The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Men’s basketball: Mustangs least-heralded first-year has earned his minutes

SMU forward Ben Moore is averaging 6.7 PPG for SMU in 2013-14. Photo credit: Ryan Miller


The SMU Mustangs made headlines last year.

While the rest of the country anxiously awaited the Final Four, the Mustangs grabbed a player that significantly altered how SMU would recruit: Keith Frazier.

However, the move that most affected how the Mustangs would perform this season had happened months prior to Frazier’s committal. That would be Ben Moore’s statement that he would be attending SMU.

Moore’s committal to SMU was shrouded in a little bit of mystery. Both Sterling Brown and Frazier were ranked by ESPN and had scouting reports. The 6-foot-8-inch Moore, a student at Bolingbrook High School in Illinois, didn’t enjoy the same notability.

This season, though, the least-heralded recruit has emerged to have the best season of the first-years.

Moore leads the team’s first-year in both points and rebounds. That’s no small factor for a team that gives all three of its first-years significant playing time.

However, if people try to get Moore to give credit to himself, they’re out of luck.

“We’re all trying to do our part, so, Sterling and Keith, they’re trying to do whatever they can to help us win, and so am I,” Moore said.

It’s all about sharing the fame and continuing to learn. It makes one wonder who Moore’s coach could be.

Larry Brown’s arrival has meant everything for SMU’s men’s basketball team. The team, now flush with talent, is likely headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1993. That’s the longest drought the school has faced since it first went in 1955.

When asked why he chose SMU over the other schools, Moore said: “Well I had a great relationship with the coaching staff.”

Brown knows how to get players to come here. He’s brought in guys like Tim Jankovich who, in turn, have lured transfers.

That being said, Moore still wouldn’t be here without Brown. So what has being coached by Brown done for Moore?

“I mean, it’s great, because I learn everyday. That’s one of the reasons I came here: learning. You know, practice. It’s hard, but it’s just, it’s getting me better,” he said.

Throughout the year, Moore has grown under Brown.

“He’s helped me during film, you know, after practice, while he’s talking to me. He helps me on and off the court. On the court, I mean, he’s always looking out for me. He’s always trying to get me better,” he said.

This growth has shown as Moore has had arguably the best season of the first-years, but Moore chose not to put the focus on himself.

“All of us, we’re all trying to do our parts. Sterling and Keith, they’re trying to do whatever they can to help us win. So am I,” Moore said.

This is a noticeable trait with Moore; whenever the topic surrounded him, he found ways to bring in his fellow first-years. That’s not just standard media-talk, either.

During the interview, when asked what it has been like being part of the resurgent SMU basketball team, Frazier decided to stand by Moore for a second. As a result, Moore ended his response with, “Keith Frazier’s the man, also, so.”

These guys like each other. That’s a large factor in this team’s success.

In addition to working toward being better basketball players, the team’s chemistry has been sound. That’s the difference between dreading practice and enjoying time spent with teammates who also happen to be friends.

It also helps during the offseason when the sole basketball goal is to get better.

“I’m trying to get better in every aspect of my game. I’m trying to learn college defense a little more, you know. I’m going to be in the weight room, and stuff like that, so. Probably defense and weight room and shooting, stuff like that. Everything,” Moore said about his offseason work.

And in spite of how the team is doing now, the Mustangs could be better next season.

Not just because Emmanuel Mudiay has committed to the school next season, but because of what Moore said.

These first-years are good, but they know they have to learn.

They have “everything” to learn.

So watch out, ponies. This isn’t a short-term fixture. The Mustangs are looking to rise to the top and stay there.

More to Discover