1. The FrontcourtWhat a game from the big man from Philadelphia. 17 points, nine rebounds and the usual energy SMU fans expect out of Kennedy. Kennedy stepped up along with Yanick Moreira and Cannen Cunningham to will SMU to the win over Temple. Kennedy was the main leader for SMU’s 45-32 advantage in rebounds over Temple. SMU also outscored Temple in the paint and with Jaylen Bond in trouble, was able to take over.
SMU really locked Temple down shooting wise in the second half. The team gave up a few open looks to DeCosey, but the team frustrated the rest of the Temple squad and was able to build a big lead because of its defense. SMU didn’t let one player beat them and kept Temple to 4-24 from three-point range. After a tough outing against ECU with their three-point defense, SMU tightened up today.
2. Shot Defense
This team absolutely did not panic. I expect SMU to face Connecticut tomorrow in the AAC title game with a packed XL Center and a team’s only hope for an NCAA bid on the line. SMU was down to Temple for almost the entire first half and the team just continued to execute. That bodes well for tomorrow. While the environment today wasn’t exactly intimidating, SMU has the even-keeled demeanor that you need for a game like tomorrow.
3. Cool as a Cucumber
1. Sloppy MistakesSMU had eight turnovers in the first half and Temple took advantage of them. SMU was careless during the game at times. Passes weren’t as crisp, we saw a few guys step on the line, etc. All of these things are correctable, but Larry Brown will certainly have a couple points to make to the team tomorrow in preparation for the AAC Championship game.
The sophomore had so many great looks under the basket, but just couldn’t convert. Moore came off the bench today for SMU and ended up fouling out of the game. Moore finished with six points and four rebounds, but went just 3-of-9 from the field. SMU needs the athletic forward to step up. Moore will certainly be coming off the bench again tomorrow and he’ll be looking to rebound from that performance.
2. Ben Moore
SMU got hampered a little bit in the first half by fouls with Ryan Manuel, Sterling Brown, Markus Kennedy and Ben Moore all picking up two fouls. Kennedy was still tied with Cannen Cunningham as SMU’s leading scorer at the half despite being on the bench for much of the half. If SMU would have done a better job staying out of foul trouble, the team could have played more aggressive than it did.
3. Foul Trouble