1. Return of the Jedi:
Welcome to the 2014 NCAA men’s basketball season Nic Moore. It took him a little while, but the junior point guard finally played at the level SMU faithful have come to expect. He finished with 17 points, one rebound, six assists, and seven steals. It wasn’t a flashy game by any means, but he was finally productive from the floor and was hitting most of his shots- finished with a shooting percentage of 78 percent from the floor.
2. Mr. Consistency :
Keith Farzier has now scored in double figures in four of SMU’s six games this season. He finished with 16 points against the Tigers. He average about five points in a limited role last year, but this season the junior is being given more opportunities and he has delivered, for the most part, thus far. Having him knocking down shots from the outside is going to be big for SMU’s offense going forward. Larry Brown thinks, Frazier is SMU’s best shooter and wants to get him the ball more. Not that it matter, but I agree with him completely.
3. Hack-a-Shaq no more:
SMU was better from the free throw line tonight- making 81 percent of their free throws. Missed free throws were part of the losing formula against Arkansas. If SMU is going to want to compete with the upper level programs, they are going to have to maintain the accuracy from the line that they showed today.
SMU was significantly better than they were against Arkansas at protecting the ball, but they are still playing very sloppy. Part of the reason it was a five point game going into half time was that the Mustangs turned the ball over eight times. They cleaned it up in the second half and built their lead, but this is a reoccurring theme this season. SMU finished with 15 turnovers. Just like their free throw shooting, if they want to compete against the big boys, they have to limit the silly turnovers.
2. Big Man?:
Given that Yanick Moreira had a significant height advantage over almost the entire Texas Southern roster, he had a pretty bad night on the glass. He finished with seven rebounds. His points were there and he did tally up three blocks, But SMU and really any team that wants to win a lot of games needs rebounds from its big men. Yanick has been largely disappointing in that regard and hopefully it gets corrected sooner rather than later.
Ben Emelogu was a dud coming off the bench tonight. He finished with three points, zero rebounds, and one assists. With Justin Martin likely out for the next couple of weeks, SMU needs for Emelogu to step up. Even with J-Mart, SMU is pretty thin at point guard. The Mustangs have been lucky that Ryan Manuel has been somewhat productive this season.