1. Shake Milton
The homecoming for former Owasso (Okla.) star Shake Milton couldn't have gone any better. Milton went 7 for 7 from three-point range before missing his last attempt. Milton mixed in a layup after he opened his night with four straight threes to finish with 24 points in 34 minutes. Milton got the start and while SMU was sloppy early, Milton's scoring kept SMU in it until the Mustangs managed to come back and take over the game. The only question Larry Brown and company are asking is: can we play every game in Oklahoma?
2. Nic Moore
Moore didn't make his first basket until 13:55 to go in the first half, but turned it on from there. Moore finished with nine points in the first half before his 15-point second half explosion. Moore had two turnovers in the first half before settling in. With all the fouls, Nic had trouble getting SMU into a groove I thought and he even got into a little foul trouble himself with two fouls in the first half that left Milton out there to run the show.
3. Mean Streak
It was really nice to see SMU get challenged for one of the few times all season and them respond with grit and an attitude. This was almost tournament basketball we saw from both sides in terms of physicality. There were hard fouls on both ends and Tulsa didn't like a lot of them, but it eventually wore Tulsa down I thought. Ben Moore, Sterling Brown and Jordan Tolbert all had a few things to say multiple times to a few Tulsa players after plays. That mean streak as SMU gets going into the conference play will help. SMU has a target on their back so teams will take their shots, but SMU certainly hit back hard against the Golden Hurricane.
SMU started off really sloppy with some bad turnovers and passing to start out. With eight turnovers in the first half, SMU could have been in a really bad spot without cleaning it up in the second half. Instead, SMU cleaned up its mistakes and took better care of the ball. SMU couldn't get into any sort of rhythm in the first half because of turnovers and fouls. It happened plenty of times last year that SMU would have a tough first half with turnovers then loosen up and play.
2. Three-Point Defense
Tulsa had only 18 of their 69 points from three-point land, but went just 6-for-20 from beyond the arc. Pretty much all of those shots were good looks too. A lot of it was Tulsa getting the ball inside and kicking it back out or making that extra pass. SMU though didn't help itself by moving slow into position. After the holiday break, it wasn't a huge surprise to see the team moving a little slower. They'll get their movements right as they get back into shape and back to playing together.
3. Keith Frazier
Frazier had four points on 2-of-6 shooting, two rebounds, an assist and a steal. Frazier also had a turnover and his shot selection wasn't that great. Even worse, Frazier was slow to rotate back to his man on multiple occasions, which led to a few open looks and makes by Tulsa. Frazier is always an up-and-down player and his stat line isn't horrible when Milton and Moore are lighting it up, but again, SMU needs a little more consistency from Frazier. He can turn in the effort and a good performance when he wants to, but yesterday just wasn't his best.