Upon Further Review: Cincinnati

Demetrio's latest installment of "Upon Further Review" follows SMU's disappointing loss to Cincinnati.

Like it or not, these are your Mustangs. We can’t trade them in for shinier, newer models that commit fewer turnovers or make louder noises- this is the team we have.

Occasionally, they will surprise us and perform relatively close to what (we believed) was advertised. Other times, the fuel pump will be shot to hell, the engine won’t start, you put up your lowest scoring total of the season, and you lose to Cincinnati 56-50.

Say what you want about the Bearcats, but they are a good team. They do own the best record in the American Athletic Conference and ultimately the conference title is SMU’s best, if not only, chance of making it to the big dance.

Historically, SMU hasn’t done well against Cincinnati; after Saturday’s loss, the Mustangs are 2-4 all-time against the Bearcats and 0-4 when playing at the Bearcats home (Den? Hovel? I don’t know. What the heck is a Bearcat anyway?).

This isn’t a team you can take on the road and expect them to play well. They are 1-3 on the road this season. That one win, was against Michigan. Remember a couple sentences ago, when I told you how every now and then they’d surprise you? Yea, that was one of those times.

In order to win on the road a team needs to be mentally strong or have an overwhelming source of leadership.

Now your Mustangs are averaging about 15 turnovers a game. I’m sorry, but mental toughness came in the more expensive package- the one with leather seats, a year of satellite radio and Emmanuel Mudiay. You know, the one that was sold out.

But don’t worry because with the cheaper package you got: extra cup-holders, half a season of Markus Kennedy, and the leadership of Jean-Michael Mudiay- Emmanuel’s Brother!

Now, I’m not saying Emmanuel would have stepped in and been a better leader than his older brother, nor am I saying he would fix all this team’s problems.

No, I’m simply saying that when MSU came to town and you spilled coffee all over you cloth seats when you heard the score, it wouldn’t have seeped into the leather. Actually, with you not having the extra cup holders, you probably wouldn’t have even had the coffee in the car to begin with.

Plus an Emmanuel-Nic Moore tandem would have been too much for a Division II program and SMU would have won handily.

I think… I’m not really sure what to think anymore- some days that engine will turnover and other days all it does is sputter…

What I do know, is that if SMU wants to get invited to the big dance, Ryan Manuel can’t be your leading scorer.

Give credit where credit is due- Manuel looked around, saw a 22-21 game in the second half and took it upon himself to pace the offense.

Manuel scored 12 of SMU first 14 points in the second half. Yes, that is not a typo, Ryan Manuel.

Ben Moore took two shots in nineteen minutes. That’s right, two, and he didn’t make either one of ‘em.

Nic Moore’s contribution to the loss was a trio of threes and a pair of free throws, that’s it.

Keith Frazier ended with five points, and Yanick Moreira added nine. That’s just not going to get it done.

We can sit here and complain about the things in the LX package we didn’t get this season; the leather seats, the satellite radio, Emmanuel Mudiay, a full season of Kennedy, but the fact is that the old EX we are driving has everything we need to get us where we need to go.

All it needs is a little love and some quality time with a good mechanic to get it back into tip top shape.

And let me tell you, SMU has this great mechanic named Larry Brown- this guy does amazing work.

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