Hamlet, N. Texas visit Middle Tenn.
North Texas (14-9, 8-2) vs. Middle Tennessee (6-17, 2-8)
Murphy Athletic Center, Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Two senior guards will be on display as Javion Hamlet and North Texas will go up against C.J. Jones and Middle Tennessee. Hamlet is averaging 16.6 points and 5.4 assists over the last five games. Jones has scored 23 percent of the team’s points this season and is averaging 18.8 over his last five games.
VETERAN PRESENCE: Senior leadership has been on display for both of these teams. Jones, Antonio Green and Donovan Sims have combined to account for 53 percent of Middle Tennessee’s scoring this season. For North Texas, Hamlet, Umoja Gibson, Zachary Simmons and Deng Geu have collectively accounted for 62 percent of all North Texas scoring, including 75 percent of the team’s points over its last five games.
DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS: The Blue Raiders have given up just 75.6 points per game across 10 conference games, an improvement from the 81.5 per game they allowed to non-conference opponents.
FACILITATING THE OFFENSE: Hamlet has either made or assisted on 44 percent of all North Texas field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has accounted for 17 field goals and 18 assists in those games.
WINNING WHEN: North Texas is a perfect 6-0 when it turns the ball over 11 times or fewer. The Mean Green are 8-9 when they record more than 11 turnovers. Middle Tennessee has forced 13.1 turnovers per game in conference play and 12.8 per game over its last five.
ASSIST-TO-FG RATIO: The Blue Raiders have recently gotten baskets via assists more often than the Mean Green. Middle Tennessee has 31 assists on 70 field goals (44.3 percent) over its past three outings while North Texas has assists on 34 of 80 field goals (42.5 percent) during its past three games.
STINGY DEFENSE: North Texas has held opposing teams to 63 points per game, the second-lowest figure among all CUSA teams.