North Texas Mean Green vs. Delaware St. Hornets
Date: November 19, 2014
Time: 7:00 pm CT
Location: Denton, TX
Radio: MGRN – 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM
All-Time Series: First Meeting
UNT will be taking on the 2-0 Delaware St. Hornets tonight. The Hornets have defeated Penn and Baptist Bible so far this season. Delaware St is lead by their first team all MEAC C Kendall Gray. Gray is averaging 16.5 ppg and 10.5 rebounds. Besides Gray look to see action from G DeAndre Haywood who leads the Hornets in scoring, and F Tyshawn Bell. Bell is the Hornets best 3 point shooter, he knocked down 4 in the season opening win vs. Penn.
UNT also comes into this game 2-0 having defeated Arkansas Monticello and Nicholls. For UNT this game is about continuing to get better. Continuing to find out what line-up works best. Correcting the sloppiness of Monday night. Finding ways to make the offense look more fluid. Finding players who can knock down an outside shot. UNT has fallen in love with their zone defense, but it susceptible and still needs plenty of work. There are plenty of things for UNT to work on before its big match-up with Iona on Sunday.
Key Personnel Match-up:
Kendall Gray vs. UNTs Front Court
Kendall Gray is stat sheet stuffer and the first true test for the UNT front court. I’m pretty sure Benford is going to start out with Voss on Gray, because Gray is a physical presence. Gray is not only good on the offensive end, but defensively he has accounted for 8 blocked shots this year. He is pretty close to becoming the Hornets all time leader in that area. With the way UNT likes to challenge the rim and drive to the basket it will be interesting to watch how much Gray effects their shots. On the flip side if Gray is challenging a lot of shots that could lead to more offensive rebounds.
Keys to the Game:
- Protect the ball. Too much sloppy play in these early games. UNT needs to cut their TO avg down to around 10.
- Better Shot Selection. Would like to see UNT more patient in this game. Make Delaware play some defense. Dont just drive to the hole and throw up contested crap shots.
- Penetration D. Nicholls got into the lane a lot against UNT on Monday. If they are going to play so much zone you can’t allow that to happen, because thats one way a zone breaks down. Allowing penetration tonight could lead to a lot of dunks from Gray.
- Perimeter Offense. Facing a big like Gray will force the UNT guards to play at a high level. Taylor, Aniefiok, Pittman, Harris, and Williams need to knock down some jumpers.
The Expert Picks:
Team Rankings – UNT 73 – Delaware St 64
Kenpom.com – UNT 73 – Delaware St 65
Mean Green Nation Basketball Expert – UNT 79 – Delaware St 70
It would not surprise me one bit to see UNT and Delaware St. play a close game. I think there is still a bunch of moving parts for UNT that are getting acclimated to one another. If Ainefiok plays the offense should look a little more fluid. there was too much standing around action against Nicholls and not enough ball movement. It will be interesting to see if T.J. Taylor continues to shoot the ball good. UNT needs those guards/wing players to start to fill it up. Outside of Taylor and Williams I’m not sure UNT has a scorer. Pittman and Harris are two guys who could add to that list. Pittman has shown he can get to the foul line and Harris has shown he can get past his defender with ease. Neither one of those guys really displayed good outside shooting yet. I also want to see how Combs, Voss, and Ahmed handle the length of Gray.
Go Mean Green!