3 Up, 3 Down: SMU vs. Louisville

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

Up

1. Seniors. It was senior night and both SMU veterans came to play tonight. Nick Russell finished with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists on 4 for 8 shooting from the field and 10 made free throws. Meanwhile, Shawn Williams had 8 points and four rebounds in his last game at Moody and had a very solid performance overall. Both guys have meant a lot to SMU as the coaching staff has worked to turn this program around. Although they couldn't get the victory in their final home game, both Russell and Williams have a lot to be proud of on the Hilltop.

2. Team Basketball. Although the Mustangs had a lot of turnovers, they actually shot the ball well from the floor and did a great job getting everyone involved offensively. SMU had 19 assists compared to Louisville's 16 and outscored the Cardinals bench 16 to 3. The Mustangs ended up shooting 51 percent from the field and 44 percent from three-point range in the game. They had four guys score at least 8 points and outscored Louisville in transition by four. Offensively, the Mustangs played their usual team basketball, but it was their inability to stop Louisville defensively that hurt them.

3. Paint Play. SMU did a good job of playing strong in the paint and relying on their big men. Markus Kennedy had 14 points and 10 rebounds while Ben Moore added 4 points and 3 rebounds in limited minutes. As a team, the Mustangs outscored the Cardinals 34 to 22 in the paint and had more second chance points than the defending champs. Strangely, SMU actually had the same amount of rebounds as Louisville, but the Cardinals had 4 more offensive boards. The Mustangs even had 3 more blocks, but it was Louisville's outside shooting that won them the game.

Down

1. Nic Moore. SMU's point guard was playing on a bad ankle and in foul trouble for most of the night. In the first half, Moore only played 13 minutes and the Mustangs were -16 with him off the floor. In the second half, Moore got two quick fouls and had to check out just four minutes into the period. Moore finished the game with just 5 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds on 2 for 3 shooting. He never got a chance to get in rhythm and had four turnovers in the game. Moore will have a few days to heal and assess his performance before matching up with Memphis point guard Joe Jackson on Saturday.

2. Turnovers. The Mustangs have turned the ball over a lot all season, but tonight was by far their worst performance. In the first half, SMU had 15 turnovers and Louisville scored 16 points off those mistakes. The Mustangs finished with a total of 23 turnovers and a lot of that has to do with the lack of depth at point guard behind Moore. Louisville collected a ridiculous 17 steals as they pressed the Mustangs all night. Nick Russell was the team's primary handler and finished with an abysmal 8 turnovers for the game. Louisville's 16-point advantage in points off turnovers was one of their biggest keys to winning this tough road game.

3. Russ Smith. Louisville's senior guard was unstoppable tonight and willed his team to a victory. Smith finished with 26 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals while he was also seen throwing up on the Louisville bench at the end of the game. SMU guards did an okay job guarding Smith, but he was just a man on a mission tonight. Smith was 9 of 15 from the field and a perfect 6 for 6 from three-point range. He turned the Cardinals offense around in the second half and only had three turnovers for the game. The senior star was by far the biggest key to Louisville's win tonight.

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