Late night hoops rewind art

North Texas guard Javion Hamlet (3) guards Eastern Michigan forward Ty Groce during the Eagles win over the Mean Green at the Super Pit on Saturday.

Final: Eastern Michigan 56, North Texas 51

Where UNT stands: The Mean Green fell to 1-3 on the season after dropping their third straight game. UNT's slide has come in a tough section of its schedule that included games at VCU and Arkansas. 

Now what?: UNT will continue its season with a home game against North Carolina A&T on Tuesday. The game will be the Mean Green's second in the Jamaica Classic and its last before a tough two-game stretch on the island, where UNT will face Rhode Island and Utah State.

The tournament includes two home games and two games on the island for each team in the event.

UNT will have one last chance to get something going against the Aggies before departing for another tough road trip.

Star of the day: Graduate transfer forward Deng Geu continues to play well for UNT. He finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds against EMU. Geu hit four of his seven shots from the field.

Say what?:

“This team will get better. I’m convinced of that. They love each other and care about winning. The guys that we have in this locker room are the ones who will win here.”

-- Grant McCasland, UNT coach after the Mean Green dropped their third straight game.

Our take: UNT is quickly venturing into tough territory early in the season. 

The Mean Green laid out a challenging schedule early on in McCasland's third season and are struggling to handle it. UNT lost at VCU and Arkansas, which wasn't really all the surprising.

The hope was that UNT would learn from those losses, continue to improve and win the games it was supposed to.

The Mean Green played one of those games today and failed to come through.

UNT just doesn't look that great offensively. The Mean Green are a defensive-oriented team but at some point UNT is going to have to be better at putting the ball in the hole.

The Mean Green shot just 37.5% (18 of 48) from the floor and didn't convert down the stretch.

Zachary Simmons is UNT's best offensive player in the paint and took just five shots all night.

The scary part for UNT is that the road doesn't get much easier after its home game against North Carolina A&T. Rhode Island is a solid team that just clobbered Alabama. Utah State is nationally ranked.

McCasland said the Mean Green are preparing for Conference USA play. If UNT isn't careful, it could enter league play well under .500.

Here's a link to the story that will appear in tomorrow's paper about UNT's slide growing to three games.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

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