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Chalk talk: UNT at Texas-San Antonio

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Brett Vito, Staff Writer

North Texas at Texas-San Antonio

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Convocation Center, San Antonio

Records: UNT 8-6, 1-0 C-USA; UTSA 8-6, 1-0 C-USA


Radio: KNTU-FM 88.1, KHYI-FM 95.3

Last game: UNT 63, UTEP 62; UTSA 79, Rice 66

UNT projected starting lineup:

PG: Ryan Woolridge (6-3, Soph.) -- Woolridge finished with seven points and three assists while playing all 40 minutes of UNT's win over UTEP. Mean Green coach Grant McCasland has credited Woolridge with effectively orchestrating UNT's offense throughout the season. The sophomore enters UNT's game against UTSA averaging 13.1 points a game and has handed out 67 assists on the season.

G: A.J. Lawson (6-5, Soph.) -- Lawson endured a tough night offensively in UNT's win over UTEP. The sophomore finished with two points on 1-of-4 shooting. He had three assists to go along with four turnovers. Lawson is averaging 10.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. 

G: Roosevelt Smart (6-3, Soph.) -- Smart made all the key plays down the stretch offensively for UNT in its win over UTEP on his way to scoring 29 points. His 3 with 1:59 left put the Mean Green up for good. Smart went 9-of-13 from the field and hit three 3s. The sophomore is averaging 18.4 points and is shooting 40.2 percent from 3-point range. 

F: Zachary Simmons (6-9, Fr.) -- Simmons scored five points and grabbed six rebounds in UNT's win over UTEP. The freshman helped the Mean Green deal with the Miners huge front line that featured 7-1 center Matt Willms. Simmons is averaging 5.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.

F: Shane Temara (6-9, Sr.) -- Temara hit four 3s on his way to scoring 14 points in UNT's win over UTEP. The senior is shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc this season and is averaging 11.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.

Scouting UTSA: The Roadrunners are in their second season under former Oklahoma assistant coach Steve Henson, who has UTSA's program headed in the right direction.

The Roadrunners improved their win total by nine in Henson's debut campaign, when UTSA finished 14-19. Henson appears to have the Roadrunners on track to take another step forward this season. UTSA is 8-6 and rolled past Rice in its C-USA opener.

UTSA's two best players are both freshmen guards from the Dallas area. Euless Trinity product Jhivva Jackson is averaging a team-high 17.2 points per game, while Richardson graduate Keaton Wallace is adding 14.1 points per game.

What you need to know: UNT picked up a huge win in its Conference USA opener when it knocked off UTEP 63-62 in El Paso. The Mean Green hadn't beaten UTEP on its home floor since 1951 and had lost nine straight to the Miners overall.

UNT will have the opportunity to pick up what would be another huge win on the road when it faces a UTSA team that is also on the rise.

Here's the story that will appear in tomorrow's paper:

The Mean Green have won two straight against their key Conference USA rival.

A win over UTSA would go a long way toward helping UNT navigate a tough stretch to start C-USA play. UNT will play five of its first seven league games on the road. 

Smart has been on a tear in his first season at UNT. The matchup between UNT's guard trio of Smart, Woolridge and Lawson and UTSA's duo of Jackson and Wallace will be one to watch.

FEATURED PHOTO: North Texas guard Roosevelt Smart shoots a jumper in a game at the Super Pit earlier this season. Smart scored 29 points in UNT's win over UTEP in its last outing.