Thoughts on UNT-UTA

Just when it was hard to think it couldn’t get any worse for UNT it did tonight in a 72-59 loss to UTA.

Tony Mitchell didn’t start because of a violation of team rules, and that wasn’t even the headliner.

UNT shot 16 percent in the second half, made six field goals in the last 29 minutes of the game and missed all 13 of its 3-point attempts in the second half.

Tony Benford admitted after the game that he is concerned with UNT’s performance in its halfcourt offensively. UNT just looks lost.

It takes time to learn a new system, but UNT is getting pretty far into the season now, especially when one considers UNT had a lot of practice time in the off-season, the whole preseason and through the first seven games of the year.

I asked Alzee Williams about the adjustment process after the game and thought what he said was pretty telling:

“We need to get used to the offense and execute in the halfcourt. It’s different. Last year we were in more of a system. We have more freedom now. We are getting used to it.”

Benford said that UNT is still not using all of the options it has in its halfcourt offense and that the way teams are packing it in against his team is not helping. That makes a lot of sense, and one has to give UTA credit for playing well defensively. The loss to Brandan Walton, UNT’s one legitimate outside shooter, is killing this team as well.

UNT is quickly running out of time to get to those options, though.

The Mean Green has essentially one last shot to get it right heading into its Sun Belt opener Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette.

UNT sunk a lot of time in the off-season into working on its defense and improving in terms of rebounding. The assumption was that UNT’s offense would take care of itself.

That just hasn’t been the case so far.

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