North Florida plays at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (3-8) before heading back to the UNF Arena to host Thomas University Thursday night. The Ospreys (3-8) are coming off a grueling three-game stretch of the Gators, Orange and Razorbacks – possibly travel-wise and opponent-wise the toughest under Ospreys coach Matthew Driscoll. The Vaqueros posted a win over Texas State last Wednesday, snapping a three-game losing streak. North Florida looks to break a five-game skid and win for the first time since Nov. 25.
Coverage of Monday’s game in the UTRGV Fieldhouse can be heard on 1010XL at 8 p.m. ET.
North Florida hosted UTRGV last season for the Ospreys’ home opener. In that game, Dallas Moore reached 1,000 career points and the Ospreys unveiled the 2015 NCAA Tournament and ASUN title banners. Additionally, head coach Matthew Driscoll notched his 98th win at UNF. The Ospreys took down the Vaqueros 106-84.
Dallas Moore is one of two players in the country to have three straight 30-point games this season. AND he has done it against two top-25 teams at the time – Florida and Syracuse – and at Bud Walton Arena versus the Razorbacks. It could be the Dallas Moore Show the remainder of the year. He will get at least 18 tonight.
The Vaqueros have guards that want to work downhill. North Florida has seen this before with North Dakota back in November. It’s a combination of that and how UTRGV plays press defense, which the Ospreys just saw Saturday at Arkansas.
For a third straight game, the Ospreys will start Dallas Moore (#14), Aaron Bodager (12), Garrett Sams (11), Wajid Aminu (2) and Romelo Banks (33).
The Vaqueros are certain with four of their five. Most likely, it will be Lew Stallworth (#13), Antonio Green (55), Nick Dixon (4), Gage Loy (35) and Dan Kimasa (23). The only difference could be Mike Hoffman (21) starting over Kimasa.
About the Vaqueros:
UT-Rio Grande Valley has a new head coach and a rotation of 11 to 12 players. They have almost as much player-bench movement as they do in-game ball movement. The Vaqueros are a better passing team with more energy. All their players want to shoot. It does not matter how much time is on the shot clock.
For the Ospreys, it’s a scoring threat other than Moore or Bodager. It could be Romelo Banks or Garrett Sams. UTRGV could have Antonio Green knock in a half dozen threes. He leads the nation in threes made, and reminds us of Syracuse guard Andrew White. Dude WILL score.
How UNF Can Win:
Play like they have the last two games, and let Dallas Moore do his thing. It’s pretty basic. The Ospreys should be able to win by 10 or more.