Team gets disciplined for missing class
Head coach Larry Brown was in a grumpy mood today at practice and made the team run a lot of sprints. Brown told the players he was tired of them "missing class, being late for class, and disrespecting other people because that reflects bad on the program." Freshman guard Keith Frazier ran the arena stairs at Moody Coliseum with a weight vest on for the first forty-five minutes to an hour of practice while with strength and conditioning coach George Lynch watched on. Frazier was being disciplined for academic reasons but returned to practice after the run and looked exhausted. The coaching staff continued to make players run sprints when they lost drills throughout the day and Brown reminded the team "this is a trap game tomorrow, so get your butts ready."
Moreira questionable vs. Temple
Big man Yanick Moreira is questionable for the Temple game as he continues to return from his MCL injury. "We are going to see how he does," Coach Brown said. "Yesterday was comme si çomme sa (French term for okay). We will see what he looks like today." Moreira took part in every drill at practice and didn't seem too bothered by the knee. "I would say I'm about 75 percent right now," Moreira explained. "It feels pretty good. I think I will play. I'm not sure, that's the coach's decision." Moreira almost played last weekend against Memphis, so he might get some minutes off the bench tomorrow night. He had one play in practice where he ran down Ryan Manuel for a block that got Coach Brown to yell "get that weak stuff out of there, Yanick!" Moreira says he has been working hard to stay in good shape while rehabbing. "I'm ready," he said. "Off the court, I have been in the weight room trying to get stronger. I have also worked on my jump shot and post moves."
Brown worried about Temple
Although Temple is just 6-14 overall and 1-7 in conference, the Owls loss to No. 7 Cincinnati was by only four points, and they have been involved in a lot of close games this year. "Well, they are in just about every game they have played," Larry Brown said. "If we don't take them seriously and start thinking ahead, we can get our butts beat. They shoot the ball great from the outside, so if they are making shots they can beat anybody." Brown says Nick Russell will have another difficult challenge, trying to guard Temple guard Will Cummings. "Cummings is great. I don't know if (Dalton) Pepper is a true guard, but it's like this every night for us," Brown said. "Our defense starts with our perimeter people. Every night, Nick Russell has a key matchup against a great guard in the AAC. This conference is loaded with great guards, so it's always a huge matchup."
Everybody's more comfortable at home
SMU is 11-0 at home this season and just beat Memphis who had won 19 consecutive league road games. Point guard Nic Moore says the home crowd brings the best out of the team. "I feel like the students and the fans bring intensity out of us," Moore said. "The energy of the building makes us play harder. We just know we got to defend our home court, so that makes us play with a lot of energy." Moore also said he was proud of his team's performance against the Tigers but still thinks they can do better. "I would say that was the most intense we have played, but execution-wise I feel like it wasn't the best game yet," he explained. "We can still get a lot better which is scary." Freshman forward Sterling Brown had his best game of the season at Moody on Saturday. He scored a career-high 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting in the 15-point win. Larry Brown believes Sterling is capable of playing like that every night. "He hasn't been shooting more until the last game," coach said. "I don't want him to be a robot just running around. I want him to play like he is capable of playing. That was the first game he really came out and tried to make plays for himself. He is always trying to make things happen for others."
• The team practiced in Moody Coliseum and watched film after. They split into "bigs" and "littles" for a lot of the time. Jankovich and Maligi worked with the big men, while Brown, Snow, and Turner worked with the guards.
• Brown stopped practice and gave out a lot of what he called "teaching points." Players were also asking a lot of questions to the SMU coaches as the team planned for Temple.
• Ben Moore had a really good practice on both sides of the ball today. Larry Brown at one point called him "the team's best driver to the basket."
• Crandall Head also had a great day today. He shot the ball well and was being very aggressive on offense. Head beat almost everybody down the court during sprints and Brown told him during one drill "you don't need to gamble on defense because you're talented enough to guard the best."
• The coaches were very complimentary of Markus Kennedy for practicing and running hard all day. Tim Jankovich told Kennedy he "didn't even recognize him running down the floor so hard."
• Cannen Cunningham had a bad day at practice and Coach Brown got on him frequently. Cunningham was shooting from the outside a lot and threw a few lazy passes that made Brown very unhappy.
• Jonathon WIlfong also had a difficult day today. Coach Brown told him "frat life was killing him."
Hoops Practice Notebook
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