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2017-18 BBall Season: FIU Preview


North Texas travels to Florida to face FIU, in a must win game.

  • Thursday, Feb 22 2018
  • 6:00 p.m. CT
  • Ocean Bank Convocation Center , Miami FL
  • TV:  CUSA TV
  • Radio: MGRN – 88.1 KNTU-FM
  • Line: FIU -1

What You Need to Know About FIU

Record: 11-16 (5-9)

Last Game vs UNT: L 67-69

Last Game: FAU L 77-72

Scoring Margin: 0.0

CUSA Scoring Margin: -2.1

 Projected Starting Lineups

North Texas

Player Position Stat
Ryan Woolridge 6-3 G 5.8 A/pg
Roosevelt Smart 6-3 G 19.6 PT/pg
A.J. Lawson 6-5 G 9.7 PT/pg
Allante Holston 6-7 F 3.9 PT/pg
Zachary Simmons 6-9 F 6.1 PT/pg



Player Position Stat
Brian Beard Jr. 5-10 G 16.3 PT/pg
Trejon Jacob 6-5 G 14.9 PT/pg
Eric Lockett 6-5 G 13.9 PT/pg
Hassan Hussein 6-9 F 6.1 PT/pg
Jay Harvey 6-9 C 1.6 PT/pg

Game Plan

Attacking FIU

North Texas has been getting better offense of late. I’d like to think that its not just who they’ve been playing, but rather how. Lawson and Simmons have really provided a spark of scoring. Lawson is a guy we know can score, but his injury has held him back. Lawson has done a better job finishing around the rim. Simmons is similar. He is finishing around the rim. He has been underrated at positioning himself in passing lanes. Most of his scores are easy buckets.

FIU is a decent defensive team. They excel in 3pt defense, and tend to allow their opponents to shoot a good percentage from 2pt range. Most of FIU’s opponents do their damage inside, and at the free throw line.  The Panthers area of strength is steal and turnovers. They are the 2nd best team in CUSA play in getting steals

These are the most likely player match-ups when UNT is on offense. This is solely based on the starting 5. FIU changed their match-ups the most last game. Mainly between the guards. Beard Jr switched a lot. Lockett started out on Smart when UNT went big. I’m not sure how comfortable Grant is going big with Temara not being a factor of late. Beard Jr, couldnt guard Ryan, so they put the more athletic Lockett on him. Wooldridge can still take him. Smart rushed a bunch of his shots over Beard. Beard acted like a pest on Rose.


Stats are from last game. Note that the first 14:30 mins were missing from stats, because there was no video to review. 


Defending FIU

FIU is a guard dominant team. Lockett, Beard Jr, and Jacob are the guys that will do most of the attacking for FIU.  This trio took 44 shots the last game against UNT. Most of their offensive sets were run with lots of high ball screens for the guards. Those 3 guards did a good job of attacking inside the arch. Biggest take away from last game is not to let FIU get easy offense from turnovers and the fast break. If you take that away FIU will struggle to score in the half court.

Offensively FIU is pretty bad. They dont shoot well at all. They get to the free throw line a lot, but dont make them. They do a pretty good job at not turning the ball over though.

These are the most likely player match-ups when FIU is on offense.  I will say that Draper guarded Beard the most, and Smart got matched up with Lockett a lot and struggled to contain him. However, when all these players are on the floor these are what you can expect. FIU has the size advantage. Douglas and Hussein played a lot on the perimeter though and were non factors.

Stats are from last game. Note that the first 14:30 mins were missing from stats, because there was no video to review. 



Go To Guys




3 Points

  1. Keep the turnovers to a minimum. 20 last time against FIU. That led to 20 points. Can’t do that and expect to win on the road.
  2. Second half offense and defense has to get better. UNT really needs to get their defense efficiency back after last week.
  3. Smart is the run ender. When UNT struggles or FIU gets hot, Smart has to be the dude to take over. He can’t go missing during those times.

Inside the Advanced Stat Match-up




I like North Texas in this one. FIU doesn’t have a good enough offense to beat UNT. Yeah I know last time it took a last second shot to beat FIU, but I think UNT is a better team now. Especially on offense. This game will allow NT to gain some confidence on defense.

My Pick:  North Texas by 5

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