Yanick Happy to Be Back
After missing eight games with a partially torn MCL, Yanick Moreira was happy about going back in for the Temple win yesterday. "I couldn't do it without my teammates. When coach called my name I was proud because he didn't tell me I would play. So he called my name and I saw Markus (Kennedy) and Markus said, ‘Just trust your knee. Go out there and try to get a rebound and play hard. Don't do anything stupid,'" Moreira said. "This meant a lot to me, and he knew I couldn't do it without my teammates." Moreira added that his knee feels good after his first game action in over a month. "It's feeling better today. Just making progress and continuing to improve," Moreira said.
Brown Praises Cincinnati and Looks at SMU's Progress
Larry Brown had a lot of complimentary things to say about Cincinnati heading into the matchup tomorrow, especially about Justin Jackson. "He's a great player. The stats don't reflect the impact he has on the game. They're seniors are terrific, and they set a great example," Brown said. "That's one of the best coaching jobs in America, the way (Mick Cronin) has them playing right now. If I was Mick, I'd be proud. That's a great example of the right way to play. I think they're as good of a defensive team as there is." Brown thinks that SMU has shown a lot of progress since its loss to the Bearcats at the beginning of conference play. "We have to get better because they've gotten a lot better. We had a chance to win that game. 31 free throws to nine, that's a huge difference. You go on the road and there's that much of a difference at the free throw line, you're going to get beat. We got to keep them off the line, and we got to figure out how to get to the free throw line," Brown said. "But we're better. That was our first conference game and it was away from home, playing against a quality program. That's not an easy way to start American Conference play. I was proud that we competed and had a chance to win. But we got to play a lot better."
Expect Physical Post Battle Tomorrow
Moreira expects for tomorrow's game to be extremely physical, especially down in the paint. "I know that they're going to try be physical so we're just trying to play hard as team, get a rebound, try to block a shot," Moreira said. "I don't even remember the last time I blocked a shot so just trying to rebound and block a shot, I don't care about anything else." Throughout practice, assistant coaches referred to tomorrow's matchup as "a war." When the team split into bigs and smalls, the big men were trying to hype each other up while practicing post offense by yelling at each other. Kennedy and Ben Moore were especially getting in other players' faces to up the energy level.
Keith Has Good Day
Throughout the season, Brown has talked about how freshman Keith Frazier can shoot but still needs to "learn how to do everything else." Today, Frazier seemed to focus on "everything else." His passing was the best I've seen it all year. He made a really nice drive when he drew in the defenders and kicked it out to Shawn Williams for the open three. Brown also praised Frazier during practice for collecting a "hockey assist," passing the ball to Moreira who then passed to Crandall Head for an open three. Brown also was happy with Frazier's defense and as always, the freshman's shooting was on point.
• Cannen Cunningham had a big block of a Crandall Head jumper.
• Brown joked with Cunningham that during his SportsCenter dunk last night he "should have caught the ball with two hands."
• Iowa State's women's team arrived at Crum to practice. Two of their assistant coaches stopped to watch practice through the glass door just to catch a glimpse of the legendary Brown at work. Ever the class act, Brown told them that they could come inside and watch, which they gladly did.
• Brown commented on the e-mail sent to students. He said the administration came to him upset about the language being used by fans and he reached out to the students for them. He added that he was thrilled with how many students came last night despite the weather and that the fans have been great this year.
Hoops Practice Notebook
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