Larry Brown Press Conference
Q: Coach Brown said you thought about leaving SMU, but he encouraged you to stay. What helped you make up your mind to stay or go?
JMM: The relationships I built here. Coach Brown looked out for me a lot last year, and the bond I built with these guys in the locker room is pretty much what helped me come to the conclusion to stay.
Q: Was it just Coach Brown and the guys, or was it more?
JMM: Coach Brown and the guys really, because we spent a lot of time together. That, and taking into consideration finishing school too, so that’s the most important thing, but the relationships I have with these guys and Coach Brown is a tight bond that is going to keep going far beyond when I’m done here.
Q: You were originally going to be a manager this year but now you’re back on the roster as a player, what made you think that being a manager was originally the right decision.
JMM: Actually, I had some personal issues I had to deal with, so I didn’t think I’d be able to take on the commitment of being on the team. But I wanted to be around the guys, so that’s why I was like, ‘I’ll do whatever I can do to be around the guys.’ But I put some thought into it, and things [came out the right way], and I was able to be back on the team.”
Q: Are you happy to be back?
JMM: Oh yeah, I’m ecstatic.
Q: You had some knee problems over the years, but how are you feeling now?
JMM: I feel good. My knee is feeling good. Obviously, I had about three months off [laughs], but I’m feeling good.
Q: With graduation less than a year away, what’s your focus from now until then?
JMM: Graduating, getting a degree and making my mom proud.
Q: You’ve mentioned that you want to represent Emmanuel as an agent, is that something you’re still working toward?
JMM: Yeah, I’ve always wanted to be an agent, even before I knew Emmanuel would be what he would be, so its just a blessing the way God works things out to where my brother is where he is, and I can be able to represent him some day.
Throw it Down
The forwards practice dunks every practice, but Larry Brown has recently been encouraging them to make authoritative but quick dunks. He has previously told Yanick Moreira to make hard dunks instead of placing the ball in the hoop. Moreira did a great job making hard and aggressive dunks today.
Three Down, Two Up
Since practice started, Coach Brown emphasized that he wants three guys to come toward the rim and two stay back on a mid-range shot or three-pointer. He used offense-only work to give the guys extra time to practice it and keep it fresh.
The team did a two-man post drill that practice defensive positions on an offensive player in the post. They key is to get “above” (further from the hoop but in a position to move toward) the offensive player when the ball is at the top of the key, and get “up” (press against) on him when it’s on the wing.
— Ryan Manuel made a nice jumper from the elbow. His jump shot has looked better in the last couple weeks.
— Ben Moore looks more comfortable every day shooting mid-range jumpers.
— Sterling Brown made two three-pointers early in five-on-five work. He has struggled from deep recently.
— Coach Brown told Cannen Cunningham he wants to see him drive more and dunk instead of always coming off a dribble handoff and shooting a jumper.