1. Markus Kennedy: In front of his home crowd, Markus Kennedy showed up and played a very overall solid game. The Villanova transfer had 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting while also bringing down five rebounds. Kennedy, who as usual finished pretty well around the rim, also showed he can hit the outside shot, which will make things more difficult for defenses in the future.
2. Limited turnovers: While the Mustangs did not play a fundamentally sound game, they did limit their turnovers, which helped them keep it close down the stretch. SMU turned the ball over just 10 times compared to Temple's 14.
3. Valuable learning experience: SMU learned today that teams will no longer look past them on their schedules. While being ranked is great for a team's confidence, it also makes you a marked program. Hopefully for the Mustangs, they can learn from this experience and realize that they have to bring the same energy night in and night out, no matter who their opponent is.
1. Nic Moore foul trouble: As soon as Nic Moore picked up his second foul, the Mustangs were a different team with him on the bench. Without Moore running the point, SMU looked lost offensively and allowed way too much penetration defensively. Because Moore sat out most of the first half, he looked out of sync in the second half when the Mustangs needed him most. And he missed some very clutch free throws down the stretch.
2. Poor rebounding: The Mustangs got out rebounded badly (38 to 25) on both the offensive and defensive boards. One of SMU's best qualities is its ability to rebound the basketball, but when they fail to rebound, they will fail to win. Rebounding is all about energy, and when SMU plays on the road, they lack energy. SMU must learn how to play energized on the road rather than just at home.
3. Free throws: It finally happened-- SMU's poor free throw shooting came back to bite them in the rear. The Mustangs were 14-of-26 from the charity stripe and at one point missed seven straight free throws during a stretch where they badly needed the easy points. Elite teams that go deep into the tournament don't miss key free throws. If SMU wants to be considered a top-25 team, it will need to right the ship and figure out a way to improve its free throw shooting.
3 Up, 3 Down
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