1. Keith Frazier
The junior stepped up in a big way with his shooting and even contributed with some solid defense at times. Frazier took plenty of shots, going 8-of-13 from the field , but also grabbed five rebounds. Playing with a young backcourt including Shake Milton, Sedrick Barefield and Jarrey Foster, along with Sterling Brown, Frazier was a calming force for the team. Even when something didn't go particularly well, Frazier talked it over with the young teammates. Frazier was also the first to congratulate his teammates as usual. Thought this was the most mature game (and probably one of the best) that Frazier has played at SMU.
2. Points in the Paint
SMU got a ton of production from Markus Kennedy and Jordan Tolbert, the only two active big men on the team right now. Kennedy finished with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists and Tolbert finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Kennedy and Tolbert show under 50 percent, but were aggressive going up for shots and why they weren't converting as much as they really should have, it wasn't as key tonight that they didn't. SMU's two big men also stayed out of foul trouble with Kennedy not picking one up and Tolbert only having two.
3. Sharing the Ball
SMU totaled 26 assists on the night, a season-high for SMU with Milton setting the tone with seven assists. The SMU bigs combined for eight assists, but also had four of the team's nine turnovers. That was the least of SMU's worries. SMU got the bigs involved well, but they did force balls at times. I was very impressed with Milton's ability to facilitate. Unlike his previous games, Milton didn't take a ton of shots, but instead was focused on running the show. Kennedy said that there wasn't a difference at all without Nic out on the floor outside of Milton looking to Jankovich for the calls — it showed.3 Down
1. Down the Stretch
SMU let Brown hang around just a little too long for my liking. The team went 3-of-9 in the last eight minutes of the game and along with some missed free throws, allowed Brown to cut it to single digits. Luckily, Brown went 5-of-13 in the last eight minutes. SMU needed to do a little bit better job of closing this game out. SMU had Brown on the ropes, but never ended any hope for a Brown comeback.
2. Forced Shots
The SMU bigs tried to overpower Brown just a little too much. Kennedy and Tolbert put multiple shots up with three guys draped all over them. Even with the size advantage, Kennedy and Tolbert could have passed the ball out a little more to settle things down at times. This is really nitpicky, but I'm sure SMU would have rather taken extra possessions rather than forced attempts. SMU could have really capitalized on those possesions to build a bigger lead.
3. Three-Point Defense
Like Jankovich said in his press conference, he was hoping Brown would eventually cool down from beyond the arc and they did, shooting 53 percent in the first half and just 40 percent in the second half. If SMU would have done a better job rotating and closing out, the team could have maybe affected more shots. Jankovich said the great thing is, that SMU won't likely face a team with as many three-point shooters as Brown.