St. John’s basketball looking to bounce back against North Texas

St. John's basketball guard Daniss Jenkins (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images).
St. John's basketball guard Daniss Jenkins (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images). /

St. John‘s basketball begins the Charleston Classic on Thursday afternoon aghast North Texas. 

After a thrilling overtime victory against Northern Iowa and a decisive win over Omaha, the North Texas Mean Green is gearing up for a challenging matchup against the St. John’s basketball program in the opening game of the Charleston Classic.

As North Texas embarks on the season with two victories under its belt, a closer look at their team statistics reveals a compelling story of efficiency and prowess on both ends of the court.

The Mean Green, led by first-year head coach Ross Hodge, have opened the season with back-to-back victories. The team showcased their resilience in a nail-biting season opener against Northern Iowa.

Newcomer Jason Edwards’ clutch free throws and junior Aaron Scott’s career-high 26 points were instrumental in Hodge’s inaugural victory. The momentum continued with a 75-64 triumph over Omaha, fueled by career highs from CJ Noland and Rubin Jones.

Aaron Scott, recently named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Week, has been a standout performer after averaging 22.0 points per game in the opening week, sinking 7-of-11 attempts from 3-point range.

Known for his efficient scoring, the 6-foot-7 wing has also contributed defensively with four blocks and 10 rebounds.

Hodge inherits a program with a rich recent history after he, as the associate head coach, played a crucial role in the Mean Green’s ascent to becoming the winningest program in Conference USA.

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North Texas secured multiple conference titles and achieved led the nation in fewest points given up per game for the past two seasons.

Despite welcoming seven newcomers to the roster, North Texas is not in rebuilding mode. The team boasts a formidable lineup with three starters from last season’s NIT Title run returning, including Jones, Scott, and Moulaye Sissoko.

The newcomers, including experienced players like Allen and sharpshooter John Buggs III, have seamlessly integrated into the team.

The Mean Green have showcased an impressive offensive performance, averaging 79.0 points per game and the scoring output is backed by a remarkable field goal percentage of 51.4-percent.

Beyond two-point range, North Texas has been lethal from beyond the arc boasting a 3-point shooting percentage of 45.2-percent and averaging 9.5 3-pointers per game.

St. John’s basketball offense with massive challenge awaiting

North Texas demonstrates solid fundamentals on the backboards, securing an average of 33.5 rebounds per game and gives the team ability to control the boards provides crucial second-chance opportunities and limits opponents’ offensive possessions.

Additionally, the team averages 11.5 assists per game, showcasing their proficiency in ball movement and unselfish play on the offensive end.

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On the defensive side, the Mean Green exhibit discipline and intensity forcing an average of 11.0 turnovers per game. Their ability to convert these turnovers into points is reflected in the 8.0 points scored off turnovers per game. The team also showcases defensive prowess in steals, averaging 5.5 per game and 2.0 blocks per game.

The Mean Green’s quest for success faces a significant test on Thursday as they go head-to-head with the St. John’s basketball team. The Red Storm, a formidable opponent, brings a competitive edge and will challenge North Texas with their skilled lineup.

Tipoff is on Thursday at 1:30p.m EST on ESPNU.

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