North Texas Mean Green vs. Nicholls Colonels
Date: November 17, 2014
Time: 7:30 pm CT
Location: Denton, TX
Radio: MGRN – 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM
All-Time Series: Nicholls leads 9-8
UNT is coming off a win last Friday night against Arkansas Monticello 84-62. The Mean Green looked like a more complete team than a year ago. Last year it was mainly about the perimeter players, this year Coach Benford has added a tremendous FR talent in Jeremy Combs. Combs came out a did little to disappoint the UNT fans, except for a missed dunk (Finish it off right big man!). It was a solid opening win for UNT, nothing spectacular or depressing, just a nice W in win column.
Now UNT must move on and turn its attention to the Nicholls Colonels and getting better. We still aren’t sure how good UNT is or how players like J-Mychal Reese, DeAndre Harris, T.J. Taylor, and Greg Wesley could effect this team. There are plenty of questions and plenty of games left to get those answers. Right now the focus should be getting better with the players that are healthy and eligible. This game offers a great chance for guys like Carrington Ward, Todd Eaglin, and Maurice Aniefiok to get some good looks. Chances our Nicholls saw the film of Jeremy Combs, Colin Voss, and Muhammed Ahmed dominating down low last game. The Colonels are going to pack the paint and force UNT to beat them from down town. I’m excited to see how that plays out, because in all honesty UNT needs to get more scoring from its guards if they want to be taken seriously down the road.
Key Personnel Match-up:
Jeremy Combs vs. NSUs Front Court
Jeremy Combs pretty much did what he wanted against Arkansas Monticello. He is going to face a little bit more size and athleticism from the Colonels forwards tonight. I would also expect NSU to pack the paint and force UNT to beat them from behind the ark.
Keys to the Game:
- Bring the Energy. Even if you start slow on offense having good energy can translate to better defense. Better defense can lead to steals and turnovers, which could get UNT early baskets.
- 3 PT Defense. Last Year NSU shot 36% behind the ark and they were a 3 pt shooting team. I would like to see a similar effort today
- Own the Boards. NSU almost got out rebounded by Mobile in its exhibition game. I would like to see UNT win the REB margin by double digits
- Ball – You – Man. Saw much better help defense than last years group, but it could still use work. Dont want to see any easy buckets
- Protect the ball. UNT was sloppy at times with it against Arkansas M. They need to clean that up tonight
The Expert Picks:
Team Rankings – UNT 73 – NSU 65
Kenpom.com – UNT 77 – NSU 67
Mean Green Nation Basketball Expert – UNT 80 – NSU 69
After the opening win I feel fairly confident UNT should be able to put away the Colonels tonight. They have the better players and seem to be on their way to having a better season. What I mainly want to see tonight how well UNT handles the success of their first game and what they do when a team packs the paint to defend against Combs. My belief is that a guy like Aniefiok could have a big game. No way can NSU account for Combs and Jordan Williams without leaving someone else open. Also look for a good amount of high low action with Voss up high and Combs down low if the Colonels go 2-3 zone. Voss is a fairly good passer and decent mid range shooter. Should make it difficult for the Colonels to stay in the zone for long.
Go Mean Green!