Here is an overview of SMU’s game on 11.22 against Northern Iowa (UNI) and what Arizona basketball fans can expect for tonight’s game. UNI beat SMU 61-58.
#1 “Shake” Milton 6’6″ G (Jr.)
#31 Jimmy Whitt Jr. 6’3″ G (So.)
#10 Jarrey Foster 6’6″ G (Jr.)
#21 Ben Emelogu II 6’5″ G (Sr.)
#5 Ethan Chargois 6’9″ F (Fr.)
Off the bench: Everett Ray 6’7″ F (Fr.), Elijah Landrum 6’0″ G (Fr.), #3 William Douglas 6’5″ G (Fr.), Akoy Agau 6’8″ F (Sr.) (did not play in this game).
Offense: SMU runs a few different offensive sets but mainly relies on dribble-drive to create offense. They will mix in some high pick and roll (who doesn’t in modern basketball?), some slip screens, and at times start their offense with getting the ball to a post player at the high block/elbow area where they will run a series of curls and dives to the basket. They didn’t push the tempo too much against UNI and didn’t look too often to get out and run. #5 Chargois and #24 Ray are their only legitimate post players. SMU looked to a lot of one-on-one plays to create shots and passing opportunities.
Defense: SMU played a straight half-court man defense for the first 38 minutes and, when down a few points late, switched to a 2-3 and 1-3-1 trapping zone on a few possessions. They played pretty good help defense and had very active hands causing a few turnovers and loose balls.
Strengths: Overall this is a very athletic team that looks to create their own shots and though not a big team overall is very aggressive on the boards. They used their athleticism to back-door and dive to the basket for a number of easy buckets/lob dunks.
Weaknesses: Overall size. Lack of depth. Played poor defense at times and got out of control/sloppy on offense quite regularly. Averaging almost 12 turnovers per game. Was not able to get the ball in the hoop with consistency, only scoring 58 points against UNI.
Summary: The players to watch for SMU are #1 “Shake” Milton (how can a player named Shake not be one to watch?), #10 Jarrey Foster, and #21 Ben Emelogu. #31 Jimmy Whitt has long arms and very active hands on D. They are shooting almost 40% from 3 so far this year and only 68% from the foul line as a team. That team % is skewed by Shake Milton shooting a 1/4 of their free throws and being 92% from the line this year. If you subtract Shake’s free throws, the rest of the team is shooting 59% from the line.
Keys for Arizona: After their loss to N.C. State we can expect the Cats to come out aggressive and with a mean streak. SMU is quite similar to N.C. State in their athleticism and their ability to get into the lane on dribble penetration. The Cats will, once again, have a significant size advantage on offense with Ayton and Ristic. Ayton and Trier have been Arizona’s primary offensive weapons and should be able to have good games again tonight but will need other teammates going forward to step up and contribute consistently offensively, and mainly defensively.