North Texas Daily

Analyzing the Mean Green basketball teams

Analyzing the Mean Green basketball teams

February 03
21:02 2015

Editor’s Note: The North Texas Daily sports staff broke down where both the men and women’s basketball teams stand as we begin February. Look for more roundtables such as this one on various sports throughout the semester. 

There is a little more than a month until the Conference USA tournaments for men and women’s basketball begin. With that in mind, our sports staff got together to figure out where each team stands as they begin the stretch runs of their seasons.

Men’s basketball (9-11, 3-5)

Reece Waddell / Staff Writer

The Mean Green men’s basketball team (9-11. 3-5 C-USA) currently sits at ninth place in Conference USA. With the University of Southern Mississippi banning themselves from the C-USA tournament due to recruiting violations, North Texas would have to finish last in the conference to not make the tournament. Through 20 games, the Mean Green have shown flashes of brilliance, beating Creighton University and Louisiana Tech University, the No.1 team in C-USA, at home. However, North Texas has struggled on the road, posting a 1-6 record away from the Super Pit, which doesn’t exactly bode well for postseason play. If there was one word that describes this team, it is inconsistency.

One night North Texas will beat a premier team, and the next night they will have a head scratching loss. The only real issue plaguing this team is themselves. Nothing North Texas is doing on the court is blatantly wrong, other than sloppy play. For this team to advance in the C-USA tournament, it must limit its turnovers while forcing some from the opposition and play sound basketball. They simply don’t have the raw talent to beat themselves.

Scott Sidway / Staff Writer

Entering the season, one of the biggest concerns with the Mean Green men’s basketball team was its size. The tallest player on the roster is senior forward Armani Flannigan at 6 foot 8 inches, followed by a trio of others that measure in at 6 foot 7 inches.

As it turns out, rebounding has not been the biggest deficiency for the Mean Green. While the team does rank 10th out of 14 C-USA teams in rebounding margin, it is only being outrebounded by just under one rebound per game by the opposition. Considering the lack of size, I’d count that a moral victory as we approach the midway point of conference play.

The biggest problem for North Texas thus far has been offensive consistency. In C-USA, the Mean Green rank 13th in three pointers made with fewer than five per game, 13th in three point percentage, dead last in free throw percentage and dead last in assist-to-turnover ratio. With a lack of outside shooting and a roster full of similar-height, hybrid style players, it is not as difficult for defenses to limit scoring opportunities for the Mean Green. And without a pure point guard that knows where everyone is going to be on the court, it is difficult to establish offensive consistency.

Women’s basketball (2-17, 1-7)

Alex Lessard / Staff Writer

By this point in the season, the women’s basketball team’s lack of success is no secret, considering the team is 13th in C-USA.

The Mean Green has stood tough on the defensive end, but rank dead last in an array of offensive categories. Head coach Mike Petersen’s squad averages nearly three assists less than any other team in C-USA, is shooting 56 percent from the free throw line and is the only team in C-USA that hasn’t reached 1,000 points this season.

It’s blatantly obvious that the offense is not producing. No matter how much it excels on the defensive end, the Mean Green will not be lighting McConnell Tower green anytime soon unless it can find a way to put the ball in the basket. To do that, someone other than senior forward Briesha Wynn, the team’s leading scorer at 11.8 points per game, has to step up.

Saad Yousuf / Staff Writer

One of the biggest problems for the women’s basketball team is not being able to capitalize when it is playing well. The team shows flashes of great play, but usually can’t sustain that for two halves. North Texas doesn’t get a lot of big plays in a game, highlighted by a failure to make three-point shots, and the Mean Green also lose the rebounding battle too often, getting beat by an average of five rebounds per game.

However, the good thing about this team is that it never gives up and truly does fight to the end, no matter what the score is. The team has scored 433 points in the first half of games this year, and have often faced large deficits. However, North Texas comes back in the second half and plays strong, scoring 517 points in the second half and overtime.

Jeffrey Cooperstein / Intern Writer

Whenever I see a losing record, I go straight to the stats book to try to find out what’s wrong. When being outscored by an average margin of 9.7 points per game is the least of your problems, it cannot be good. A good offense starts and ends with taking care of the basketball, something the Mean Green women’s basketball team has not done in this turbulent season so far.

Having 7.8 assists per game to 19 turnovers will not allow any offensive flow or freedom to take place. The team is shooting just 34 percent from the field and 24 percent from three-point range. In order to salvage something this season, someone other than sophomore forward Eboniey Jeter needs to shoot more than 40 percent, and limiting the turnovers from 19 a game would be a big help in sending the Mean Green women in the right direction.

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