Markus Kennedy followed up his 19-point, 9-rebound game with a solid 12-point, 8-rebound effort against Memphis. This was the type of performance SMU has been waiting for from Kennedy much of the season but they sure loved getting it today. Kennedy was into it the entire game and was aggressive down low throughout. Also huge was Kennedy's four offensive rebounds which led to a couple big putback layups. If SMU hopes to win out, they are going to need this type of effort from Kennedy the rest of the way.
SMU absolutely dominated Memphis on the boards outrebounding them 40-28 with twelve of those coming on the offensive glass. More importantly, they cashed in on these boards for 25 second chance points which proved to be the difference in the game. The Mustangs were also able to limit Memphis to 8 offensive rebounds and 5 second chance points.
On a night not a lot else went right, this was a nice moment when Jonathan got the start over Shake Milton in his hometown. Wilfong held his own in the four minutes he played and even made a nice pass on the break to Sterling Brown who finished it for the layup. Coach Brown has always had the policy of starting players in their hometown and it was nice to see Wilfong get rewarded for his hard work in practice.
1-Free Throw Shooting
Until a couple late free throws from Sterling Brown and Nic Moore, SMU was shooting seven of 18 from the line. This very nearly cost SMU and the only thing that bailed them out was Memphis shooting an equally bad 59 percent. On the night, SMU finished right at 50 percent from the line with Ben Moore, Shake Milton and Jordan Tolbert going a combined 3 of 11 from the line, most coming in the second half. This has been an ugly trend for SMU in their last three games where they are shooting just 51 percent. If they keep this up, it's going to cost them in their matchups with Connecticut and Cincinnati.
2-Lack of Energy
It was just a sloppy night overall for SMU with a number of weak and loose passes. Too many times, SMU tried to throw lobs or feeds into the post that were going nowhere and allowed a Memphis team that didn't have much going on to hang around until they got it going. SMU turned it on late but for most of the game looked lethargic to say the least and lacked focus in a very big game.
The primary result of this lack of focus was a number of turnovers that led to a couple runout dunks for Shaq Goodwin and Dedric Lawson who had a big night with 18 points. Memphis turned SMU's 16 turnovers in 19 points going the other which went a long way towards Memphis staying in this game.