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DENTON (12/30/06) With non-conference play in the rear-view mirror, Johnny Jones and the North Texas basketball team sets its sights on Denver. Tip off is slated for 7 p.m. tonight at The Super Pit.
With the win over Belhaven, North Texas (10-3, 1-1 SBC) reached 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.
Only two teams in the Lone Star State beat North Texas to 10 wins this season. Of the 20 Division I teams in Texas, only No. 11 Texas A&M (11-2) and Texas Tech (10-4) got to the 10-win plateau faster.
Preseason All-Sun Belt selection Kendrick Davis saw his first action in over a month against Belhaven. Out since Nov. 15 with a hand injury sustained following the UT-Arlington game, Davis played 19 minutes and put up a season-high four assists, and also contributed two points.
Davis was leading the Mean Green with 18.7 points per game and a 58.8 shooting percentage prior to the injury. Davis was named the Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year in 2005-06 after a standout junior campaign with North Texas.
Since earning a starting gig six games ago, Quincy Williams has emerged as one of the Sun Belt’s top forwards. The junior leads the conference in field goal percentage (62.8%) and is averaging 13.3 ppg since entering the starting lineup.
North Texas brings one of the nation’s top offenses to the table against Denver. NT, averaging 81.5 points per game, ranks among the nation’s top 25 and tops in the Sun Belt in scoring. The Mean Green is hitting 47.7 percent from the floor, second only in the SBC to Western Kentucky’s 48.8 percent.
North Texas is 10-0 this season when it holds its opponents under 44 percent shooting from the floor. NT has held five of its last six opponents under that mark. An area NT strived to improve on in the offseason, Mean Green opponents are averaging a shooting percentage of 42.1 this year - which ranks second in the Sun Belt. In North Texas’ three losses the opponents are shooting 52.3 percent.
North Texas is 42-9 all-time under Johnny Jones when it scores at least 80 points. That’s good news for the Mean Green, which is averaging 81.5 points per contest.