FREE: 10-6 Hoops Practice Notebook

The Pony Stampede staff was at SMU basketball practice today! Hear from coach Brown and Nic Moore inside!

Larry Brown Press Conference

Nic Moore Q&A

Dealing with the Pressure

Team opened practice with press break, working on perfecting their passes and staying under control. Whenever coach Brown saw something wrong he stopped practice to make sure the team knew what they did wrong and how to fix it. The team also worked on passing in general, and passing to get the best shot out of an offensive possession.

Defense, Defense, and more Defense

The majority of practice was spent going through defensive schemes and responsibilities. The coaching staff emphasized communication and active hands constantly and was on every player today. Sterling Brown was the vocal leader defensively and was passing out encouragements throughout practice. Transition defense was another emphasis during practice, and the coaches continually had to remind the players to be more vocal. Larry was stressing to the big men on transition defense to come down the court, divide the court in half and then find a man once you get to the paint.

Yanick Moreira Looking Strong and Ready to Go

Yanick Moreira looks like a totally different player, much more athletic and a lot quicker. Moreira also showed a nice ability to hand the ball during Press Drills. Yanick also looks to have a much better jump shot from over the summer. Coach Brown said he expects Yanick to have a big year this year, that he wasn’t healthy the second half of last year but that this is a new start for him and chance for him to play now that he’s healthy again. On top his athleticism, Yanick also showed a nice touch down low. On what looked to be an easy tip in for Markus Kennedy, Yanick rose up to tip away a shot.

Jordan Tolbert Settling In

Showed a ton of athleticism, during one on one drills, he rose up from behind to block Ryan Manuel. Tolbert also showed a quick burst to the basket to beat Jonathan Wilfong. Tolbert looked to be settling in very well, looked comfortable with his teammates but also made confident plays throughout practice. Certainly was learning what coach Brown expected on pick and rolls but took it all in well. Tolbert of course will sit out this year after coach Brown said he was around 60 hours short of graduating.

Practice Quick Hits

— Markus Kennedy is taking it seriously to be the leader of this team, after his a few of his teammates were getting coached by Larry pretty intensely for a couple minutes, the first one there to give them a high five or pat them on the chest was Markus.

— Coach Brown was not thrilled with the shot selection during practice, he got on multiple players about how they easily could have gotten a better shot.

— Cannen did not have a great practice today, had a couple poor shots that were contested and then passed up good shots down low he should have taken. Cunningham also arrived about 30 minutes into practice.

— Coach Brown gathered the team together to talk about practicing the right way on every single drill- especially pick and rolls and fastbreaks.

— Told Ben Moore and Justin Martin not to get sensitive and that they might get a little more coaching than everyone else. He also stressed to understand this is only their second practice.

— This was a high intensity practice, which is to be expected as players seemed amped up and ready to go.

— Coach Brown was trying to stress for those on defense to stay home and not jump out on the perimeter. Got frustrated late in practice and said “This is the last time I’m saying this before I give up.”

— Justin Martin looked extremely confident shooting the ball and rarely missed all of practice.

— Keith Frazier looked focused throughout practice and did not hesitate to ask questions. The sophomore was also hard on himself when he missed open shots or when he messed up on the defensive end.

— Sterling Brown and Justin Martin pushed each other throughout one-on-ones, with both playing physical. Sterling played great defensive on the Xavier transfer, but Justin still made shots in the sophomore’s face.

— Practice segments were broken up by shooting groups, where groups of 2-4 players worked on pull-up jumpers around the free throw line. Coach Brown was happy with the way his bigs, Moreira, Kennedy and Moore, were shooting the mid range shot, constantly telling them nice job. Big men looked good shooting from just outside the free throw line. Markus, Yanick and Ben all had really good form

— Despite arriving an hour late, Jean-Michael Mudiay even got a couple of shots up during practice, but was not involved in the main parts of practice, which was expected.

— Players made a point to come and thank each and every member of the group of high school kids who attended practice. There was a large group there watching practice today.

— A Phoenix Suns scout was at practice today.

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