1. Markus Kennedy
Kennedy finished the game with 13 points and 4 rebounds, but his extra energy and effort helped carry SMU though a bunch of USF’s runs.
2. Sterling Brown
Like Kennedy, Brown worked hard with and without the ball and despite being in a little foul trouble had a big impact on the game. He’s been very consistent all season long and his shooting percentage is ridiculous—no change there. He finished with 13 points on 80 percent shooting and was 75 percent from 3-point range.
For 75% of this game SMU didn’t look like the SMU we’ve seen so far this season. In the end the Mustangs willed themselves to victory. USF’s zone defense through a wrench into SMU’s offense, but the Mustangs fought through, got to the rim and found a wat to win.
1. Nic and Shake
I talked to a high school coach this week who has three really good players on his team. One of them can have a bad night, but not all of them. SMU has three really dangerous outside shooters: Nic Moore, Shake Milton, and Keith Frazier. Frazier didn’t play and Milton and Moore were very off from 3-point range. They went a combined 6-of-23 from long range.
2. Poor Shot Selection
Along the same lines, when USF showed zone in the first half, SMU’s response was the 3-ball. Maybe a good idea…if they made some of those. Other than Sterling Brown, no one else was really hitting from long range. Thankfully, SMU attacked the rim more often in the 2nd half.
3. Keith Frazier
To paraphrase one of my favorite movie lines: how is he a down on his day off? As I mentioned before, SMU desperately needed outside shooting to combat the zone defense. Moore and Milton were off and Frazier didn’t play. Yes, even when he didn’t play he was a down.