SMU won its first nine games this season without its head coach.
And with Larry Brown back from suspension, the Ponies are 3-0 and 12-0 overall. SMU opened American Athletic Conference play on Tuesday night with no-doubt-about-it double-digit road win against respected Tulsa , an 81-69 ending.
The 17th-ranked Mustangs hit 56 percent of their shots and got 47 points combined from freshman Shake Milton and senior Nic Moore. Milton went nuts from deep, cashing seven of his eight attempts.
The Mustangs continue to show well in a season that will not end with an NCAA Tournament bid, or an invite to any tournament. NCAA sanctions will keep the program out of postseason play for the 2015-16 season, which is a shame, as this is clearly the best SMU team in ages — maybe ever. The team now has victories this season over Colorado, Michigan and Tulsa. Its offense ranks No. 3 in the country in efficiency.
Next up: a home date against South Florida, then a big home tilt against Cincinnati on Jan. 7.