North Texas advances to the College Basketball Invitational Tournament on the backs of Roosevelt Smart and Jorden Duffy each scoring 31 points in perhaps the most complete game the Mean Green have played in this 2017-2018 season. North Texas will face off against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks on Wednesday, March 21st at 7:00 PM in the Super Pit in Denton, TX.
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New Starting Lineup Appears to be Big Hit
The starting combo of Woolridge, Duffy, Smart, Miller, and Simmons has produced 186 points in two games at a pace opposing teams have not been able to keep up with. In the past two games, the Mean Green have outscored their opponents by a total of 42 points. North Texas also managed to post the highest ever winning margin (+29) in the CBI Tournament’s brief history against the Mercer Bears last night.
— #BelieveServeCompete (@MeanGreenMBB) March 19, 2018
Jorden Duffy Has a Career Night
Jorden Duffy has struggled with injuries all season long and has finally looked like the player he was recruited to be for North Texas. Coach McCasland said in his post game remarks he isn’t even at full strength yet (about 75%). Duffy was 11 of 16 (68.8%) from the floor and drilled six of his 10 attempted 3-pointers (60%) and made three of four (75%) from the free throw line. He also added four assists, two steals, and three rebounds on 33 minutes of action.
Many fans felt like Duffy and Smart towards the end of the game were competing to see who could score the most points in the game before Coach McCasland called off the dogs and pulled most of the starters off the court with about 2:00 minutes left in the game.
Highlight Reel and Press Conference
Up next for the Mean Green is the Jacksonville State Gamecocks (23-12) on Wednesday, March 21st at 7:00 PM in the Super Pit in Denton, TX. The Gamecocks are coming off of a win at the Central Arkansas Bears Monday night, 80-59. Jacksonville State is lead by Malcolm Drumwright who leads the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game followed by Jason Burnell at 11.1 points per game.
The Gamecocks average 72.0 points per contest and have allowed on average 65.1 points. North Texas has averaged 74.1 points per game however in the CBI Tournament has scored 90 or more points in back-to-back games (90 – South Dakota and 96 – Mercer). JSU has done a good job of out-rebounding teams this season 38.5 to 32.3 per game however North Texas boasts similar numbers – 37.8 to 34.2 rebounds per game.
On paper, these appear to be fairly evenly matched teams. The deciding factor could come down to whether the North Texas starting five continue to start the game on fire hitting their threes from anywhere on the floor. North Texas tends to rise or fall on the shooting of Roosevelt Smart.