The last season of transition is about to start against Central Arkansas. There are still some questions about the Mavs, Derrin Hansen said he wasn’t exactly sure what’s going to happen with the bench, but hopefully guys will come in and prove themselves to make the process a little more simple.
UNO’s future non-conference opponents went 7-3 on the first two days of the college basketball new year. Central Arkansas lost to Creighton 104-77 and was out rebounded 45-28. Creighton is a bigger team this year compared to UNO, actually I doubt UNO has ever had a larger roster than Creighton.
UNO’s Height: Meyer-6’9″, White-6’8″, Rostampour-6’8″, Thurman-6’7″, Murry-6’7″
Creighton’s Height: Groselle-7’0″, Artino-6’11”, Hegner-6’9″, Hanson-6’9″, Gilmore-6’7″
Why am I comparing their height? I don’t know, maybe it’s because the closer you are to the basket the easier it is to score? Or maybe because Central Arkansas has 6’11” and 6’10” juniors in the starting lineup. They only combined for 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks against Creighton…playing against height in the past has been difficult for the Mavericks and I’m not sure if these two post players will pose problems for UNO.
Central Arkansas only returns one player from their roster last year. New Head Coach Russ Pennell just started completely over for a team that is ineligible for post season due to low APR. They have no seniors, 3 juniors eligible to play, a couple sophomores and 7 freshman. So on paper it doesn’t look that great for them, but UNO also has a cast of new faces, and in the history of college athletics they’ve never played a game on paper…well I guess I haven’t officially looked that up, but it sounds right.
Central Arkansas did shoot well from 3, they shot 45% against Creighton. They had 4 players in double figures with freshman Jordan Howard leading the way with 19 points. Michael Mulligan, another freshman, had 18 points and 7 rebounds, and another freshman Mathieu Kamba scored 11. Which kind of made me wonder what kind of numbers UNO freshman Daniel Meyer, Rylan Murry, Tre’Shawn Thurman, and Devin Newsome could put up if they got a bulk of the minutes but I do doubt they will get the same minutes the Central Arkansas freshman are getting.
UNO did beat Central Arkansas in Arkansas last year 104-88, but hey remember when it was stated that Central Arkansas is only returning one player and UNO is only returning 4 that actually played last year? So what’s the point of guessing the possibilities of an outcome today based on last year’s game. In fact, I don’t even think UCA’s returning player got in that game.
So basically based on very little, I want to give UNO a 10 point edge, but I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as I want it to be and could take a while for UNO to get a lead and actually be ahead. Very excited to see how the returning players mesh with the new UNO cast.