Roosevelt Smart Closing In On Three-Point School Record

Feb. 9, 2018

North Texas men's basketball at Middle Tennessee
Date | Time  Saturday, Feb. 10 | 5 p.m.
Location   Murfreesboro, TN | Murphy Center (11,520)
Live Stats   goblueraiders.com
TV  Stadium live on Facebook - Noah Coslov (PxP), Tim Scarborough (color)
Radio  MGRN - 88.1 KNTU-FM, 95.3 KHYI-FM -  Dave Barnett (PxP), Hank Dickenson (Color)
Twitter   @MeanGreenMBB
Game Notes   North Texas | Middle Tennessee

DENTON – Sophomore guard Roosevelt Smart is closing in on a North Texas men’s basketball single-season school record for most three-pointers made in a season set 11 years ago.

The Mean Green (14-10, 7-4 C-USA) are riding high coming off a huge 67-60 road win at UAB on Feb. 8. North Texas will now face its biggest challenge of the season in first place Middle Tennessee, who is 11-1 in league play and have won six-straight games. The Blue Raiders will have the task of slowing down C-USA’s fourth leading scorer in Smart.

Smart enters the game against Middle Tennessee having hit 42 three-pointers during 11 C-USA games, which is nine better than Marshall C.J. Burks. Smart has hit 84 overall and is just seven made three-pointers away from etching his name into the North Texas history books.

Smart is chasing North Texas Hall of Fame inductee Calvin Watson, who set the school record by carrying his team to a Sun Belt championship in 2007. Watson broke the school record in the Sun Belt championship against Arkansas State going 6-for-7 from the three-point line and added two more makes in the NCAA Tournament first round game against Memphis.

Watson’s record season has stood for 11 years and he holds the career record for most three-pointer made at 208.

In Smart’s only season at New Mexico Junior College, he hit 48 three-pointers but head coach Grant McCasland isn’t surprised with how this season has played out.

“When we first started recruiting him, his competiveness and willingness to win stood out,” McCasland said. “He is a great teammate to be around with his personality and he has no fear. There is no shot he isn’t willing to take.”

Immediately, Smart became a starter from day one and proved he belonged at this level scoring 20 points or more in three of his first five games.

In C-USA play, Smart has stepped his game up even more impacting games not only with his three-point shooting but his on-ball defending as well.

“He has made significant strides defensively for our team,” McCasland said. “He loves the game of basketball so he is always working to get better, which is what you want to see. “He has quickly turned into one of our better defenders.”

Smart’s 42-point performance at Rice, including a school-record 10 three-pointers, was an eye-opener for other Conference USA teams. Smart’s performance that day was in front of family members and Houston native Watson, who got his first look at Smart.

Smart leads the Mean Green with 20 double-figure scoring games and has hit four or more three-pointers in nine games. Smart’s biggest challenge will be Middle Tennessee’s seven ranked 3-point field goal defense. The last time Smart faced a top ranked 3-point defense, he went for 31 points and seven three-pointers in a road win in overtime at San Diego.

The Chicago native lives for big moments and this season’s accomplishments are just the beginning.

About the Opponent: Middle Tennessee

• This will be the 22nd meeting between the two teams with Middle Tennessee leading the all-time series 14-7. North Texas is 1-8 on the road in Murfreesboro. Their only win came on the road came on Feb. 14, 2009 in an 89-78 win.

• In the previous meeting, Middle Tennessee earned a 79-68 win at the Super Pit on Jan. 7, 2017. Former Mean Green player Ja’Michael Brown scored a career-high 21 points and A.J. Lawson added 14 points. Giddy Potts finished with 18 points for the Blue Raiders.

• In the last meeting in Murfreesboro, North Texas only trailed by two points at halftime before Middle Tennessee scored 52 second half points leading to a 22-point win, 86-64, on Jan. 21, 2016. J-Mychal Reese scored 20 points and Jeremy Combs added 13 points with 12 rebounds. Middle Tennessee’s Reggie Upshaw had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.

• Middle Tennessee enters with a 19-5 overall record and is a league-best 11-1 in Conference play. The Blue Raiders are riding a six-game winning streak and are a perfect 5-0 at home during C-USA play.

• Graduate transfer Nick King leads the team in scoring at 20.9 points per game and leads the team in rebounding at 8.1 per game. Giddy Potts is second on the team at 12.8 points per game. Potts has hit a team-best 56 three-pointers. Brandon Walters is third in scoring at 10.2 points per game.

• Middle Tennessee is second in scoring defense allowing just 65.4 points per game and is holding teams to just 29.8 percent from the three-point line.

The Last Meeting
Middle Tennessee State79
North Texas68
January 7, 2017
The Super Pit
Brown Scores Career High But Mean Green Fall To Middle Tennessee
A late first half run gave Middle Tennessee a 10-point halftime they would never relinquish in a 79-68 victory against North Texas Saturday afternoon at the Super Pit.


 

 

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