Sam Houston State Bearkats vs. North Texas Mean Green Game Preview

Joseph HealyCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2010

George Odufuwa will try to lead UNT to victory Wednesday night.
George Odufuwa will try to lead UNT to victory Wednesday night.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Bearkats will look to add a solid non-conference victory to their resume in their game against North Texas Wednesday night.

Last time out, the Bearkats gave a good effort, but ultimately fell at home against the Houston Cougars.

A similar effort will be needed against the Mean Green. In fact, it may require an even greater effort. UNT is a program on the rise under coach Johnny Jones. They are currently ranked tenth in's Mid-Major Rankings.

North Texas will roll into Johnson Coliseum with a 7-1 record that includes solid wins over Texas Tech, Rice, Texas State, UT-Arlington, Grambling State, and Texas Southern.

The Mean Green are led by the 22.3 points per game scored by senior guard Tristan Thompson. That's not to be confused with the super-frosh Tristan Thompson that the Bearkats faced when playing the Texas Longhorns.

In addition to his volume scoring, Thompson shoots 43.5 percent from behind the three point arc. Defensively, you have to know where he is on the court at all times. If he finds any openings, he will make you pay.

Senior guard Dominique Johnson runs the point for the Mean Green. The Kansas City native averages 10.9 points per game, but it's his work as a distributor that makes him special. He leads the team with 35 assists and has an assists to turnover ration just over two to one.

The post is patroled by senior forward George Odufuwa and redshirt junior Kedrick Hogans. The two average 10.7 and 9.6 points per game. Odufuwa, an Arizona State transfer, pulls down 11.3 rebounds per game, giving him a double-double average.

Senior guard Josh White also has the potential to be an explosive scorer for UNT. He chips in with 15.3 points per game. He scored 32 on November 16th when North Texas defeated Texas Tech 92-83.

For the Bearkats, the key will be guard play. Gilberto Clavell is doing all he can to lead the team offensively by averaging right at 20 points per game, he won't be able to do it alone. Other than Josten Crow, who is adding 13 points per game, no other player is even averaging eight points per contest.

As a team, the Bearkats are shooting 28.5 percent from the three point line. In an offense that relies a lot on making three point shots when the defense collapses to the post, that percentage isn't going to cut it.

So far this season, team defense has been a strong point for the Bearkats. That will have to continue on Wednesday night. The Mean Green put up 81.3 points per game while the Bearkats only allow 66.8. Something will have to give.

Tip-off is set for 7 PM at Johnson Coliseum.