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2018 CBI Tournament: NT vs Jacksonville St


North Texas looks to continue its CBI run against a very physical defensive Jacksonville St team .

  • Wednesday, March 21 2018
  • 7:00 p.m. CT
  • The Super Pit , Denton, TX
  • TV:  ESPN 3
  • Radio: MGRN – 88.1 KNTU-FM
  • Line: EVEN

What You Need to Know About Jacksonville St

Record: 23-12 (11-7 Ohio Valley)

Coach: Ray Harper 2nd season at JSU (43-27)

Last Game:  W Central Arkansas 80-59

Scoring Margin: 6.9

Ohio Valley Scoring Margin: 2.7

 Projected Starting Lineups

North Texas (CBI AVG)

Player Position Stat
Ryan Woolridge 6-3 G 10 A/pg
Jorden Duffy 6-1 G 25 PT/pg
Roosevelt Smart 6-3 G 32.5 PT/pg
Michael Miller 6-3 G 12.5 PT/pg
Zach Simmons 6-9 F 11 REB/pg


Jacksonville St (CBI AVG)

Player Position Stat
Jamall Gregory 6-3 G 6 PT/pg
Malcolm Drumwright 6-2 G 18.5 PT/pg
Marlon Hunter 6-3 G 10.5 PT/pg
Christian Cunningham 6-7 F 3.5 PT/pg
Norbertas Giga 7-0 C 9 REB/pg

Scouting Report

Jacksonville St

  • Defense – Primary is Man, but they will mix in zone.
  • Best Offensive Weapon – Jason Burnell
  • Best Shooter – Jason Burnell
  • Best Defender – Jason Burnell
  • Rim Protecter – Yes, Norbetas Giga
  • Primary Offensive Scoring Way – Mid Range Shots
  • Secondary Offensive Scoring Way – Second Chances/Offensive Rebound. One of the best in the country at getting put back points.
  • Offensive Weakness – Not a good outside shooting team.
  • Defensive Weakness – They dont have a lot of weak areas on defense.  If you can hit 3’s and mid range jumpers then you can score on them.
  • Defensive Strengths – Rim Protection, they dont allow their opponents to score much in the paint. They also dont allow their opponent to get up a lot of shots.


Go To Guys





Player Match-ups


Gregory is considered the best athlete on the JSU team, so this should be a fun match-up to watch. Gregory does most of his damage getting to the rim, but he can step out and hit a 3 if he is left open. Ryan has been dynamic in the CBI. With more shooting surrounding him, its allowed him to play free.


Hunter played under Harper at WKU, and then transferred to Odessa College. Harper is a really good defender that should get the assignment of trying to shutdown Smart. On offense Hunter is more of a mid range and get to the basket guy.  85% of Hunter’s shots came inside the arch. If you’re a North Texas fan, you already know how dynamic Smart is.  Hunter isn’t the type of guy that gives Smart issues on the offensive end, so Smart should get his share of open looks again.



Malcolm Drumwright is really solid player. He led JSU in points per game, and assists. He will be a tough guard for Duffy. Duffy has been nothing short of sensational during the CBI. He’s left many UNT fans exciting for next year, and wondering what if for the past year. Duffy will be able to get open looks against Drumwright when UNT has the ball, but Drumwright is the higher caliber player.

Cunningham is a good low post scorer and defender. His size and strength maybe an issue for the smaller defender Miller. Cunningham is the top rebounder for JSU.  If Miller can step out and hit a few 3’s again, he will do his part in pulling Cunningham away from the basket. This match-up is the most intriguing, because of their differing style of play.  Miller is also going to see a lot of Burnell.



Giga is one of those European players who can pass, dribble, and shoot.  He’s not a great shooter, but more of a capable shooter.  Giga has had somewhat of a disappointing year. JSU was expecting him to be more dominate. Simmons has continued to improve throughout the season.  Simmons has grown into a solid big. He can score around the rim with both hands. Giga gets the overall nod here, because he can do a little bit more. Simmons will still get his in this game, because Woolridge will break down the JSU defense.


Other Contributors 

JSU – Jason Burnell

Burnell is a basically the 6th starter for this JSU team. He will play the 4 for JSU when he is on the floor, but he is more of a guard. Wont’t take a lot of 3’s, but is capable of knocking them down. Burnell can really score from anywhere on the court. Burnell was a JUCO star, who struggled to find his way at Georgia Southern. Under Harper at JSU he has really taken off.

JSU – Jacara Cross

Big dude, looks like a football player. Doesnt get a lot of minutes, but he does contribute when he plays.  Against Central Arkansas he had 13 pts and 13 boards.

UNT – DJ Draper

Draper is a 3 pt sniper, who has seen his role diminish some with Duffy getting healthy. Draper is a solid bench contributor. He is a sneaky good defender, and as mentioned already he can knock down the open 3. Draper has struggled in the CBI going 0-6 from behind the arch.


UNT – Tope Arikawe

Tope is a high energy forward. He gets himself into trouble with his aggressiveness at time. Tope does a solid job with his post defense and rebounding ability. Tope didnt play against South Dakota, but had 7 boards and 6 assists against Mercer. Tope will need to provide solid minutes tonight vs the JSU front court.


Inside the Advanced Stat Match-up



3 Points

  1. 3 Point Shooting – North Texas has been on fire from downtown in the CBI. That will need to continue tonight, if UNT wants to win. JSU is too good of a defensive team, when it comes to protecting the paint
  2. Second Chance Points – 32 second chance points for JSU during the CBI. JSU is one of the best second chance scoring teams in the country. North Texas has to do a great job of team rebounding, and blocking out.
  3. Attack – North Texas has thrived off of early runs in the past 2 games. The Mean Green will need to do that again tonight. Use the energy created, by what should be a great atmosphere, to bury JSU early.


The way North Texas is playing right now you have to pick the Mean Green. They don’t have to go inside to score, they can get open looks by spacing the floor with shooters around Woolridge. That makes UNT a very hard team to guard. Jacksonville St is a little bit better of a defensive team then South Dakota was. They certainly are much more physical. If you’re a North Texas fan the one thing that has to concern you the most tonight is the front court of Burnell, Giga, and Cunningham. Their physical play could put the slim NT front court in foul trouble. Those guys could also do damage on the boards and second chance points.

I like North Texas to win this game and move onto the CBI Finals. Too much mojo, and firepower for JSU to overcome tonight.

My Pick:  North Texas by 5

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