The Pony Stampede staff picks their most valuable player for the 2014-15 SMU basketball season.
Just to pick someone other than Nic Moore
, Markus Kennedy gets my vote. Before Kennedy came back, SMU
was missing their bully. It took Kennedy a couple games to get back on the right track, but after that, Kennedy earned his AAC selection as Sixth Man of the Year for good reason. Kennedy finished his season with six straight double-digit performances. After Keith Frazier
went out, SMU needed someone to bring energy to the floor. Kennedy provided that and gave Nic Moore a boost as well. The pair was back at it together and Kennedy's physical play helped SMU to their AAC championship this year as he averaged 11.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game off the bench.
Scott: Nic Moore
If Markus Kennedy didn't miss the first 10 games because of being academically ineligible, I think we might be talking about him for the Mustangs' MVP honors. But he did. SMU's best player the entire season was, with no question, Nic Moore. Moore averaged 14.5 PPG and 5.1 APG, and led the Mustangs to a number of come-from-behind wins along the way. Moore also stepped up as one of the leaders of this team, which became even more important than his stats down the stretch. Moore is the floor general of this team and earned that title through his stellar, and consistent, play. This SMU team would not be where it is today with out Moore's services.
Nic Moore is obviously deserving of this because he stepped up and carried the team when no one else could. But I'm picking Sterling Brown because he seamlessly filled in once Keith Frazier was ruled ineligible. Frazier's suspension, assistant coach Ulric Maligi's leave of absence and Justin Martin's departure all occurred around the same time, and they threatened to kill the momentum SMU was starting to build. But Brown was unfazed by all the chatter and set a great example by just playing basketball. He's a winner who does all the little things in the game right and makes hustle plays exactly when they are needed. SMU's glue guy was a calming influence that helped the team put all the distraction aside and win. Not only did Brown stay calm and ease SMU through a difficult moment, I think he made the team better despite losing Frazier.
Hatts: Nic Moore
After a season where Nic Moore struggled with turnovers and some inconsistent play, the 2014-2015 season was a huge success for the junior guard. Moore averaged 14.5 points and just over 5 assists per game en route to being named the American Athletic Conference player of the year. Moore also cut down on his turnovers as the year went along but the biggest thing the junior guard did was hit big shot after big shot. Every good team needs a closer and this year that was Moore time and time again. The most notable was against Temple
where Moore struggled all game long but down the stretch he came alive to help SMU get a huge road victory when they really needed it.