GAME THREAD: North Texas vs FAU - 02/22/14 @ 7:00 PM
What: North Texas (13-13, 4-8 C-USA) vs FAU (10-17, 5-7 C-USA)
When: Saturday, February 22th @ 7:00 PM
Where: FAU Arena
Live Video: Here *FEE
Radio: ESPN 106.3
Live Stats: Here
Mean Green Team Site: Here
G Chris Jones 8.5 ppg
G Alzee Williams 11.6 ppg
G Jordan Williams 12.2 ppg
F Armani Flannigan 2.5 ppg
F Colin Voss 7.1 ppg
G Marquan Botley 10.6 ppg
G Jackson Trapp 9.3 ppg
G Pablo Bertone 18.3 ppg
F Kelvin Penn 4.4 ppg
C Justin Raffington 9.4 ppg
The Mean Green and the Owls have met 10 times before Saturday's contest, and UNT leads the series 7-3. North Texas is on a two game win streak after a OT win last year. Greg Gant lead the way for the Owls with 22 points, but the Owls couldn't catch up after UNT hit two late free throws in the final 21 seconds of OT.
North Texas at a Glance:
The Mean Green roll into Boca Raton after routing FIU in Miami Thursday night. North Texas has had a less than memorable season sitting at .500, and an abysmal 4-8 conference record, highlighted by a five game losing streak in the middle of conference play.
The squad is far from storied posting only three NCAA tournament appearance in its almost hundred years of college basketball. Leading the Mean Green now is head coach Tony Benford, who posted a 12-20 record in his first year in Denton, Texas.
Manning the helm for UNT is the team’s pro-bodied guard Jordan Williams. Standing at 6’6”, the junior does it all for the team. Aside from putting up 12.0 points per game, Williams can rack up boards with the rest of them, 6.1 per game to be exact.
Aiding William’s backcourt efforts is fellow guard, Alzee Williams. The other Williams also has a knack for scoring; scoring a team second best 11.5 ppg. Williams started the season off hot, posting a season high 24 points in the squad’s second game against Oklahoma, but has not lived up to the hype. The senior has been very inconsistent posting single digit games for most of January, and has recently started to pick it up drawing towards the end of the season.
Running the post for the Mean Green is transfer forward Colin Voss. A journeyman though college, Voss has made stops in Central Michigan and Northern Oklahoma before settling down in a North Texas jersey. The junior has put up solid numbers this year, and leads UNT in boards per game with 6.3, and has three double-doubles this season. Racking up rebounds is definitely Voss’ strong suit.
The Mean Green lack a true play maker, but what they lack in pure talent they make up with in depth. With the exception of Voss, the entire team is made up of guards, and it is evident in the team scoring. The bench players score almost as much as the third leading scorer on the team. Most of the squad holds similar scoring percentages, and assist to turnover ratios, and this can either aid an opponent or hurt them.
UNT can score when they wish too, but the Mean Green’s defense is so porous at times that is doesn’t matter if they put up 80 points, their opponent has put up 90. The squad’s biggest win of 2013-14 is two-point win over ECU (53-51).
FAU at a Glance:
The Owls host North Texas after a brutal loss to a rolling Tulsa squad, but what seemed to plague the team most; at least what Mike Jarvis said was health.
Pablo Bertone who has been Mr. Consistency for the Owls this season looked off his game Thursday, and it was prevalent in his point total. The senior who hasn’t scored less than 13 since the beginning of the New Year was shut down to a mere eight points, and four rebounds. Although Coach Jarvis didn’t disclose what was Bertone’s injury it looked to be sickness; the guard looked exhausted in the beginning of the second half, and flushed in the face.
“I was glad that Pablo could play a little but he is nursing an injury he got at Texas, El Paso. He is a huge huge part of our offensive success. Now we have to get guys health enough to practice hard. We haven’t had that unifying team practices,” stated Jarvis
Freshman guards Marquan Botley and D’Andre Johnson had a nice outing last night. The Owl’s rising stars combined for 23 points, and six rebounds. Though to mimic the trend of the game, all the points seemed extremely hard to make, the Owls scored under 20 first half points for the second straight game, a trend that will have to be stamped out if the Owls hope for any type of a run in the Conference USA tournament.
Center Justin Raffington showed up to play against the Golden Hurricanes. The junior picked up his 10th double-double of the season and shot especially well from the free throw line, a task that was haunting him earlier in the year. FAU’s 6’10” big man went 6-6 at the charity stripe and contributed 10 of the Owl’s 51 points.
Some new faces for the Owls were seen Thursday night. Jarvis threw in the bench going into the final eight minutes; starting with Tyler Pate and Brian Hornstein. Both players seemed aggressive and earger to be on the floor, and Hornstein grabbed a rebound with the aid of Grant Pelchen.
Center Dragan Sekelja found himself in the game, after being inactive for seven games with back pain. Sekelja looked a little off during the two minutes he saw, though he found his feet in the end and grabbed a basket.
Shooting guard Javier Lacunza had his shoulder operated on Thursday and Jarvis said all was well and Lacunza is in recovery.
The Owl’s rough offensive efforts in the past two games, is what has to change for the team. Jackson Trapp who has been a hot hand behind the arc, this season has had only two double-digit scoring efforts in ten contests. Going into the beginning of March the squad needs to capitalize on the little things given to them.
“We have very little margin for error", Jarvis said. And it could not been said any better. Knocking balls out of bounds, and giving away easy turnovers were a huge part of the team’s losses this year.
“I want to be as good as we can be the second week of March, and everything I am going to do between then and now is geared towards that,” said Jarvis.
Owl's Nest Prediction
Although the Owls have had a rough patch on the offensive side of the ball, the holes in UNT's defense are too large to over look. If FAU can limit the turnovers and put the ball in the hoop, we think the Owls are in for a much needed home victory.
Just wanted to say that Jackson Trapp is also one of the injured. he has been fighting problems with both ankles for 2 years, with consideration last off-season of having surgery. Poor kid, he works really hard and the problems prevent him from driving much, which is what he did best in high school, according to my information.
G Chris Jones
G Alzee Williams
G Jordan Williams
F Armani Flannigan
F Colin Voss
G Marquan Botley
G Jackson Trapp
G Pablo Bertone
F Kelvin Penn
C Justin Raffington
Owls get two free shots and Bertone makes one!
FAU 1 UNT 0
Owl's offense is already looking better than Thursday
FAU 8 UNT 4
FAU 12 UNT 10
Owls are looking hot, missing only 2 of their 7 shots (71.4%).
Raffington gets big and puts it away!
FAU 15 UNT 12