The Oklahoma Sooners return to the Lloyd Noble Center for their home opener against the North Texas Mean Green. Currently UNT is sitting at 1-0 on the season with an unimpressive 72-67 win over NAIA opponent, Northwood.
North Texas is under direction of second year head coach Tony Benford who is coping with a conference transition. Last season, Benford coached his squad to a 12-20 record while finishing fourth in the Sun Belt Conference's West Division. This year, the Mean Green has made the jump to Conference USA and is now looking for a new found success. However, the road is laden with many bumps and bruises along the way.
The first major hurdle to clear is finding a replacement for Tony Mitchell, a task easier said than done. Mitchell, only a sophomore, entered the NBA Draft and made North Texas history as his name was called with the 37th overall pick.
Returning for this squad is leading scorer Jordan Williams who averaged 14.2 points per game last season. Hoping to continue the shooting success from a year ago, Williams hit 34.1% of his shots from beyond the arc. The coaching staff hopes to make perimeter shooting a key part of the game plan but, after posting 17.6% shooting effort from range against Northwood, there's no telling if that isn't just a pipe dream.
Alzee Williams is another option offensively that returns for UNT. After averaging 11.1 points last season, Williams took control of the season opener pouring in a game high 22 points. Chris Jones rounds out the trio of returning starters and is a do it all type of player.
Last Game: Quick Recap
Although the Mean Green secured a 72-67 win, poor shooting was on clear display as North Texas struggled from the field. From range, UNT shot a 17.6%, a number that likely needs to improve moving forward. However, it was the rest of the shooting percentages that create great reason for concern. The Mean Green hit a mere 36.2% of their shots from the floor and connected on 61.3% of their free throws. If those numbers persist, it could be a long night in Norman for this group.
Oklahoma holds a 3-1 series lead of North Texas with the most recent meeting ending 100-72 in favor of the Sooners. OU has won three in a row and will be looking to make it four after the evening comes to a close.