SMU’s long scoring drought. Manuel also continued to play tough defense and showed some of that leadership that coach Brown has been looking for.
18 turnovers, that is what SMU’s defense was able to do to this Cincinnati offense that struggled throughout the first half. Ben Moore, Keith Frazier and Markus Kennedy each had 2 steals on the game. This doesn’t even take into account the number of times, especially in the second half, that SMU forced the Bearcats into a tough shot with the shot clock running down, or in some cases not even allowing them to get a shot off.
It is a process getting Markus Kennedy back on the court but today was rough for him. Kennedy repeatedly turned the ball over and struggled with double teams, as well as, getting any sort of lift on his shots. A lot of the mistakes being made by Kennedy were plays that last year he was repeatedly making for this team. While Kennedy will certainly get it going as conference play rolls on, today was a struggle and reminded Mustang fans that this is still a process, and may take him a few more weeks to get back to where he can be productive on the court. Kennedy finished the day with 7 points, 5 rebounds and 3 turnovers.
This game could have been over in the first half, and this is possibly the most frustrating part. We have been saying for weeks that SMU had to get their turnover problem figured out and it finally killed them today. It was equal opportunity for everyone on the team but with 17 turnovers, this is a game that SMU is going to look back on and know it got away from them. Cincinnati continued to struggle shooting the ball and getting any sort of offense, but the Mustangs not only turned the ball over but turned it over in spots that allowed Cincinnati to essentially walk the ball in for layups and completely turn this game around. SMU will return home for a home game against Memphis, where they again cannot turn the ball over, but then have to head back out on the road for another toughroad game at Temple.