Old Dominion is in town tonight for a big basketball game at the Super Pit
ODU (11-3, 2-0 C-USA) at North Texas (9-7, 2-1 C-USA)
Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 5 p.m.
Radio: MGRN – 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM
Series: Old Dominion holds a perfect 7-0 record all-time
The Monarchs are led by BJ Stith, averaging 15.2 a game, and coming off a 26-point effort on Thursday against Rice. They have a lot of size, with BJ Stith at 6’5″ and Brandon Stith at 6’7″ to go along with C Trey Porter’s 6’10”.
NT tops out at 6’9″ (Shane Temara and Zach Simmons).
The Mean Green have played close games in all three league contests thus far, nearly winning against Charlotte on Thursday be fore succumbing to a a last-second Milos Supica put-back that is understandable if not forgivable.
Roosevelt Smart has been the primary offensive driver thus far, averaging a team-best 18 a game. He will have a challenge in front of him as ODU is the best in conference at scoring defense, and does not foul. Smart kept NT in the game against UTSA by getting to the line, where he’s at 90% from the stripe. It will not be as easy against ODU, tonight.
ODU are 6.5 favorites in this one. They allowed Rice, one of the worst teams in the league, to come back and force overtime before pulling away with 8-straight points to seal the victory. Both teams have some easy motivation to play better tonight and so we should see a good game.
Old Dominion are the favorites because they match up better and are frankly a better team. NT has a a shot — this is CUSA after all — if they can limit those unforced turnovers that plagued the team against Charlotte, and also do better on second chance points. Charlotte grabbed two put-backs in the final minutes to go ahead twice. The final one won the game.
If Smart can do his thing — he’s the second-leading non-Marshall scorer in the league — and also get some shooting help from Duffy and — gasp — Ryan Woolridge, this might be a game. In this league anything can happen.