Upon Further Review: Tulsa

Demo's latest Upon Further Review breaks down SMU's win over Tulsa!

There is no earthly way of knowing, who will do most of the scoring.

There’s been a surprising amount of ups and downs so far, in SMU’s 19-5 season. And with so many talented players on the roster, picking who the major contributors will be is like trying to figure out what she meant when she said she was “fine.”

Some nights Markus Kennedy will give you 21 points and other nights he fouls out of the game with two.

After shooting the lights out in Moody against Houston, Nic Moore went through a three-game slump. His 23 points against Tulsa on Saturday say that dry spell is over.

Oh yea and remember that time Ben Emelogu looked to have found his confidence and went three for three from three point range? Yea well we can probably forget about that as he seems to be back to his old regular self. Saturday’s commentators on ESPNU even took notice, “Coach Brown is yelling at Emlogu from the sideline- he’s just chucking up shots as soon as he gets them and usually he misses.”

Emelogu was getting a little bit of a break because Yanick Moreira and Cannen Cunningham were cleaning up the glass.

And while we are talking about Cunningham- how about we give a round of applause for the senior? I think we all already knew how capable he was offensively- but I also think we didn’t expect him to see him have a 14 point night in Moody and then follow it up with a 16 point game on the road.

Once again, another one of SMU’s “reserves” is making themselves a threat to opposing teams. Opponents are going to have to think about him now.

We saw it Saturday, Tulsa continuously gave Cunningham a cushion; daring him to shoot. I don’t think they realized he actually could.

And while I joke a lot about Butterfinger being the official candy bar of Moreira, he has been very good for a large chunk of this season. I was/am one of his biggest fans. We all can see how dominant he can be on offense and how his length creates problems on defense- but that is why it is frustrating when he mishandles a pass or gets stripped as he goes up for a dunk.

Saturday, the Angolan nightmare had 13 points and 13 rebounds and a pair of blocks. It was his fourth double-double this season. He has no reached double digit scoring in 15 games.

Those commentators mentioned SMU’s big men are what makes them special in this conference and I agree. Ben Moore, Kennedy, Moreira, and Cunningham are all tremendous talents that creat matchup problems for defenses.

I would like to see more of that magical “big” lineup with Moreira, Kennedy, and (Ben) Moore. Sometimes it can be really hard to roll that group out there, but I think if they can get more game time together, they can force other teams to adjust to them rather than playing to opponents lineups. Ya feel me?

Anyway, getting back to my point about the ever changing face of this offensive attack- coming into this season we weren’t expecting much from Ryan Manuel or Cunningham. However, both guys have become integral parts of the rotation. Sure it would have been nice to have Keith Frazier- I mean the dude is a dynamic athlete. Although, I’m not entirely sure if this team isn’t playing better since he was ruled out.

Kennedy isn’t going to foul out all the time and you can expect him to usually score more than two points.

If Ben Moore can ever get rolling offensively again, it could be argued that SMU has six guys that can step up and lead the team in scoring on any given night. That is ridiculously hard to game plan against.

Now with Saturday’s win SMU snaps Tulsa’s 10 game conference win streak and is now breathing down the Golden Hurricane’s neck…Hurricanes don’t have necks. I don’t know… vortexes? That sounds like a terribly geeky euphemism. In any case, SMU is now in perfect position to capture the top spot in the AAC.

Had they pulled out a win on Thursday against Cincinnati, they would have already had the top spot. Which after the last UFR, I know feel compelled to step forward and take what I have coming to me. For you see, it is actually my fault that SMU lost to Cincinnati for the second time this season. I jinxed them. A little before Tulsa went on their second half run to gain a lead, I said, “So if they win tonight we can knock Tulsa off from number one right?”

It is my fault.

Whew, I feel much better. I’m glad you are all being so understanding about this.

Before we leave, I think we should acknowledge the awesomeness of that 15-0 run in the second half on Saturday. Didn’t that make your adult beverage taste that much better? That kind of run against the “top dog” in the conference is pretty darn impressive.

It just felt like SMU had so much momentum at the tail end of the run- it was just incredible. It kind of reminded me of something we saw last year.

There was a team that lost to another team in their conference twice, but they went on to a play in a big contest while the team they lost to didn’t. And then the team that lost twice won a shiny thing or something like that in the contest.


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