Rice vs North Texas Preview and Prediction
Rice vs North Texas Preview
The Rice Owls (7-11, 2-3) are seeking revenge as they head to UNT Coliseum to take on the North Texas Mean Green (16-2, 4-1) on Saturday. The conference rivals met on Dec.28th with North Texas picking up a 103-87 road victory. Will Rice return the favor?
The Mean Green had their eight-game winning streak snapped last time out against UTSA. The 76-74 loss, put NT in second-place of the Conference USA standings, but they are still considered one of the favorites when the season is complete.
“Give them credit they can really score,” said head coach Grant McCasland. “We’ve done a good job defending the rim but tonight they got too many easy baskets at the rim and we didn’t shoot the ball enough. We also had 10 first half turnovers.”
The loss has sat with the team for an entire week as they had seven days to prepare for Rice. I expect them to come out in front of their home crowd, ready to bounce-back from that loss.
Rice comes in with four players averaging double figures led by an elite freshman most of the country knows nothing about. Chris Mullins leads the team in scoring (12.8) and steals (1.4) and will be one of the more entertaining players to watch in this contest.
If the Owls want to pull the upset, having a career day from their freshman guard would be key.
As mentioned previously, Rice has four players in double figures on a nightly basis, but North Texas features a five-headed attack.
Ryan Woolridge: 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists
Zachary Simmons: 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.3 blocks
Umoja Gibson: 11.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists
Roosevelt Smart: 11.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists
Michael Miller: 10.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Jorden Duffy: 9.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists–honorable mention.
That is a deep and talented team.
North Texas was picked to finish fourth in Conference USA, while Rice was picked to finish dead last (14th). So far, both teams are projecting above their predictions.
The team picked to win the conference, Western Kentucky, has started 1-3 and is tied in last place.
LINE: -13.5 North Texas
Dan’s Bet: Over 146.5
Score Prediction: North Texas 92 Rice 80