North Texas played a weekend combination of games that summated the team’s status in the league: good enough to run with the best but struggling enough to fall short.
The Grant McGasland era has begun and has been endlessly praised by any and all who encounter the Mean Green basketball team. The future looks bright but the present is always what counts most. The NT team had WKU and Marshall down in each game this weekend and ultimately fell short both times.
Against WKU a late rally forced OT where NT was overwhlemed — thanks, refs — and in the second game Marshall was the beneficiary of a late goal tend call that went the Herd’s way.
Here is an old maxim: Never put the game in the ref’s judgement.
Like most maxims and axioms, this is easier said than done especially when you are a youngish team trying to establish itself in the conference full of old standards.
For what fandom there is in Denton for this team, it is hard to look at a team complete so closely with the best of the league and fall short so often. The optimist’s standby is to look at this as the building block of a good program and next year as te fulfillment of all this present promise.
Still, the opportunity at hand is the most important one. Bird in the hand and all that. From all accounts the members of the current program do not take these games lightly and that is great news as no fan wants to feel like they care more than the team.
North Texas is all but assured a first round entry into the league tournament which is not ideal, but better than the alternative. Winning in Frisco was always going to be a tall order but the chances are much better with a first round bye. Still, all anyone can ask for is an opportunity.
Speaking of opportunity, this is how the game turned late: North Texas’ Ryan Woolridge, he of the frequent slices to the basket, was nearly stripped but managed to put up a double-clutch floater on the team’s final real chance to win things.
Marshall’s CJ Burks, he of the big scoring numbers, managed damned near a layup.
All you can ask for is an opportunity but if you can get a great one, you take it.
Marshall 74, NT 72.