3 Up, 3 Down

We share three positives from SMU's win and three negatives!

3 Up

1. Larry Brown's Halftime Speech- I have no idea what Brown said, but what this team did in the second half was nothing short of shocking. SMU had a rocky first half for the most part, but the team exploded in the second with Nic Moore turning it on and carrying the team. SMU started dominating the glass like it can and the team played with a lot more energy. The team fed off the crowd to cruise to this huge win for SMU's tournament resume. With a few big home games left that could secure SMU's spot in the tourney, the Mustangs will need to play with the same energy they did in the second to make that happen.

2. Nic Moore- SMU's most important player is clearly Nic Moore. When Moore wasn't on the floor, SMU struggled offensively and couldn't get anything going. His halftime stat line wasn't pretty, but Moore exploded to finish with a double-double, scoring 14 points, recording 10 assists and only two turnovers. Moore played with a new energy in the second half, playing tough defense but also did a great job of calming the team down and getting them into a rhythm that Memphis couldn't stop. While he did foul out, it was one of his better performances of the year.

3. Markus Kennedy- It's no surprise to see Kennedy in the up column. Kennedy dominated down low today and drew plenty of fouls from Shaq Goodwin, who fouled out. His replacement, Dominic Woodson, didn't fair any better trying to defend him. His energy on the floor really helped SMU get going in the second half and with Yanick Moreira likely out for at least a week, Kennedy will have to keep playing the way he is. Brown has to keep Kennedy in the starting lineup when Moreira comes back especially when Kennedy finishes with 21 points, 15 rebounds and three steals.

3 Down

1. First Half Turnovers- SMU had 10 turnovers in the first half and that was a big reason why the Mustangs fell behind for part of the first half. When Nic Moore wasn't on the floor, the team was a mess for the most part. Turnovers have been an issue all year so it's no surprise to see the team struggle in this department, but again it has to get better.

2. First Half Interior Play- The difference between the first half and second on the interior was night and day. After allowing 16 points in the paint in the first, SMU tightened it up, allowing just four points in the paint in the first 8:25 of the second half. SMU got to the line a few times as well, but overall, Memphis' athleticism showed, and SMU didn't play as well as they have in the paint, but in the second, it was a different story.

3. Russell's Ball Handling- This is kind of a down because really he didn't have a bad game, but when Nic Moore came out of the game, SMU usually wasn't able to take care of the ball. Russell has to be able to let Moore get a breather and the offense not fall apart. Russell had 11 points, four rebounds and seven assists, but he turned the ball over four times. Russell isn't a true point guard, but SMU needs Russell to take care of the ball when Moore is on the bench.

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