North Texas is back at home after suffering heart breaking defeat to their Metroplex foe UTA.
- Wednesday, Dec 6 2017
- 7 p.m. CT
- Super Pit, Denton, TX
- TV: CUSA TV
- Radio: MGRN – 88.1 KNTU-FM
What You Need to Know About Indiana St
Conference: Missouri Valley
Coach: Greg Lansing (8th season at Indiana St. 123-112 )
Last Game: Air Force W 74-64
Attacking Indiana St
North Texas wasn’t spectacular on offense last time out against UTA, but they battled. Tonight could be a similar performance. North Texas will be without their 6th man and secondary point guard Jorden Duffy. Duffy is battling an injury and is out for an uncertain amount of time. Without Duffy North Texas is down another perimeter shooter. In Duffy’s absence DJ Draper got significant minutes. Draper hadn’t played more than 5 mins since the Nebraska game. Against UTA Draper logged 21 minutes and had a game grade of B+. That’s a pretty solid effort. Draper isn’t the most athletically gifted guy, but he is scrappy, and can hit from distance, which is something UNT desperately needs. North Texas needs Draper to connect on a few outside shots tonight.
Indiana St is statistically as good as UTA was, but they don’t have the length that UTA had. Length has been the one thing that’s really bothered North Texas this year.
Indiana St has primarily played in man defense this year, and they have forced a good amount of turnovers. The Sycamores are forcing 16.3 a game. Its been well documented how much North Texas struggles to take care of the ball. When the all the ball handlers on your team have a turnover rate of over 20% that is bad. Lawson and Woolridge handle the ball the most and have accounted for most of NT’s turnovers this year. They must cut down on the mental mistakes during the game.
Don’t get sucked into the man defense prediction. Indiana St will play plenty of zone. They aren’t concerned with the outside shooting threat of North Texas. They are more concerned with the ability of North Texas to get to the basket. That’s fine, North Texas has been doing a much better job against the zone lately. In fact it may allow guys like Smart and Draper to get a few more open looks.
The most glaring weakness in the Indiana St defense is their free throw rate allowed. They are one of the worst in the country. If you dig deeper into that stat you’ll see that some games they are okay. Last game against Air Force only attempted 18 free throws. However, the game before Ball St. shot 30. The aggressive nature of North Texas should be an advantage tonight.
Defending Indiana St
Indiana St isn’t as good as the past couple of match-ups that North Texas has had. The Sycamores dont have any NBA caliber players, but they do have a couple of talented guards. Brenton Scott is probably their best all around guard and player. He is a very good scoring guard who can get points at all levels.
Jordan Barnes was on the Missouri Valley All Frosh team last year. Barns is the point guard for Indiana St and does a good job at distributing the ball. His assist rate is one of the tops in the Valley. Barnes has also improved his 3 point shooting this year. Last year he was shooting just 33% from behind the arch. This year he is shooting 50%.
The other guard to watch out for is Qiydar Davis. Davis is graduate transfer from Louisiana Tech. Davis was hindered by multiple knee injuries at La Tech. Davis isnt a great shooter, but he is a really good defender.
The best players in the Sycamore front court are Brandon Murphy and Devin Thomas. Thomas was expected to have a big impact for Indiana St this year. He is a JUCO product who had 100 blocked shots last year. This year he is still trying to get adjusted to D1 basketball. For the amount of minutes he is playing he still gets a good amount of blocked shots. The other front court player Brandon Murphy is a beast of a man. He is 270 and very athletic. Not a big scoring threat, but another paint protector.
Projected Starting Lineups
|Ryan Woolridge 6-3||G||4.1 A/pg|
|Roosevelt Smart 6-3||G||17.1 PT/pg|
|A.J. Lawson 6-5||G||10 PT/pg|
|Zachary Simmons 6-9||F||4.9 PT/pg|
|Shane Temara 6-9||F||7 REB/pg|
|Jordan Barnes 5-11||G||4 A/pg|
|Brenton Scott 6-2||G||12.4 PT/pg|
|Qiydar Davis 6-5||G||12 PT/pg|
|Bronson Kessinger 6-8||F||3.7 PT/pg|
|Brandon Murphy 6-7||F||6.6 PT/pg|
Go To Guys
- Who steps up in the absence of Duffy ?
- Can North Texas get past the moral victories and beat a solid opponent?
- Ryan Woolridge will lead the team in points tonight.
Inside the Advanced Stat Match-up
This is a very winnable game for North Texas. The spread and picks below say the same thing. If NT had Duffy tonight I would feel much more comfortable making this pick, but he’s out. That makes this a tough game to call. On one hand you have North Texas who has been playing to the level of their opponent. On the other hand you have to think that NT will come back down to earth and struggle a little bit against a similar foe. I think North Texas will continue its progression. Something about the fight in this team has me as a believer. I have North Texas winning a close one.
Vegas: Indiana St -4
Teamrankings: Indiana St by 3
Numberfire: North Texas by 1
My Pick: North Texas by 5