North Texas got “out-flexed” at home by a superior Western Kentucky team.
- If you would’ve told me that Smart, Woolridge, Lawson, Simmons, and Draper were all going to score double figures I would’ve guaranteed a North Texas win. For a half of basketball North Texas could do no wrong on offense. Lawson ,and Woolridge were getting into the lane at ease. Lawson was finishing, and Woolridge was dropping dimes to Simmons. It was all going so well, but it soon feel apart. North Texas shot 60% in the first half and it dipped to 37.1% in the second half.
- If your a box score looker like most are you are feeling pretty upset at the fact that WKU shot 48 free throws while UNT only shot 13. If you were at the game you probably feel just as upset. Lets talk about what happened. First off WKU was already a great team at getting to the line, and UNT was a team that generally put teams on the line a lot. That played out last night. On the flip side of that WKU was a team that doesn’t foul a lot. WKU fouls the least in CUSA. However, UNT was still a team that gets to the line quite a bit. So what happened? Well WKU was the aggressor. They had guards that North Texas couldn’t stay in front of. On offense North Texas just wasn’t getting to the basket, and they weren’t getting the calls. Coleby was injured, but he was still a force. Watching the game it just didn’t feel like UNT put itself in position to get calls.
- I’m going to preach this till I’m blue in the face. This North Texas team isn’t equipped to get in a high paced shoot out type of game. They are going to win with their defense and their gritty style. Low 70’s and games in the 60’s are what we want to see from UNT vs teams like Middle, WKU, and ODU. WKU had an offensive efficiency rating of 126. That was the second highest given up by UNT and the third highest for WKU.
- When WKU went on their run Smart disappeared. Smart only took 2 shots during that run. He eventually made a 3 with 9:38 left in the game. At that time WKU was already up by 12 and the Smart 3 cut it 9. Smart has to be more assertive during opponents runs. He is the one guy that North Texas depends on to score.
- North Texas allowed 42 points in the paint. Not acceptable.
- I love that both Jorden Duffy and Draper continue to fire away. They are going to need both of those dudes scoring in Frisco. Duffy isn’t there yet mentally, but he hasn’t been afraid to continue shooting. Duffy hit a big 3, and Draper hit a couple of them last night. I continue to believe that having both Duffy and Draper playing at a high level by Frisco will make UNT the most dangerous lower seed.
- One thing that UNT can’t do against the best teams in CUSA is turn the ball over and take bad shots. Those type of possessions lead to easy offense. UNT gave up too many easy possessions last night.
- Most of the fan base feels pretty good about where North Texas is at right now. They’ve beat UAB, lost a tough one to Middle and WKU. One of the most popular opinions is to complement the effort that Coach McCasland is getting out of this team. That’s just a testament of how bad things were under Tony Benford. For me I’ve always expected the effort from this team. It was a lot of new guys, and I knew that Coach McCasland wouldn’t accept anything less than a really competitive effort. So I won’t really ever be complementing effort. Coach McCasland is one of the highest paid coaches in the league, and with good reason. I believe he is one of the best. So what I want to see is him coaching execution. That is what I will complement this team on. One thing I do admire is not really the effort, but the ability for this UNT team to climb back in games when there looks to be no hope. Some teams have that uncanny ability to make a few plays and buckets to climb back in games. That is this North Texas team. They are never out of it.
- WKU is the one team that I believe that North Texas can’t beat. I just feel like its a bad match-up. Middle is the best team, but WKU has the most talent. They can pretty much score at every position. Their athleticism stood out last night. They got stops when they needed, and got buckets when they needed.
- North Texas is in a position now where they are 2 games back of Marshall in the battle for the 4th seed, and a bye in Frisco. They must win on Saturday, and really NT needs to win out. Marshall has games left against ODU, UAB, and Middle so they have the tougher schedule, but UNT needs to keep the pressure on them.
|Roosevelt Smart||B +|
|Ryan Woolridge||C +|
|AJ Lawson||B +|
|Allante Holston||C –|
|Zachary Simmons||B +|
|DJ Draper||B –|
Players with 10 minutes + get graded.
Next up for North Texas is Marshall on Saturday, February 17th in Denton.