The SMU Mustangs men’s basketball team is coming off one if it’s best seasons in a very long time, and while they became “media darlings” during the last half of the season and one of the hottest tickets in Dallas. But it wasn’t just the fans, local media and some national pundits who took notice; everyone seemed to take notice of the surprising change from last year on the Hilltop. This is why the Mustangs will be entering their conference tournament with the highest ranking since 2002-2003, not to mention getting nationally ranked for the first time since 1984-1985. A lot of people will attribute these changes to Head Coach Larry Brown, who is in his second season in Dallas. Brown was just recently named a Henry Iba Coach of the Year finalist and he was just named the US Basketball Writers District VII coach of the year.
But Larry Brown isn’t the only reason for the big turnaround, He had a hand, but a coach can only be as good as the quality of talent he has on the roster and Brown luckily had a couple players who were part of the driving force for the Mustangs. Sophomore Nic Moore is part of this turn around and he was just recently named to the USBWA All District team and a first team all-conference player in the American Athletic Conference. Moore averaged 13.9 points, 2.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.4 steals in 31 games. In conference play, Moore averaged 14.2 points and 4.7 assists. Moore
started all 31 games, recording six 20-point games in the regular season, and finished in finished in double figures 26 times. It is scary to think this kid is a sophomore and could be on the hilltop for two more years, if he is then look for the Mustangs to get even better in the next couple years.
Another player who earned all-conference honors was another sophomore; Markus Kennedy was a second team all-conference player in the American Athletic Conference. Kennedy played in all 31 games, starting 16, averaging 12.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.8 assists and 1.4 blocks. In conference play, he averaged 13.2 points and 7.6 rebounds. The Philadelphia, Pa., native scored in double figures 22 times in the regular season, and led SMU in scoring and rebounding in the same game 10 times.
Kennedy scored in double figures in 14-straight games from Dec. 4-Feb.1, SMU’s longest streak of the season, and recorded five double-doubles in that stretch. Once again you have another sophomore who is probably going to be around for two more seasons and could be a catalyst to what some hope may end up being a championship caliber team.double figures 26 times. It is scary to think this kid is a sophomore and could be on the hilltop for two more years, if he is then look for the Mustangs to get even better in the next couple years.
With Coach Brown leading the charge and these two players setting the tone for the Mustangs, then things are really looking up on the Hilltop. These honors may just be the beginning of all the accolades which could come SMU’s way in the future.