadily improved this season. He averages 10 points per game with a 58.2 percent shooting mark. He leads the team with six rebounds per game, but there is still a feeling while watching the center that he could be stronger in the post and be a bigger presence on the defensive end. While his start has been good, his improvement will be integral to the team moving forward.
Brown has been a spark-plug off the bench for the Mustangs. He hasn't been as dynamic offensively as his older brother Shannon is in the NBA, but he has been reliable from behind the three-point line and the 3.1 rebounds he adds from the guard spot off the bench is gravy.
One of the two seniors on this team, Russell averages 8.3 points, 3.6 assists and 3.6 rebounds. Defense has been a mixed bag for Russell, though-- while he has 12 steals and four blocks this year, Russell leads the team with 35 personal fouls. He'll need to become more consistent in American play. He's also been atrocious as shooter, averaging 38.6 percent from the floor, which is good for 11th on the team.
After starting every game last year, Cunningham has struggled adjusting to his new role off the bench. His 5.2 points per game are fine but only 2.8 rebounds per game (or less than Sterling Brown averages) is unacceptable from the big man. He's got a lot of work to do to improve this average.
Head really struggled on the offensive end early in the season and hasn't made the impact everyone expected him to make when he transferred from Illinois. Expect him to be on the bench after Larry Brown tightens up his rotation in conference play.
Williams has been disappointing as a starter in his senior year. He averages only 4.3 points per game and his 2.8 rebounds per game out of the power forward slot is simply unacceptable. On the defensive end, he does not regularly challenge shots and is not a presence in the post. Larry Brown has some hard decisions to make about this senior's playing time and role going into conference play.
Dunleavy has only seen limited action this year and probably will only play at the end of a blowout for the rest of the year.
Grade: I (Not enough time to warrant a grade)
The freshman walk-on has only made it on the court with Dunleavy and Jean-Michael Mudiay at the end of blowouts, but Wilfong has been the only one of the three who looked ready to play when he finally made it on the court. This could lead to a bigger role in future seasons-- but probably not.
Mudiay is a good guy but don't expect to see anything else from him this season.
SMU Hoops Midseason Gradebook
Pony Stampede Top Stories
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