Ethan Chargois admits that his first two seasons playing basketball at Southern Methodist University flew by. Taking those experiences and learning opportunities to heart, he has become a leader for the Mustangs.
As a freshman, the Tulsa Union product averaged 9.1 points and 4.4 rebounds; last season, as a starter in 31 of 32 games, he averaged 12.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.
As a junior on a team without any seniors, the affable Chargois has undergone a paradigm shift.
“Yeah, it came real quick,” the Mustang forward says. “With all the new guys here … they’re trying to mix in, learn about the culture and what we’ve got going. They’ve made it easy on me, but at the same time, I’ve just got to keep going all season and pushing guys to be their best.”
In past seasons at SMU, Chargois shared the floor with fellow Tulsa County players Elijah Landrum, who also played at Union, and Owasso’s Malik “Shake” Milton, now in the NBA. He considers himself equally blessed to have Tyson Jolly, a transfer who grew up in Oklahoma City, as a Mustang teammate. Chargois believes having Oklahomans around is a daily reminder of his pride in the Sooner State.
“Whenever somebody asks me where I’m from, I’m always proud to say Tulsa,” he says. “They might give me a look or a stare, but I don’t really care. Most of my family’s there. I’ve got so many friends there and definitely I want to give back to that community if I’m blessed enough to make it to the next level.”
SMU coach Tim Jankovich, an assistant at Oklahoma State University from 1992 to 1993 under Eddie Sutton, replaced Hall of Famer Larry Brown on the Mustang bench in 2016. He says he likes what he’s seen from Chargois and expects more this season.
“He’s had a very good two years, but I think there’s another step for him,” Jankovich says. “He’s very talented. He’s working harder than he’s ever worked. He’s getting better and better in a lot of ways. He’s more consistent. I think his potential is great. I’ve told him that for a long time. I’m excited for what’s to come the next two years with him.”
One game Chargois has circled on his calendar is the Feb. 22 visit to the Reynolds Center to play the University of Tulsa – only his second trip to his hometown with SMU.
“I didn’t get to go there last year. Tulsa just came [to Dallas] last year,” he says. “My freshman year, I’ll never forget that game. I was so excited to go back home. My whole family [was there]. I was expecting to put up 30 points, this and that. Then, I ended up with like two points and we lost the game. I definitely don’t want that this year.”