Basketball Talk Wednesday: Week 2

Week 1 Thoughts

  • How can you not start out by giving a gigantic shout out to the North Texas Women’s Basketball team? They went up to Oklahoma and defeated the #17th ranked Sooners. No one gave them much of a chance to even compete in that game. I flipped over to it once the 4th quarter started and it was a joy to watch. Playing with only 6 eligible player NT stood toe to toe with OU. OU made their run and closed the gap, but every time the Mean Green needed a bucket or a stop they got it. Kelsey Criner almost delivered a triple double and Terra Ellison also had a good game. New Womens BBall Coach Jalie Mitchell may turn out to be a terrific head coach. She has impressed everyone since her arrival on campus as the coach. I guaranteed at the beginning of the year that they wouldn’t finish dead last in CUSA and I feel pretty good about that now.
  • The North Texas Mens BBall team started play this past week and it was pretty obvious to see the improved play offensively. One huge reason why they look so different is because of J-Mychal Reese the transfer PG from A&M. Reese makes this team go. His ability to distribute and push the ball up the floor has improved the offense. He also is able to break down the defense down off the dribble and get into the lane. UNT didn’t really have that last year out of its PG play. The team as a whole struggled to create penetration off the dribble. Reese has excelled at getting open looks for his teammates so far. An underrated part of Reese’s game is his ability to beat a press by himself. How many times did UNT struggle to bring the ball up floor last year after made baskets? It always seemed like an adventure. Benford now has a guy at PG that he trusts and it has made the offense look good.
  • Reese isnt the only one who has showed ability to break down defenses. Newcomers Ja’Michael Brown and Deckie Johnson have flashed the ability to drive and knock down open shots. Brown is an exciting player to watch. He may end up having a better year than Combs did as a freshman. What makes Brown so good as a freshman is his ability to find open teamates like Reese. Brown is second on the team in assists with 10, which is only 2 less then Reese, and in 20 less minutes. Also Brown and Johnson have shown that they are pretty good shooters, making above 40% from the 3pt line and from inside the arch.
  • Combs has improved his mid range jumper which certainly helps the offense. He will be a double machine this year.
  • Rickey Brice Jr. has shown that he can be a force on the defensive end. He doesn’t really have an offensive game to speak of yet. He leads the team in defensive rebounds, but only has 3 on offense. He will continue to be a project on the offensive end, but I see him making solid contributions on defense. It always helps to have a rim protector when your defense is overly aggressive.
  • Katenda had a good first game against Texas College, but he did a lot of damage in garbage time. Im hoping he can eventually be the scoring big with role players. Outside of Combs this team doesn’t really have a scoring big. Yes there have been guys that have scored against these lower schools, but against better completion Combs is the only guy you trust. Fuller has great size in terms of width, but he isnt explosive. Guys like him take time to figure out how to score with their back to the basket. He is going to try to over power guys, because of his size, but watch how many times he gets his shot blocked. He will need to learn how to effectively use his size.
  • Overall there is a lot to like about how this team has started. They look like a team that shouldn’t have trouble scoring. It will be interesting to see how they react when a team gets them into a slower paced game. I think Idaho is going to try that. Another interesting thing will be to watch this team in a close game. Benford isnt short on scoring options, but who gets the ball when the game is on the line? Is it Reese? Do you throw it in to Combs? Personally I may even think about giving the ball to Brown. He is a baller.

Week 1 Results

Jarvis Christian W, 112-82

Texas College W, 110-61

Week 1 Offensive MVP – J-Mychal Reese

Week 1 Defensive MVP -Rickey Brice Jr.


 

Upcoming Game Information

North Texas vs. Idaho

Time: November 23, 2015 7:30 pm CT

Location: The Super Pit, Denton TX

TV: Mean Green All Access Webcast

Radio: 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM

North Texas Backcourt
VS.
Idaho Backcourt
Symbol 2
Edge
North Texas Frontcourt
VS.
Idaho Front Court
Edge
Symbol 2
North Texas Coaching
VS.
Idaho Coaching
Edge
Symbol 2
North Texas
Idaho
84
Offensive Rating
79
75
Defensive Rating
83
Prediction
North Texas78
Idaho69

 

North Texas vs. Samford

Time: November 24, 2015 7:30 pm CT

Location: The Super Pit, Denton TX

TV: Mean Green All Access Webcast

Radio: 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM

North Texas Backcourt
VS.
Samford Backcourt
Symbol 2
Edge
North Texas Frontcourt
VS.
Samford Front Court
Symbol 2
Edge
North Texas Coaching
VS.
Samford Coaching
Symbol 2
Edge
North Texas
Samford
84
Offensive Rating
80
75
Defensive Rating
71
Prediction
North Texas81
Samford76

 


Team Information

Idaho

Samford

North Texas


 

CUSA Power Rankings Week 2

BBall Power Ranking Week 2

If this team is able to soundly beat Idaho and Samford, I would feel more confident in saying that they can compete in CUSA. Right now they’ve beaten down 2 non Div 1 schools. Yes they’ve looked impressive, but what do we really know about this team? I think we are better than last year for sure, but I wont overact to these first 2 wins. These next 2 games will definitely prove to me if North Texas deserves to move up in the Power Rankings.

Just for reference here is CUSA RPI Rankings

RK (RPI) TEAM RPI
1 (6) Louisiana Tech 0.8477
2 (85) Florida Atlantic 0.5838
3 (104) Rice 0.5618
4 (147) UAB 0.4411
5 (160) Texas San Antonio 0.4048
6 (208) Old Dominion 0.3493
7 (246) Charlotte 0.3247
8 (306) UTEP 0.1057
9 (313) Florida Intl 0.102
10 (322) North Texas 0.092
11 (324) Marshall 0.0889
12 (332) Southern Mississippi 0.0818
13 (337) Middle Tennessee 0.0785
14 (344) Western Kentucky 0.0733