North Texas Daily

Men’s basketball cruises to win in season opener

Men’s basketball cruises to win in season opener

Men’s basketball cruises to win in season opener
November 10
19:31 2021

In the first game of the season, the men’s basketball team defeated Oklahoma Christian University 84-53 at home on Tuesday despite a slow start to the game.

“I think we just settled in,” fifth-year senior guard JJ Murray said. “I think first game jitters are real and you can get antsy not only offensively, but defensively too.”

North Texas was 54.8 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from three throughout the game. The leading scorer for the night was junior transfer Tylor Perry, with 22 points in his regular-season debut. 

“It’s big because my teammates believe in me so much,” Perry said. “All my shots came off assists from them, so for them to believe me and have confidence in me to go out there and knock down my shots is just a confidence booster going into our next game.”

Head coach Grant McCasland said he was impressed with how Perry handles himself on the court. 

“It’s his composure that makes him great, he expects to win but he has an underdog mentality,” McCasland said. “Hes got a confidence level that is rooted in hard work and gives that to other people.” 

The Mean Green were focused on moving the ball between each other throughout the night. According to Murray, the trust that the team has among each other is what allows for this.

“We trust each other, coach [McCasland] and the staff preach sharing the ball and that’s something that we learn in our pre-season and exhibitions,” Murray said. We like playing with each other so it makes it a little bit easier on the court.”

While it was a dominant win, not all players performed at their best. Senior guard Mardrez McBride and sophomore guard Rubin Jones shot a combined 1-12 from the three-point line. 

“We played good enough at times but you can see we’ve got a lot of growth and a lot of improvement,” McCasland said. “We’re still trying to figure out how we’re still trying to figure out how to play with these different lineups.” 

McCasland also reached a milestone in his coaching career, as he reached 100 wins in Division I basketball. Nevertheless, he stated that this accomplishment was due to the efforts of his assistants as well.

“It means that Ross Hodge, Jareem Dowling and Jamiah Simmons should get a ball, cause all those guys were in on it.” McCasland said. 

North Texas will take on the University at Buffalo next Monday at home in Denton. The game is set to tip-off at 7:00 p.m.

Featured Image: The North Texas men’s basketball team runs offensive plays at practice on Nov. 4, 2021. Photo by Jami Hitchcock

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