I didn’t catch the game at the start, when apparently North Texas was down a few buckets.
By the time I was able to get in front of my laptop, NT had a small lead (36-30) and this looked normal. This month I have been considering how long I have been running this little blog and how way back when I as trying to find streams of the game online some place. It involved signing up for some month-long pass and waiting as it buffered on some proprietary player.
Now, I can find the streams on the school site (helpful) and while they are still blurry, it is nice tuning into YouTube instead of some weird $10 pay stream that works intermittently. Sure, I am paying with my personal information so people can attempt to sell me oddly specific items on my instagram feed, but it is relatively frictionless. That is what we are after here. I do not have time for buffering.
This game is the kind of forgetful one that doesn’t excite on the schedule It hurts the resume if you lose. When NT struggled to start the game the twitter timeline was a bit nervous. In the end, NT won going away — 81-56 was the final. All is well that ends well.
Zach Simmons could have gotten much more than his 12, but tried too many finesse things inside. When he decided he could get buckets without being clever — a thing that happens to all big men at some point — he got what he deserved. Simmons finished with just 12 on 5 of 8 shooting. That doesn’t tell you the whole story, however. He had just two in the first half on 1/2 shooting and two turnovers.
Zach has been underrated. We’ve highlighted some of the good things he is capable of on this site previously. He still has all of that and among the CUSA folks, he is one of the best in the league. He’s not WKU’s Charles Bassey but few are. He has touch around the rim and can finish with both hands. Tonight, he kind of tried a little too much when he could simply just bully-ball and get buckets. It happens.
Terrence Lewis II had his second-best game in green-and-white, finishing with 11 on 4/5 shooting in just 13 minutes. The advanced numbers liked Lewis and Simmons.
The slow start gave the cynics something to complain about but the result was what was expected. Job done. NT moves to 2-3 on the season. They face Houston Baptist — another game they are expected to win big — on Thursday before the Saturday game against LSU in Baton Rouge.
That’s two warm-up games before a tough ‘A’ level matchup. After that a week-off before the conference season begins. North Texas was not going to earn any bids with their regular season schedule. If you allowed the CFB playoff announcement you can see the anti-G5 bias in football. If you followed some of the NCAA Tourney selections in hoops you have seen some of that in basketball, as well.
The surest way to getting a bid is to win the league tournament. NT is building up the team chemistry for that moment when they have to get big buckets against the league’s best in whatever bubble that will be the CUSA tournament this March. So far, so good.