Upon Further Review: Temple

SMU battled back to win on the road at Temple and that is what Demo delves into in his latest "Upon Further Review."

You can call this one a comeback and what a comeback it was (well by SMU standards anyway).

The Mustangs 60-55 win over Temple ties the program’s largest comeback victory under Larry Brown. Back in 2014 (still weird to say) SMU rallied from a 13 point deficit to defeat Clemson on April fools 65-59.

I will give credit where credit is due and by all means, SMU deserves credit for pulling a win out. Of everything this program has done, come from behind wins hasn’t been one of them. Usually when this team trails going into the second half the result is a loss. SMU is 8-18 under Brown when trailing at half.

A 13-point deficit doesn’t seem all that tough to erase when there is still 18 minutes left to be played. So no, this isn’t overly impressive as a “comeback” from that stand point.

Still, it is good that they rose to the occasion and scraped this win out. Not because of the deficit, but because of the off the court issues this team has had to deal with.

If you’ve been on our boards the past couple weeks you know all about coach Ulric Maligi taking leave from the program. Given how instrumental he has been to the development and construction of this team, there is no doubt his loss was a hit to morale.

SMU hasn’t had the greatest or the dream season we fantasized of where they would have knocked down Indiana or upset Gonzaga, so the Mustang faithful have to hope that SMU finds a way to win the conference in order to reach the NCAA tourney.

With a 3-2 conference record (after the loss) Temple is still one of the better teams in the American. The win pushes SMU to 4-1 in conference play and the Mustangs look poised to make a push for the conference title and shows that they can compete with the better teams in the American.

This team normally doesn’t respond well to adversity, but they did tonight. Losing one of their coaches earlier in the week and then finding themselves trailing in the second half of a conference game, this team responded. They picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and then Markus Kennedy threw down a monster dunk to seal the win.

He led the way for SMU with 21 points. This team has been lacking a leader all season long, but it seems as though finally, Kennedy is stepping up to fill that void.

It is early in conference play and there are still plenty of twists and turns this season can take- some good and some bad. If the Maligi situation is some kind of harbinger of harshness coming to sully this teams mellow, than this team will need to stick together more than ever.

Right now there are a lot of rumors, speculations, theories, scoops, and “scoops” about this program floating around social media, finding their way onto message boards and ultimately making their homes in your already battered and weathered sports soul.

So I will leave you with something Donald Rumsfield, a former US Secretary of Defense, once said at a press conference at NATO headquarters back in 2002.

“Now what is the message there? The message is that there are no "knowns." There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know. So when we do the best we can and we pull all this information together, and we then say well that's basically what we see as the situation, that is really only the known knowns and the known unknowns. And each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns.

It sounds like a riddle. It isn't a riddle. It is a very serious, important matter.

There's another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It is basically saying the same thing in a different way. Simply because you do not have evidence that something exists does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn't exist. And yet almost always, when we make our threat assessments, when we look at the world, we end up basing it on the first two pieces of that puzzle, rather than all three.”

To sum it all up and tie it back to SMU: There are things that we know about this program. There are things we know we don’t know about this program. And there are an infinite number of things we don’t know we don’t know about this program.


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