Come And Jump On It.

December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs forward Semi Ojeleye (33) wins the opening tip during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs forward Semi Ojeleye (33) moves into the paint during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Shake Milton (1) and guard Sterling Brown (3) collapse on an attempted shot by Stanford Cardinal guard Christian Sanders (1) during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Sterling Brown (3) looks to pass during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Sterling Brown (3) drives the lane during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Sterling Brown (3) forces a turnover during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Jarrey Foster (10) drives to the basket during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Sterling Brown (3) works the baseline during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Shake Milton (1) pushes the ball up the court during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Ben Emelogu II (21) during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: Stanford Cardinal guard Christian Sanders (1) reacts to a turnover during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Sterling Brown (3) pushes the ball up the court during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs head coach Tim Jankovich directs the defense during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: Stanford Cardinal center Grant Verhoeven (30) grabs a rebound during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: Former President George Bush looks on during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Sterling Brown (3) moves past a Stanford Cardinal defender during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Sterling Brown (3) moves past a Stanford Cardinal defender during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Sterling Brown (3) attempts a shot during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Ben Emelogu II (21) looks for a teammate during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Shake Milton (1) drives to the basket during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs forward Semi Ojeleye (33) attempts a shot under the basket during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Shake Milton (1) sets the offense during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Shake Milton (1) crosses over Stanford Cardinal guard Christian Sanders (1) during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Dashawn McDowell (5) pushes the ball up the court during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs forward Semi Ojeleye (33) attempts to get around a Stanford Cardinal defender during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs forward Semi Ojeleye (33) attempts a free throw during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs forward Semi Ojeleye (33) attempts a free throw during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: Stanford Cardinal guard Christian Sanders (1) reacts to his team's deficit during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Dashawn McDowell (5) works around the perimeter during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Sterling Brown (3) dunks during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Sterling Brown (3) dunks during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs forward Ben Moore (00) attempts a fast break layup during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Sterling Brown (3) passes to forward Semi Ojeleye (33) during an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs guard Jarrey Foster (10) greets fans after an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.December 19, 2016: SMU Mustangs forward Semi Ojeleye (33) greets fans after an NCAA basketball game between the Stanford Cardinals and SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX.

The SMU Men’s Hoops Team Is Playing Position-Less Basketball Season. And, Somehow, It’s Working For Them.

From the opening tip of last night’s home game at Moody Coliseum, the SMU men’s basketball team punched Stanford square in the mouth and left the Cardinal reeling for 40 minutes.

By the time Stanford stood to score their first points of the game, SMU had already rattled off a 14-point lead, attacking the lane for quick layups and hitting clean jump shots.  That intensity, meanwhile, was matched on the other end of the court with an aggressive half-court press and a smothering defense that forced turnovers and blocked shots. SMU maintained control throughout the first half, heading into halftime with a 48-19 lead en route to a dominant 72-49 win.

“I thought we played outstanding — offense and defense,” head coach Tim Jankovich said after the game, which brought his team to a 9-3 record on the season. “I like the direction we’re heading. I like our chemistry.”

The win was an important one for a team still defining its identity — especially after SMU lost its most-hyped freshman, Harry Froling, earlier in the month. The 6-foot-11 forward left the team last week after expressing disappointment with his role, according to reports. Froling’s departure was a huge blow to the Mustangs’ depth, and will force the team to play small-ball lineups the rest of the season. But it’s a situation head coach Jankovich is taking in stride.

“We’re kind of a five-wing team,” Jankovich told the Dallas Morning News last week. “So maybe we can create some match-up problems for people.”

On Monday night, the Mustangs came out playing position-less basketball on both sides of the ball. On defense, the team effortlessly rotated with the ball, collapsing on shooters and aggressively forcing contested shots while using their athleticism and length to their advantage on taller players. Senior forward Ben Moore shined on defense, finishing the game with four blocks and limiting Stanford leading scorer Reid Travis to just 10 points. On offense, ball movement was quick and efficient, allowing for good shots, with the team shooting 60 percent in the first half, from all over the floor. Senior guard Sterling Brown led the team with 16 points and was one of four Mustangs to score in double figures. Sophomore guard Shake Milton led the team in assists with nine, four of which were alley-oop connections.

The win was a complete game by a seven-man rotation.

“Everyone’s a point guard, anyone can set a ball screen, anyone can use the ball screen,” Jankovich said of his approach to this roster. “We’re not trying to define a guy, we’re not trying to pigeonhole or limit him. We’re trying to play free-flowing basketball with a lot of interchangeable parts – and we kinda have to.”

The Mustangs are currently riding a five-game win streak but have a tough test tonight, playing Albany on just 24 hour’s rest. But it’s all in preparation for conference play.

We did that kinda for a toughness challenge because the conference tournament is important,” Jankovich said of the back-to-back scheduling of tonight’s game against the 7-5 Great Danes. “The conference tournament is hard, and you play back to back. You don’t get days to prepare.”

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