The Mustangs reduced the turnovers, committing just 10. While some of the ones they did commit were pretty bad, the Mustangs were smarter with the ball. The passing was better, and the team communicated much better than it did in its losses. SMU needs to keep the turnovers down to stay in the game against its toughest opponents.
2. Keith Frazier:
Frazier had what may have been his best game as a Mustang, scoring 17 points while holding his own on defense. He only took one truly bad shot, an off-balance three-pointer, where he got cocky after a streak of made shots. If Frazier can continue this level of scoring, he will take a lot of pressure off Nic Moore to be the scorer in the backcourt.
3. RIM PROTECTION:
SMU harassed the Eagles under the basket. While they shot a good percentage on two-point shots (14-24), those opportunities were not that frequent, as SMU forced EWU to keep the ball out on the perimeter and forced some off-balance, contested three-point attempts. Just like three-point defense, there is a still improvement needed, but the Mustangs did play better on defense in the post.
The rebounding numbers look solid, as SMU outrebounded Eastern Washington. But the Mustangs gave up a number of offensive rebounds they should have had, mostly in the first half. Several balls hit off SMU players and went into the hands of EWU players.
2. ILL-TIMED TURNOVERS:
SMU improved the turnover numbers from its last game, but the Mustangs did commit a few turnovers when they could have broke the game open. Instead, it gave the momentum back to EWU, and as a result, the Eagles were never completely out of the game, as shown by the nine-point deficit.
3. THREE-POINT DEFENSE:
Even though SMU held EWU 11 of 36 to from three, Eagles players made some three-pointers late in the game and were left wide open. Those lapses will hurt SMU if they continue, like they did against Indiana and Gonzaga. But to give the Mustangs some credit, they got a little bit better defending the three-pointer. Some of the three point attempts resulted from SMU shutting them out of the paint, forcing off-balance shots. Eastern Washington only attempted 24 non-three point shots to 36 three-point shots.
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