The University of North Texas takes a 2-0 record — 1-0 against Big 12 competition — into today’s 7 p.m., nonconference clash against Kansas University.
“They have experience knocking off Big 12 teams,” said KU coach Bill Self, impressed by the Mean Green’s 92-83 overtime victory over Texas Tech on Tuesday on North Texas’ campus in Denton, Texas.
“They beat Oklahoma State a couple years ago (2007-08) when those (current) kids were freshmen. They played K-State tough last year in the tournament.”
The Mean Green return four starters from a Sun Belt Conference championship squad that fell to Kansas State, 82-62, in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tourney in Oklahoma City. Under coach Johnny Jones, North Texas is 3-0 at home versus the Big 12 with wins over Tech, OSU and Baylor (2003-04).
Senior guard Josh White, who averages 18.6 points a game in his career against Big 12 competition, scored 32 versus Tech on Tuesday. He had 25 versus Okie State in ‘07 and 28 the following season in a loss at Texas.
“He’s fast. Their whole team is fast,” Self said of the Mean Green, who outscored Texas Tech, 18-9, in overtime. “Their perimeter players can all score. Their big guys are quick and active.”
White, the brother of former Oklahoma guard Quannis White, ranks 10th on North Texas’ all-time scoring chart with 1,285 points.
White averages a team-leading 20.5 points a game, followed by senior guard Tristan Thompson (18.0), who scored 25 in the season-opener against Henderson State.
Senior forward George Odufuwa averages 16.5 points and 13 rebounds. The 6-foot-8, 240-pounder was one of 20 players in Div. I to average a double-double (11.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg) last season.
Junior forward Kedrick Hogans, who sat out last season because of a shoulder injury, averages 9.5 ppg. Senior reserve guard Dominique Johnson averages 16.5 ppg.
This, that: This is the first meeting between the schools . ... Johnny Jones is 152-121 in 10 years at North Texas. ... North Texas is 5-89 all-time against top 25 teams, including a 1-53 mark versus the top 10. That lone top 10 victory is North Texas’ last win over a ranked team — 69-67 over No. 8 Wichita State on Jan. 15, 1963. ... Under Jones, North Texas is 0-9 against ranked teams. ... KU has faced nine of the 12 members of the Sun Belt Conference and has compiled a 17-3 record.