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DENTON (12/28/06) Preseason All-Sun Belt selection Kendrick Davis is slated to return to action for the Mean Green Basketball team tonight against Belhaven.
Out since Nov. 15 with a hand injury, Davis was leading the Mean Green with 18.7 points per game and a 58.8 shooting percentage. Davis was named the Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year in 2005-06 after a standout junior campaign with North Texas.
The Mean Green is the Sun Belt’s top offensive club and will look to get even better with Davis in the lineup. NT is averaging 80.6 points per game with a shooting percentage of 47.8 percent.
North Texas sits at 90 in the official RPI Ratings following the win over Jarvis Christian. NT, 2-1 against the RPI’s top 100 teams, earned a Sagarin rating of 106. NT has been deadly from downtown, nailing over 40 percent of its 3-point attempts, which ranks 28th in the country. One of the nation’s most potent benches, North Texas’ sideline is averaging 11 points more than its counterpart.
North Texas’ Johnny Jones and Belhaven head coach Tom Kelsey will meet for the first time since spending the 2000-01 season as assistant coaches at Alabama. Jones’ final season before taking over at North Texas, the pair helped guide the Crimson Tide to a 25-11 record and an appearance in the NIT championship game. In his second season at Belhaven, Kelsey owns 23-17 overall record.
With a win over Belhaven, North Texas (9-3, 1-1 SBC) would reach 10 wins faster than any Mean Green team since 1976-77 (10-1). As a matter of fact, only five teams in school history have achieved 10 wins quicker than this year’s squad.
North Texas’ game against Jarvis Christian marked the fourth time this season in which five players scored in double figures - a high in the Johnny Jones era. Only two players, Rich Young and Michael Sturns, have been in double figures in each of the four games. A total of eight players have contributed at least 10 points in one of the four games. In his career at NT, Jones has had 15 games with at least five players in double figures.
With a win over Belhaven, the Mean Green would secure its ninth non-conference win, North Texas’ most since it had 11 in 1953-54. No other team in school history can match this year’s non-conference win percentage, which would sit at 81.8 with a win over the Blazers. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be heard on the Mean Green Radio Network.
This will be North Texas’ first meeting with Belhaven, and its first with a current Gulf Coast Athletic Conference member in over 40 years. The Mean Green picked up a 74-61 win over Loyola of Louisiana in December of 1964 to give the program its first win over the Wolfpack in four tries. NT also owns a 2-1 edge over the GCAC’s Spring Hill, although the two haven’t played since 1958.