1. Markus Kennedy- Since stepping into the starting role following Yanick Moreira's injury, he has arguably been SMU's top player and showed it tonight. Kennedy set the tone early with his defense, having three blocks in the first half alone. Inside, Rutgers didn't have an answer for Kennedy as he was physical and played with great confidence. Kennedy finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Kennedy also only had one foul on the game. Overall, just a great game from SMU's top player in conference play.
2. Free Throws- SMU shot nearly 80 percent from the free throw line tonight and drew plenty of fouls, 34, getting Rutgers into foul trouble early. Three Rutgers starters had four fouls on the night and that frustrated the Scarlet Knights including coach Eddie Jordan, who picked up a technical. SMU is getting deeper and deeper into AAC play and free throws will be key. Tonight SMU showed some improvement in that regard.
3. Ben Moore- The freshman was impressive off the bench and was a force down low in the 15 minutes he played tonight. Moore added 12 points and five rebounds tonight coming off the bench. Tonight, Moore only missed one shot and a free throw. His passing and team defense were also superb. He didn't light it up like Kennedy did, but with Shawn Williams struggling, Moore was a welcome spark.
1. Turnover- SMU had 14 turnovers on the night and while SMU was up for pretty much the whole game, the team pressed too much sometimes offensively, leading to turnovers. There was a lull offensively for SMU when Rutgers did press SMU a bit, but it wasn't the press that stopped the SMU offense, it was themselves. SMU was a bit careless tonight with its passes and that is something the team will have to continue to try to improve.
2. Shawn Williams- The senior followed his good performance against South Florida with three straight subpar games. Tonight Williams made 1-of-3 field goals, finishing with three points. Williams didn't do much on the rebounding aspect either, grabbing just two. Williams played okay at times, but Rutgers did score 22 points in the paint, in part due to Williams. If Ben Moore continues to play like he did tonight, it will be interesting to see how Larry Brown handles his playing time.
3. Rebounding/Interior Defense- Overall, it was just an off night for the interior of SMU's defense. While the Mustangs limited Rutgers to 32.7 percent from the field, SMU allowed 22 points in the paint and gave up too much on the defensive glass. Rutgers grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, and SMU was also out-rebounded 34-33. It is apparent that SMU is missing Moreira.
3 Up, 3 Down
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