NT Hoops Will Have To Contend With LA Tech Speedy Duo

Jordan Williams ranks 11th in school history in career scoring, and just joined the top 10 in career steals as well.
Jan. 21, 2015

North Texas (7-10, 1-4 C-USA) vs. LA Tech (14-4, 5-0 C-USA)
Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 • 7 p.m. Central
Denton, Texas • The Super Pit (10,500)
Radio: MGRN - 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM
- Hank Dickenson (Color)
TV: None
Webcast: MeanGreenSports.com/CollegeSportsLive/ ($)
Live Stats: MeanGreenStats.com (Free)
Series: LA Tech leads 19-7 • In Denton: NT leads 6-4
Game 18 - LA Tech Get Acrobat Reader

DENTON - Few nicknames more aptly describe a basketball player than the moniker given to Louisiana Tech point guard Kenneth "Speedy" Smith, who North Texas will have to contend with on Thursday evening.

Smith is the court general of the potent LA Tech offense, and ranks among the nation's premier point guards. The senior ranks third in the nation in assists per game at 7.4, and trails the national leader - Jalan West of Northwestern State - by 0.2 dimes per game.

With 725 career assists, Smith trails only Brett Comer of Florida Gulf Coast among all active players. Smith is also 25th in the country in assist/turnover ratio (+2.91) and 64th in steals per game (1.94).

The Last Meeting
North Texas75
Louisiana Tech90
February 8, 2014
Ruston, LA
LA Tech Free-Throw Fueled Run Overcomes Mean Green Hoops
The NT coaches emphasized the need for a fast start against LA Tech, one of the nation's top five scoring offenses. That's exactly what they got for the first 17 minutes, but the Bulldogs came alive and raced away for a 90-75 win.

Smith is joined by Michale Kyser, who patrols the paint with authority for the Bulldogs. The senior averages 3.22 blocks, which ranks seventh in the NCAA. On the year, Kyser has 58 total blocks, which is just five behind North Texas' team total of 63. Kyser is the NCAA's active career blocks leader with 319 redirects.

LA Tech has won the last nine games in the series with NT, which is the program's longest losing streak to another C-USA opponent. NT's last win over the Bulldogs came in 1985-86.

North Texas will counter the Bulldogs attack with a stellar zone defense. The Mean Green has averaged 10.7 steals over its last three games, including a season-high 14 at Charlotte. In fact, NT is averaging a league-best 8.2 steals in C-USA games.

Jordan Williams is known around the league as a scorer, but the senior is now tied for 10th in NT history with 98 career steals, and at 1.6 per game is on pace to reach the top five. Williams is now tied for 11th in school history in career scoring.

Tony Benford is one win shy of NT Hall of Famer Charlie Johnson (1959-65) and Gene Robbins (1971-75) for 10th among all NT coaches with 36 career wins.


 

 

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