Hoops Check-in: Deep in the Heart of Texas

So here’s the plan. Each week, we’ll do a quick look into the men’s (and sometimes women’s) basketball program. We’ll recap the previous week’s game(s) and look ahead to the next week’s games. We won’t have a basketball contest up (this year, at least), but we all know Daniel Adams was probably going to win that anyway.

With that out of the way, let’s begin.

Southern Miss Recap

The Golden Eagles have never won a game in the Thomas Assembly Center.

I’m going to go ahead and say that again because it was fun to say.

The Golden Eagles have never won a game in the Thomas Assembly Center.

And that losing streak continued last Saturday as USM fell to the Bulldogs 71-56. Duruji led Tech scoring with 23 points, but the Dogs dominated this game primarily due to USM’s inability to basketball good.

While it’s true you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, Southern Miss missed 66% of the shots they did take. No other team has shot that poorly this year against Tech.

And to add to USM’s inability to get the round ball to go in the circular hoop, Tech won both the rebounding and turnover battles. Add all that up, and you get a long night afternoon for the visitors from Hattiesburg.

Record Probability Chart

Here is a chart:

pod chart

And here is what the chart means:

Like the Record Predictor charts in our weekly football posts, I pull data from MasseyRatings, combine the scenarios, and output a chart that displays the odds of each possible conference record Tech could end up with.

The last five games of the year will be in C-USA’s pod scheduling, so since we don’t know who Tech will play, we can’t predict how likely it is that they’ll win. If you can figure out how to do that, let me know.

North Texas Notes

The Mean Green enter this match-up with an 11-1 record, which does sound pretty intimidating. But before we freak out too much, let’s take a look at the opponents of both UNT and Tech with Massey Ranks above 200.

unt chart              tech chart

Like Tech, North Texas has some solid wins, but so far, the Mean Green haven’t convinced me that they’ll be able to run away with this game. Or in other words:

They ain’t played nobody, Paul.

But then again, neither has Tech.

The player to watch tonight is Roosevelt Smart, who has battled injury and only played in half of the 14 games this season, but when he plays, he changes the game. Smart scored 19.5 points-per-game last year (5th in C-USA) and dropped 20 on Rice Saturday night.

Rice Notes

This will be a weekend of extremes. Two days after Tech plays one of their toughest remaining opponents, the Dogs will compete against one of the easiest.

Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

Rice has all of five wins in 14 games. The Owls have (so far) topped St. Leo, Alabama A&M, Northwestern State, St. Edward’s, and UTRGV. So four schools I’ve never heard of and one I chose to forget about.

Six Owls (players, not physical owls) transferred out after last season, so this is a bit of a clean slate for second year coach Scott Pera. But so far, things don’t look too bright for this Rice team.

Other People’s Predictions

North Texas

Massey: North Texas wins, 75-70

KenPom: North Texas wins, 73-70

Rice

Massey: Tech wins, 83-74

KenPom: Tech wins, 83-74

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