I’ll be honest. I didn’t watch the game live on account of the NFL playoffs and a little housewarming party we had. I did sneak peaks at the score on my phone and had the game on the iMac. South ‘Bama is a good squad by record, coming in with a 5-2 conference resume. Still, we were favored by two points coming into tonight. I don’t pretend to know the sorcery involved in determining sports betting odds, but it is interesting to contrast the feeling everyone had about the team with the oddsmaker’s thoughts on our chances.
As it happened, it was our night. Early on in that run that put us up 28-10 we attacked the basket, forced turnovers, got to the line and defended. In essence, we played good basketball with our talented, and athletic roster. The difference between last night and the UALR game? Obviously we didn’t melt down (because of fatigue) late. Against the Trojans, North Texas shot better. Go look at the stats. More threes made and a better FG%. Thank the refs, or if you prefer a self-serving bias, thank our aggressiveness all night. It was a little surprising. Then again this team hasn’t ever not tried hard. I know you may have read differently on message boards and on twitter but don’t believe it. This version of the basketball team has trouble scoring efficiently — especially from three.* It has been the hustle and ability to get to the line better than average . That doesn’t come from being lazy.
*40%FG on the year, 44% from 2, 25% from 3.
What we saw was 29 made free throws. Now, you can’t count on getting 34 freebies per game, but we can count even less on making threes. Last night was as about ideal as you can hope for considering the injuries and 3-point shooting woes. Late game fatigue will be a thing when Alzee, Tony, and PJ are playing 38+ minutes. Home games, free throw attempts and solid defense. These are a few of my favorite things.
We’ll talk more about it on the MGN podcast ya’ll.
Go Mean Green