Thoughts on UNT-ULM

Just when one thought it couldn’t get any worse for the UNT men, it did tonight.

The Mean Green lost at home to Louisiana-Monroe by 81-68.

Yikes.

Granted, UNT is seemingly without half its team. Brandon Walton — UNT’s one shooter — is out for the year. Chris Jones is now gone, too. Jacob Holmen was down for the second straight game with a foot injury.

And now Alzee Williams was suspended for a game, just one game after Keith Coleman was suspended for a game.

That one made me wonder a bit. Alzee never seemed like a guy who would give anyone trouble, but everyone makes mistakes.

Jordan Williams continues to play well and Justin Patton also played well. Both those guys had 16 points. Tony Mitchell added 15.

What was pretty remarkable is that ULM finished with a 30-19 edge on the glass, despite being severely out-manned in terms of size and athleticism.

Head coach Tony Benford said that should never happen, and I would tend to agree.

What was also startling is that UNT gave up 81 points to a team that was averaging 57.6 points a game. ULM had a few more players at its disposal than it did earlier in the year, but one of the ideas heading into the season was that UNT would be better this year defensively.

That doesn’t seem to be working out.

That has something to do with who UNT can run out there, but it’s still concerning.

UNT is now dead last in the Sun Belt West Division.

I just don’t think anyone saw that coming, even after UNT lost Johnny Jones — the man who built the Mean Green hoops empire — to LSU.

The one good bit of news is that the UNT women won going away 79-51.

Laura McCoy — or the Blonde Bomber, as we like to call her on the blog — dropped a career-high 20 on ULM.

It didn’t fit in the story, but Mike Petersen talked about how well she handled going a couple of games without shooting it well from 3, where McCoy is usually terrific. Petersen said she worked hard, didn’t get frustrated and turned it around.

So now UNT is 3-2 in Sun Belt play and has a monster game coming up on Wednesday at Arkansas-Little Rock with first place in the West Division on the line.