Matt Visinsky

SMU New Year Resolutions

The Pony Stampede staff has some New Year resolutions for notable SMU coaches and players for 2016!

Chad Morris

More tempo. I really liked how this was explained during one of the games this season. It isn’t all about no-huddle. Sometimes it’s about slowing things down and changing the pace drastically. It’s about keeping defenses off balance. Given SMU’s obvious limitations in his first season, I imagine they’ve only scratched the surface of his system. One thing I know I’d like to see for sure in 2016, is even more tempo. -Demo

Larry Brown

Find a big man. Coach Brown and the rest of the coaching staff have been focusing much of their attention on securing a big man for SMU’s 2016 class and rightly so. With the Mustangs losing Markus Kennedy and Jordan Tolbert to graduation, SMU is going to have a gaping hole in the frontcourt as soon as next season. Reinforcements are on the way in the form of Semi Ojeleye, but SMU needs at least one more guy to join Ojeleye, Ben Moore and even Sterling Brown in the size department.  Aside from continuing to right the ship at SMU, this is the biggest task ahead for the coach Brown and the SMU coaching staff with limited scholarships to work with. -Hatts

Rick Hart

Get the football facilities project underway. This isn’t to say that SMU is failing in this regard or that the project is behind schedule and with reason to worry. SMU fans could use some good news and another reason for optimism about the future of SMU football, and some public, tangible movement on the facilities commitment made to Chad Morris would do just that. I give bonus credit to Hart for doing a good job of drowning out the fans chiding him for not appealing the men’s basketball postseason ban. -Patrick

Joe Craddock

Protect the quarterback. Whether it is Matt Davis, Darrel Colbert or another SMU quarterback, this will be one of the major tasks for coach Craddock heading into next season. After watching Matt Davis take a beating last year, and knowing the offensive line could be a weak spot next year, Craddock has to find ways to get the ball out of his quarterback’s hands faster. This doesn’t mean they get rid of all the deep shots to Courtland Sutton, but SMU may have to rely more on quick screens and other short routes to protect SMU’s offensive line. This will help alleviate some of the turnovers SMU had, and improve the Mustangs' offense. Getting the ball out faster will also be the responsibility of whoever is behind center for SMU next year but Craddock can do his part to help. -Hatts

Van Malone

Patience with cornerbacks. This comes in a couple forms. First, Malone will have a lot of young DBs next year, and coaching them requires patience. That’s not to say he doesn’t have it or has displayed impatience before. Second, SMU dialed up a few blitzes that left its defensive backs in man-to-man situations, most of which didn’t go well. Malone teaches his DBs to be aggressive on the ball, but giving struggling cornerbacks 1-on-1 chances isn’t the best idea. An aggressive mindset is good in a defensive coordinator, but a few more “safe” blitzes may be a better idea. -Patrick

Nic Moore

Share his veteran knowledge. With Sedrick Barefield transferring, Shake Milton will be the next SMU point guard. Milton has some big shoes to fill and as Nic Moore's SMU career winds down, it'd benefit SMU in a big way for him to share all the knowledge he can with Milton. Milton is already developing into a solid player for SMU, but as far as running a team and leading, he's still just a freshman. Next year, Milton will be looked to lead and run the show so during the next couple month's Moore should be sharing as much as he can with Milton. -Billy

Courtland Sutton

Get that time on the practice field in. Sutton quickly developed into one of the best wide receivers in the conference this season, but has a long way to go. Sutton is gifted athletically and has the ability to win almost any jumpball, but Sutton has to add more routes to his arsenal that are just as good as the deep ball. If Sutton can spend more time on the field with Matt Davis and the rest of the quarterbacks perfecting his craft, it'll go a long way to helping him create more separation and get more targets because of it. Put the work in and Sutton will see the benefits right off the bat next year. -Billy

Markus Kennedy

Improve free-throw shooting. While Kennedy is shooting a solid 54 percent from the field this season, he is shooting his worst percentage of his career (50 percent) from the charity strike.  The senior’s scoring is down some this season as well, and while he hasn’t gone to the line that much so far (just 16 free throw attempts), made free throws would help him out.  Not to mention, when crunch time rolls around, if the big man is fouled, he’ll need to make the shots when his teammates are counting on him.  -Scott

Ben Moore

Being more aggressive. The junior is putting up career numbers in essentially every category, so why is it that Ben Moore needs to be more aggressive?  It’s not even a necessity, but the more aggressive Moore stays now, the easier it will be for him to step into a bigger role if Kennedy or Jordan Tolbert go down (not to mention when they’re both gone next season).  Plus, Moore is such a matchup problem for teams because of his athleticism, length and size, so the more he takes advantage of that now, the better he’ll be down the road. -Scott

Jordan Tolbert

Be a top rebounder in the AAC. The 6-7, 240-pound senior has already shown he can put up impressive numbers in the rebounding department with a couple 20 rebound performances. With a couple of these performances already in hand, this is where he needs to make his mark for SMU in conference play. The talent level is about to take a big step up for Tolbert and he will need to continue to produce if SMU is going to repeat as regular season champs. Markus Kennedy will certainly help out on the boards as well, but he doesn’t have the athleticism and size that Tolbert possesses. Tolbert doesn’t even need to be a go-to scorer for SMU as Nic Moore and company will take care of that, but he does need to continue to lead this team rebounding the ball because that is the way he will continue to make his mark on this team. -Hatts

Matt Davis

Make faster decisions. Sure there are a lot of times that the offensive line simply breaks down, but there are also several instances where Davis takes too long to pull the trigger. Being indecisive behind a leaky o-line is never a good thing. -Demo

Xavier Jones

Improve ball security. Jones was hands down the best back for SMU in 2015, but the freshman, along with his other running back counterparts, struggled to hold onto the ball the entire season.  While he lost just two of his five fumbles, the coaching staff will still be forced to sit him (like they did to Braeden West) if he can’t hold on to the ball.  With Jones set to return as the primary back in 2016, expect the coaching staff to emphasize ball security to the freshman throughout the offseason. -Scott

Shake Milton

Attack the basket. I’ve been so impressed by Milton’s poise, defense, shooting and composure in the clutch. But Milton hasn’t shown much of his ability to attack and drive to the rim, because SMU needs three-point shooting. In high school, Milton was at his best when he attacked the rim to set up some open looks. He’d do well to treat SMU fans to a few more layups and dunks. -Patrick

Keith Frazier

Even more buckets. There was a time that I’d have said I wanted more consistency from Keith, but he’s already doing that. I’d also have said he’d need to shoot better…he’s doing that too. It would seem, Frazier is having his best season at SMU to date. All I can really see him doing to improve is to score even more—maybe bump that average from 11.9 to 14 or 15 points a game. -Demo

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