UNT lost to Oklahoma last night 95-82. On the surface there might not seem like there would be a whole lot to like about that result.
Dig a little deeper and there were plenty of bright spots for UNT. Consider …
– Keith Coleman’s monster game
We have heard throughout the preseason that Coleman had improved dramatically since last season. Last night’s game might have been the best indication yet that Coleman has indeed make a big jump. He finished with a double-double that included 14 points and 10 rebounds. Coleman looked a whole lot more athletic than he did last season. Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger spent part of his post game press conference talking about how Coleman would mirror what Oklahoma would see in Big 12 play in terms of big men.
– Balanced scoring
UNT also had four players finish in double figures, led by Alzee Williams. The senior finished with 24 points. Chris Jones had 16 and Jordan Williams 13. Jordan Williams hit the corner 3 in the second half to pull UNT within four.
In terms of post game comments, Tony Benford talked about how UNT had to come to play and improve its effort over its season-opening scare against Northwood or it was going to get run out of the gym by the Sooners, who are pretty good. UNT clearly responded in a performance Alzee Williams said could be a confidence-builder going forward.
And in other tidbits of interest …
– UNT with with out T.J. Taylor. The Marquette transfer is still working his way back from a sore knee and was also under the weather. UNT hopes to have him for its game against Nicholls State on Thursday.
– The lineup looekd a little different. UNT started Alzee Williams, Brandan Walton, Vertrail Vaughns, Colin Voss and Keith Coleman. Chris Jones and Jordan Williams were on the bench to start, but played heavy minutes. Vaughns played 23 minutes and had two points and five assists. Walton just seems to do the right things on the floor and provides leadership and outside shooting. He had eight points. Will UNT continue to bring Jones off the bench? That will be something to watch.