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Chalk talk: Charlotte at UNT

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Brett Vito, Staff Writer

Charlotte at North Texas

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Super Pit, Denton

Records: UNT 9-6, 2-0 C-USA; Charlotte 4-8, 0-1 C-USA


Radio: KNTU-FM 88.1, KHYI-FM 95.3

Last game: UNT 72, Texas-San Antonio 71: Old Dominion 89, Charlotte 58

UNT projected starting lineup:

PG: Ryan Woolridge (6-3, Soph.) -- Woolridge posted one of his most efficient outings of the season in UNT's win over UTSA. The sophomore scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting  and hit two of his four 3-point attempts. Woolridge has played every minute of each of UNT's last four games and is averaging 13.4 points per gamer.

G: A.J. Lawson (6-5, Soph.) -- Lawson has been nursing a wrist injury this week, but is expected to be ready to play against Charlotte. He scored 14 points in UNT's win over UTSA and is averaging 10.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

G: Roosevelt Smart (6-3, Soph.) -- Smart has posted back-to-back games with at least 20 points since struggling on his way to scoring seven points in a loss to Georgetown before Christmas. Smart finished with 22 points and hit three 3s in UNT's win over UTSA. He is averaging 18.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. 

F: Zachary Simmons (6-9, Fr.) -- Simmons scored four points and grabbed a rebound in UNT's win over UTSA. He has been a steady contributor as a freshman and is averaging 4.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

F: Shane Temara (6-9, Sr.) -- Temara blocked a potential go-ahead layup from Byron Frohnen in the closing seconds of UNT's win over UTSA. He scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds against the Roadrunners and is averaging 11.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.

Scouting Charlotte: The 49ers parted ways with head coach Mark Price on Dec. 14 and has fallen to 4-8 after losing each of their last two games. Charlotte also lost its third leading scorer in Hudson Price, who averaged 10.2 points per game before leaving when his father was dismissed. Charlotte is something of a mess at this point and is playing under interim coach Houston Fancher, who served as Appalachian State's head coach for nine years.

What you need to know: UNT put itself in terrific position in the early stages of the Conference USA season by sweeping a road trip to UTEP and UTSA last week and will look to build on that performance against Charlotte in the opener of a two-game homestand.

There are a host of reasons UNT has played well early, including the overlooked rise of freshman Zachary Simmons. We go into the story in depth in tomorrow's paper:

Simmons is far from the only player who is excelling for UNT. Smart looks like one of the best players in the league, while Woolridge has done a good job of directing UNT on the offensive end.

UNT should beat Charlotte, especially at home. The game provides a perfect build-up to what looks like it will be a tough game on Saturday against Old Dominion.

The Monarchs are 10-3 overall and 1-0 in C-USA play heading into a game at Rice on Thursday.