1. Nic Moore
On the night he was named to Wooden midseason watch list, Moore just went 2-of-6 for six points - both from three in the first half. That isn't great, but he didn't have to score in bunches. Moore tallied a career-high 12 assists and added three rebounds. Moore facilitated an offense that really should have topped 100 tonight if the whole team is playing up to standards without turnovers and maybe even shot a little better. He was a rock tonight in his team-high 34 minutes.
2. Big Men
Jordan Tolbert and Ben Moore both had solid nights as they combined for 32 points and 14 rebounds. I will say that Tolbert struggled at times tonight passing as he turned the ball over a few times tonight, but he was active on the glass and was physical. The pair's success allowed SMU to dominate inside the paint. Kennedy had a double-double after his rought start shooting, which just added to the front court's big night. This was a matchup SMU should have dominated and they did. There was still something left to be desired though with some turnovers and poor shots at times. Don't let that fool you, they were a huge reason why SMU won.
3. Quick Starts
SMU jumped out to a 16-4 start before allowing ECU to claw their way back into the game and if not for a Kennedy three at the end of the first half, SMU is only up five at the half. That was great to see SMU come out on the road and jump all over the Pirates. The same can be said for the second-half as SMU went on another 16-4 run until the 13:15 mark in the second-half. On the road especially, these starts are key. SMU had to do a better job of finishing the first half, but it was encouraging the see SMU come out with solid energy at the start of each half.
SMU racked up 14 turnovers tonight and even though the team got them under control in the second half, it was a lot more than just usual miscommunication or nice steals by ECU. SMU was making blatant passes to ECU and trying some passes that the team just doesn't normally do. SMU will have some game film to go over for sure to try and clean this up before Tulane.
2. Three-Point Defense
SMU only allowed seven made three-point shots by ECU and the team recognizes that they give up open looks because of how well they defend the paint, but tonight ECU got plenty of quality looks on their 23 three-point shots. The team has to close out better and get out on open looks.
3. Markus Kennedy
Wasn't Kennedy included in the second up? Yes, but this is my article. Kennedy is not right. Unfortunately, SMU doesn't really have anything else they can do except play him even when he's not 100 percent. It's not costing SMU, but SMU really needs to consider shutting Kennedy down for the next game to help his ankle. It's affecting his ability to finish around the rim and as SMU gets into the teeth of their schedule, they need him at the top of his game even when coming off the bench.