Basketball Talk: Week 15

  • North Texas was able to bounce back from 2 ugly road losses to capture 2 nice home victories against the Florida schools. Deckie Johnson put on a show in both victories. When Johnson is shooting the ball well UNT becomes a hard team to beat. He will need to continue his hot streak on the road against La. Tech and Southern Miss this week. North Texas has won only one game on the road this year. The Mean Green has played well at times on the road, but have yet to put together a full game. The Southern Miss game is probably the best chance for a road game victory. Southern Miss ranks last in conference offense efficiency and 11th in defensive efficiency. North Texas beat USM by 16 points back on February 4th. The Louisiana Tech game looks more daunting. Tech ranks 1st in the conference when it comes to defensive efficiency and is 14-1 at home this year. Beating Southern Miss may end up being the difference in North Texas getting into that 8 vs 9 matchup in the conference tourney.
  • This is the best offensive team Benford has had since his arrival to North Texas. The offensive efficiency is up. Shooting percentages and assist percentages are up. Its not hard to see why either. This team can score in the post and is getting good production from the guards. Jeremy Combs is having a really solid sophomore campaign. Reese has stabilized the PG position. Katenda has been better than a lot of fans thought he would be. I thought the offensive side of the would look better this year, but it still looks disorganized at times. A lot of that can be attributed to this group of guys not playing with each other that long. I’ve always thought that the best mid major teams are composed of 4 year guys. Guys who’ve grown in the program. I believe that the way Benford is trying to build winner can be done, but not without elite level talent. Look at two good mid major teams like Davidson and Valpo. Those two teams are in the top 10 in having players that played minutes play the same amount of minutes this year. North Texas is in the bottom 10. Now I’m not saying to not improve the roster. I just wish there was more roster continuity with North Texas.
  • But even with the increased offensive production the wins haven’t come. They haven’t come because the defense has been atrocious at times. According to KenPom.com this has been Benford’s worst defensive efficiency team during his tenure. Looking at the numbers you will find that North Texas is allowing their opponents to shoot above 50% inside the 3 pt line and above 36% beyond it. Okay so why has it been to so bad? Well defense is about fundamentals and mentality. Not everyone can score, but everyone should be able to defend. I’ve seen plenty of poor fundamentals when watching this team defend.  I’ve seen how they defend passes with the wrong hand. Going for the steal instead of deflecting the ball. I’ve seen how this team struggles with rotation. How they struggle with keeping their man in front of them.  I don’t like the 2-3 zone at all. If you’re going to be a good zone team, you have to be very active with your hands and feet. I just don’t see that with this team. All the top defensive teams in the country are man to man teams, which is what I want North Texas to be.

Week 14 Results

FIU W, 77-75

FAU W, 70-62

Week 14 Offensive MVP – G Deckie Johnson

Week 14 Defensive MVP – F Eric Katenda


 

Upcoming Game Information

North Texas vs. Louisiana Tech

Time: February 25, 2015 8:00 pm CT

Location: Thomas Assembly Center, Ruston LA

TV: ASN

Radio: 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM

North Texas Backcourt
VS.
La. Tech Backcourt
Edge
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North Texas Frontcourt
VS.
La. Tech Front Court
Symbol 2
Edge
North Texas Coaching
VS.
La. Tech Coaching
Edge
Symbol 2
North Texas
La. Tech
63
Offensive Rating
75
51
Defensive Rating
73
Prediction
La. Tech 85
North Texas70

 

North Texas vs. Southern Miss

Time: February 27, 2015 7:00 pm CT

Location: Reed Green Coliseum, Hattiesburg, MS

TV: 

Radio: 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM

North Texas Backcourt
VS.
Southern Miss Backcourt
Symbol 2
Edge
North Texas Frontcourt
VS.
Southern Miss Front Court
Edge
Symbol 2
North Texas Coaching
VS.
Southern Miss Coaching
Edge
Symbol 2
North Texas
Southern Miss
63
Offensive Rating
40
51
Defensive Rating
66
Prediction
Southern Miss72
North Texas69

CUSA Power Rankings

Ranking
Team
MGN Rating
Overall Record
Conference Record
1
UAB
91
22-5
12-2
2
MARSHALL
83
15-12
11-3
3
MIDDLE TENNESSE ST
78
18-8
13-5
4
LOUISIANA TECH
76
20-7
11-7
5
UTEP
75
17-11
10-8
6
OLD DOMINION
74
15-12
8-6
7
CHARLOTTE
65
10-17
6-8
8
WESTERN KENTUCKY
59
13-14
5-9
9
FIU
49
12-16
6-9
10
RICE
42
11-16
6-8
11
NORTH TEXAS
33
11-16
6-8
12
FAU
30
7-21
5-10
13
SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
24
7-18
4-10
14
UTSA
18
5-23
3-12

 


MGN Projected CUSA Tourney Bracket

Bracket Projection