Woolridge couldn’t get his last second floater to drop, and North Texas dropped another heart breaker.
- North Texas let one of the worst offensive teams in the conference get pretty much whatever they wanted last night. It was hard to watch. North Texas has been a team all year that relied on their defense to set the tone. Yet the last four games, they haven’t been able to get stops. FIU ran ball screen after ball screen for their guards, and early on North Texas had no answer. Part of the problem was UNT was without F Zach Simmons. Simmons is a much better ball screen defender than Arikawe or Temara. The other part of the problem was FIU was just straight making buckets. Jacobs and Douglas were non factors in the last game. They combined for 8 3’s last night. Beard was held in check for most of the night by Draper. Draper was solid on the defensive end again. It was really the 3pt shooting that was the difference for FIU last night.
- Roosevelt Smart was 3-13 from the field with no free throw attempts. That just cant happen. Smart was 3-10 from the 3pt line. When the 3’s arent falling Smart needs to be more aggressive in attacking the basket. He is the best free throw shooter UNT has. He should be getting to the line 5 times a game at minimum.
- I wonder who is the leader on this team. Perhaps someone closer of the team can tell you, but if you watched the team play do you have a sense of who it is? They all see somewhat quite. There isn’t one guy who stands out as a leader. If I put money on it I would bet Smart. Sometimes we forget or at least I do of how young this team is. They are getting a lot of minutes, and production from underclassmen.
- Simmons was missed last night, but Tope Arikawe had a solid night. 12 points and 8 boards. I never would’ve expected Arikawe to be the second leading scorer for UNT. It would be nice if Tope and Simmons could be playing well together. I think where Simmons was missed the most was rebounding. The second and third big men Fuller, and Temara combined for 2 boards. Last game against FIU Tope and Simmons combined for 18 boards.
- North Texas had a 5 second count after a timeout. That is unacceptable high school level stuff.
- It was nice to see Shane Temara hit 2 3’s. It was long overdue. I really wish that guy had more of an impact. At this point he’ll only play because of the injury to Simmons. Temara is still a liability on defense.
- 3 games left to go and 4 losses in a row. Where is the confidence of this team? As I mentioned before its a young team, so no one knows how exactly they will take 4 tough close losses. That would take a toll on any team. It may do more damage to a young team. Then again it may not do anything. One thing I know whoever the leader is of this team, well that guy needs to come out and set a tone early on Saturday vs. FAU. This young team needs to get its swag back.
- I’m starting to wonder what is the best line-up for UNT going forward. Obviously a lot is going to depend on match-up. For example against the guard oriented teams Holston provides a better match-up than the bigs. I’d like to see Woolridge, Duffy, Smart, Lawson, and Simmons play more together. I like Lawson at the 4 because he is a more of a threat to score than Holston or Temara. Your 6th and 7th men are Draper and Tope. Holston is the 8th man. I think that is a solid group going forward. I start Duffy over Draper, because he provides a little bit more athleticism. He can get to the rim. I would like to see a few lineups where Tope and Simmons are on the floor at the same time too. Just to see what kind of mismatches I could draw.
- North Texas should be able to find their defense against FAU on Satuday. FAU is the worst offensive efficient team in CUSA. If the Mean Green can’t get back some defensive momentum vs. the Owls then it isn’t going to happen.
- North Texas is projected as a 6 or 7 seed by TeamRankings. They also should be favored in 2 of their last 3 games. If things go according to TeamRankings the first round matchup for UNT would be against either Southern Miss or FAU. Neither one of those teams concern me much. Honestly North Texas could lose to either one, its just how the season has gone. If North Texas does get through the first round they would draw ODU or WKU.
|Roosevelt Smart||C –|
|Ryan Woolridge||B –|
|AJ Lawson||D –|
|DJ Draper||B +|
|Jorden Duffy||B +|
|Tope Arikawe||B +|
Players with 10 minutes + get graded.
Next up for North Texas is FAU on Saturday, February 24th in Boca Raton.