NEW ORLEANS (12/15/06) North Texas guard Calvin Watson and forward Quincy Williams have the Mean Green basketball team primed for a Sun Belt Conference run.
Off to the third best start in school history, North Texas (7-2) has a swagger about it heading into conference play at New Orleans on Saturday. The Mean Green jumped to 17th in this week’s CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll after a pair of road wins last week, and looks to carry this momentum into conference play.
Behind the steady shot of Watson and the resurgent presence of Williams, North Texas looks capable of taking the SBC West division.
Watson, who has nailed at least one three pointer in 17 straight games, sits in sixth on the program’s all-time three-point list with 139. The senior recently passed Deon Hunter (1986-89) and Leonard Hopkins (2004-05), and needs 45 more to tie Chris Davis (1999-03) for the all-time lead. At this pace, the senior would pass Davis before the regular season ends.
The Houston native leads the team in scoring and the Sun Belt in three-pointers made.
Williams has stepped into his starting role with authority in the last two games. Getting the nod versus SFA and Nicholls State, the junior now leads the Sun Belt in field goal percentage (65.1%) and leads the team with 2.0 offensive rebounds per game.
Williams was the difference in NT’s three-point win against the Colonels, pouring in a career-high 18 points on 6-6 shooting. The Forest Park, Okla. native is the last North Texas player to notch a double-double, and is currently 13th all-time in school history in blocks with 32.
With its win over Nicholls State, North Texas picked up its fourth non-conference road win of the season, tying the 1970-71 squad for the school record. Four is the program’s most overall away victories since 1995-96 (5 wins).
This is the fourth time head coach Johnny Jones has recorded four away wins, and with nine road games left, NT would be only five wins short of the 1976-77 team’s record of nine.
North Texas is 4-2 all-time in Sun Belt Conference openers, with a 4-1 clip in the Jones era (2001-present). The Mean Green, which faced former conference rival New Mexico State in four of the six openers, is currently riding a two-game win streak in SBC openers.
Through 150 career games at North Texas, Jones has established himself as one of the most successful coaches in the program’s history. With a win at New Orleans, Jones would be second only to Bill Blakeley in winning percentage among NT coaches with at least 150 games. Jones’ home win percentage of 64.3 percent is also the best since the Blakeley era.
Tip off at New Orleans is scheduled for 2 p.m. from the Human Performance Center. Click here to listen to the game live.
Click here for this week’s game notes.