North Texas Mean Green vs. FIU Golden Panthers
Date: February 21, 2015
Time: 5:00 pm CT
Location: Miami, FL
Radio: MGRN – 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM
All-Time Series: UNT Lead 13-4
UNT comes in riding a 3 game winning streak. The Mean Green are playing good basketball at the time of year that you need too. As a coach you want your team to be hitting its stride come conference tourney time, which is exactly what NT is doing. FIU is coming off a dramatic last second win over Rice. FIU is 6-3 at home this season.
UNT O vs FIU D
FIU is one of the better D’s in CUSA. They lead CUSA in FG% D at 40%. What the Panthers do well is attack teams with their length and switch defenses often. NT is coming off one of their best offensive performances of the season. They will need to continue their hot shooting, because FIU is likely to pack the paint.
UNT D vs FIU O
Statistically FIU is a poor offensive team. The Panthers rank last in offensive efficiency in CUSA. What they do have is two proven scoring threats in G Dennis Mavin and F Adrian Diaz. Diaz will provide match up problems with his 6-11 frame. Diaz is also hitting on 61% of FGs. Look for UNT to go more zone against an FIU team that doesn’t live and die by the 3. Also look for UNT to be more aggressive with traps and full court pressure, because FIU struggles with ball pressure. They turned it over 28 times against La Tech.
Key Personnel Match-up:
Dennis Mavin vs. Maurice Aniefiok/DeAndre Harris/UNT Zone
Mavin is an athletic guard who can get to the hoop when he wants to. He is the Panthers leading scorer and assist man. In CUSA play he is lighting teams up and averaging 18.7 ppg and 3 assists p/g. He takes 31% of FIU shots and is used on 30% of their possessions.
Keys to the Game:
- Force TO’s/Aggressive D. It will be the continue to be the most important key for the rest of the season. Also FIU turns it over on 23% of their possessions.
- Good Shot Selection. With FIU protecting the paint, NT has to avoid temptation to hoist up long shots. They need to remain patient. NT is not a great deep shooting team.
- Protect the Paint. Mavin wants to get in the paint. FIU wants to get the ball to Diaz in the paint. NT has to do a good job limiting these 2 guys.
Mean Green Nation Basketball Analyst UNT 65 – FIU 61
I’m starting to lean towards buying Mean Green stock. You cant deny that they are playing their best basketball of the year. You cant deny the fact that they actually look like a competent basketball team. They are talented, playing hard, and playing with confidence. All that combined makes them a very dangerous team.
NT and FIU are pretty evenly matched. FIU’s length could give NT some problems. NT’s aggressive D could give FIU problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game barely gets to 60 points. NT has the edge in offensive efficiency and thats why I give them the edge in this game. The way that T.J Taylor, DeAndre Harris, and Colin Voss are playing right now makes them a tougher team to guard.
I’m going against conventional wisdom and picking UNT to pull off the upset on the road. I just don’t think you can overlook the fact that UNT is playing so well at this moment. This win could continue to vault UNT up the CUSA standings. If UNT continues to play well I could see them climbing all the way up to 6th or 5th place by seasons end.
Go Mean Green!