1. Markus Kennedy- Kennedy has been a beast for SMU as of late, and he had the best performance out of any Mustang tonight with 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Kennedy has been a force down low thanks to his improved post moves and his craftiness around the basket. Kennedy did get in some foul trouble and had to sit out for a long stretch in the second half, which really hurt SMU. If Kennedy hadn't gotten in foul trouble, he would have had a double-double, and the game might have been even closer.
2. Limiting Kilpatrick- SMU had a boat load of fouls but played pretty tough defense overall in a slugfest, holding Cincinnati to less that 40 percent shooting from the floor. The most impressive effort of the night came on Cincinnati shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick. Once of most dangerous players in the American Athletic Conference, Kilpatrick was clearly frustrated with SMU's scrappy help defense. Coming into tonight, Kilpatrick had three straight games with more than 20 points. The Mustangs didn't want to let Kilpatrick hurt them, and they succeeded by limiting him to 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting.
3. Free Throw Shooting- It's no secret that SMU has been horrible from the charity stripe all season long. But Larry Brown said that he wasn't too worried about it heading into conference play. And the Mustangs really did show tremendous improvement from the line against Cincinnati, going 8-of-9. Kennedy and Ben Moore, two of the worst free throw shooters on the team, were mostly responsible for the positive outing.
1. Turnovers- To open the second half, SMU had five turnovers in less than five minutes. That right there was the story of the game. SMU did a poor job of making smart passes, and Cincinnati took advantage. The Bearcats never trailed in the second half-- the biggest reason was points off turnovers. In total, SMU turned the ball over 17 times. Nic Moore led the way with four while Nick Russell and Ben Moore had three apiece. SMU had a chance to make this an even close game, but the turnovers prevented it. Larry Brown cannot be happy in the locker room right now.
2. Nick Russell- If it wasn't for a meaningless 3-pointer with under a minute left, Russell would have had twice as many fouls as he did points and more turnovers than points. Russell's final stat line was: five points, zero rebounds, three turnovers and four fouls. That doesn't appear worthy of 32 minutes, which is exactly what Russell got against Cincinnati. The senior guard was 2-for-8 from the floor and has struggled shooting the ball all season long. Brown should seriously consider cutting down his minutes.
3. Yanick Moreira- A big key to the game was dominating down low so naturally, Moreira needed to have a good outing. Instead, he played one of, if not, his worst game of the year. Moreira finished with just two points and two rebounds. He did get into foul trouble and only played ten minutes, but even when he was on the floor, he was having a really difficult time getting anything going and lost the ball on numerous occasions. Moreira was simply a non-factor in a game, where SMU really could have used a big performance from the 7-footer.
3 Up, 3 Down
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