SMU got a resume-building win and it is largely thanks to one man, and one they missed dearly during the first semester. Kennedy finished the game with 21 points, 7 rebounds and also chipped in one assist. Kennedy provided the thump, the energy, the scoring, and everything else this team needed to pick up the win. Down 11 just 2 minutes into the second half, head coach Larry Brown brought in Kennedy for Ben Moore, and from then on this was a completely different game. Kennedy responded shortly after with a jumper to pull the Mustangs within 7 at 41-34 and then another big bucket, while drawing the foul, to pull SMU within 6 but more importantly give this team a spark. Head coach Larry Brown has been calling on someone all season to step up and lead this team, he’s got that on the court at times from Ryan Manuel but tonight it was Markus Kennedy who put this team on his back and made tough shot after tough shot to give SMU a huge win.
Before Markus Kennedy came alive in the second half, Ryan Manuel kept this team afloat in the first half chipping in 6 points and a couple of gritty plays. Manuel finished the game with 10 points, 2 assists and 2 steals but like with everything Manuel does, it was the plays that didn’t necessarily show up in the stat sheet that helped him make an impact on this game. Manuel was aggressive throughout the first half, and even was able to make a couple of tough transition layups, something him and the coaching staff have been working hard on lately. One of the big stats that tells the story for Manuel is his efficiency rating, which takes into account positive plays, negative plays and how many minutes you played. Manuel was second on the team with a +16 efficiency rating, behind Kennedy. This shows how key he was in this game without filling up the stat sheet. Along with Kennedy, SMU doesn’t win this game without Manuel.
2. Ryan Manuel
Nic Moore’s night would not usually lead you to believe he was a positive in this game; in fact he was killing SMU until about 5 minutes to play. But Moore stepped up down the stretch and hit two huge shots when this team needed a bucket. After having 6 turnovers in the first half, which can’t happen, Moore only had 1 in the second half. Moore finished the game with 10 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 7 turnovers. It was an encouraging sign to see Moore stay in this game, where in the past he has got frustrated and let the game slip away. For the rest of conference play however, SMU cannot consistently survive with Moore having as many turnovers as this or even close to it.
3. Nic Moore
1. TurnoversThis is becoming all too familiar of a problem for SMU and they were lucky to survive it tonight. SMU finished the game with 16 turnovers and allowed Temple to cash in on these for 19 points off these turnovers. What was again killer about this was a lot of these turnovers just allowed easy run outs for Temple. Temple is not a good shooting team, and despite starting out the game on fire, they showed just as much with the way they shot it in the second half. One of SMU’s biggest problems is they are trying to make the flashy play, the prime example of this was Keith Frazier on a two on one break trying to throw the lob instead of just drawing the defender and then passing it. SMU was able to get by tonight again despite their turnover problems but this coaching staff has got to get guys to just make the simple pass.
It was a forgettable night for Keith Frazier, who finished the game with 7 points on just 6 shots to go with a turnover and just one rebound. This kind of reminded you of the Frazier from last year for one of the first times this year. It was a tough night for the sophomore guard to say the least. There were plays such as the lob that Frazier was not credited with the turnover that repeatedly hurt SMU. On the defensive end, Frazier also had a tough night allowing Jesse Morgan to go off for 15 points, a lot of times where he seemed late getting out to the three point line. Frazier has seemed locked in every game this season but tonight just was plagued by mistakes he has not been making this season.
2. Keith Frazier
It was an equally tough night for Ben Moore who just couldn’t get going tonight. Moore finished with just 1 point and 2 rebounds in 19 minutes of action. Moore lost a lot of his playing time in the second half to Cannen Cunningham who got as many rebounds in just 5 minutes of action. Moore struggled to get any sort of open look in this game and just couldn’t get things going. Give credit to Moore however, he did only have 1 turnover on the game, he just couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end or on the boards.
3. Ben Moore