Louisiana Tech at UNT
When: 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Super Pit, Denton
Radio: KHYI-FM 95.3, KNTU-FM 88.1
TV: American Sports Network
Records: North Texas 8-14, 3-6 C-USA; LA Tech 17-5, 6-3 C-USA
Last game: UNT 70, Southern Miss 54; Louisiana Tech 90, Rice 78
Projected UNT starting lineup:
PG: J-Mychal Reese, 6-2, Jr. — Reesse scored 19 points and hit all eight of his free throws in UNT’s win over Southern Miss. He is averaging 15.1 points a game and had handed out 91 assists on the season.
SG: Ja’Michael Brown, 6-1, Fr. — Brown has started UNT ‘s last two games and is coming off a 12-point outing in UNT’s win over Southern Miss. He is averaging 8.5 points a game has hit five of his last 11 shots from behind the 3-point arc.
SF: Deckie Johnson, 6-4 Jr. — Johnson endured a tough night in UNT’s win over Southern Miss, hitting just one of his eight shots from the field on the way to scoring five points. Johnson is averaging 13.6 points a game.
F: Jeremy Combs, 6-7, So. — Combs saw his double-double streak end at seven games when he finished with 14 points and nine rebounds in UNT’s win over Southern Miss. He is averaging 15.5 points and 10.6 rebounds a game.
F: Eric Katenda, 6-9 Sr. — Katenda finished with four points and five rebounds in UNT’s win over Southern Miss, but scored in double figures in the Mean Green’s previous two games. He is averaging 6.2 points a game.
Scouting Louisiana Tech:
Louisiana Tech has won its last four games and is still in the hunt for the C-USA title at 6-3. The Bulldogs can flat score and are averaging 79.4 points a game behind the tandem of guard Alex Hamilton and forward Erik McCree, who are averaging 18.4 and 16.0 points a game, respectively .
Reese scored 19 points and hit three 3s in UNT’s win over Southern Miss. He scored 23 points in the Mean Green’s previous outing at Rice. Reese struggled in a loss to UAB and scored just nine points against the Blazers, but has tallied at least 19 points in four of UNT’s last five games.
What you need to know:
UNT picked itself up off the mat by beating Southern Miss in its last outing to snap a five-game losing streak.
The hope now is that win was the start of a late-season run.
The problem is the Mean Green really needed to get that run started a little sooner. UNT’s schedule is pretty tough over its next three games, which will make stringing wins together pretty tough.
Louisiana Tech is one of the better teams in C-USA. UNT will face Old Dominion and Charlotte on the road after taking on the Dunkin’ Dogs. Neither ODU nor Charlotte are elite teams in C-USA, but both are solid. UNT has won just one road game all season.
Louisiana Tech will look to push the ball against UNT, which will prevent the Mean Green from setting up its defense in the halfcourt and could negate the impact of 7-foot center Rickey Brice. The freshman gave UNT a big lift in its win over Southern Miss, which often set up in the halfcourt.
UNT has been good for a surprise win or two each season under Tony Benford. The Mean Green inexplicably beat Louisiana Tech and Creighton last year and knocked off Texas A&M two years ago.
UNT hasn’t posted that out-of-nowhere win this season and will look to pull off that feat today.