Game 24 - Old Dominion
DENTON, Texas – The race to 1,000 is on! Senior guard Alzee Williams and junior Jordan Williams are vying to become just the 20th player in North Texas basketball history to reach the 1,000-point barrier.
The two will take their next steps toward the plateau on Thursday when the Mean Green plays host to Old Dominion for the first time in school history.
Alzee has the upper hand with 980 career points, but Jordan isn’t far behind with 952 points and the lead in points per game. Jordan ranks seventh in scoring in C-USA league games with 15.8 points per contest, while Alzee is healing from a hip pointer that dropped his scoring average to 7.9 points per conference game.
Both players went on the offensive against LA Tech on Saturday. Jordan posted 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting and a game-high 10 rebounds, while Alzee also reached double-figures with 11 points.
The Mean Green will have their hands full with Old Dominion, which features one of C-USA’s top lane defenders in Richard Ross. He ranks 40th in the NCAA and 2nd in the league with 2.4 blocks per game, which has helped the Monarchs rank third in C-USA in scoring defense at 65.1 points per game. Opponents shoot 36.6 percent from 3-point on ODU, but just 42.2 percent overall from the floor, which ranks eighth in C-USA.
With 11 wins, first-year head coach Jeff Jones and the Monarchs are experiencing one of the biggest turnarounds in the NCAA this year. ODU went 5-25 in 2012-13, but are now 11-13 in their first year in C-USA under Jones, who owns a 358-287 career coaching record. Jones spent the last 13 years at American, and led the Eagles to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances (2008, 2009). He was also the head coach at his alma mater, Virginia, from 1991-98, where he became the first person to win the NIT as both a player and coach.
Thursday will be a homecoming for Old Dominion’ Texas products Joe Ebondo (Euless Trinity HS) and Richard Ross (Wichita Falls Hirschi HS).