It’s just five games into the season, but UNO is starting to reveal how it intends to attack on offense without its top two scorers from last year.
It’s a collective approach.
Sure, senior JT Gibson is averaging a team-best 16.8 points. But he has been the Mavericks’ actual leading scorer in two games.
Junior Ayo Akinwole scored 16 points at Wichita State, junior Matt Pile went for 22 against Midland and sophomore Marlon Ruffin finished with 19 at Colorado State. Four other players have reached double digits at least once.
The Mavs, who are working to retool after Zach Jackson and Mitch Hahn (31.7 points per game in 2018-19) completed their UNO careers, have been aided by that depth. But they’ve still dropped two games in a row.
And they will be challenged Thursday at Washington State. UNO (2-3) is two days removed from a 93-68 defeat at Dayton on Tuesday — the Mavs have crossed over two time zones and more than 1,700 miles since.
Their opponent hasn’t played since a home win Sunday. Washington State, under first-year coach Kyle Smith, was picked to finish 11th in the Pac-12 preseason poll. The Cougars (2-1) have defeated Seattle and Idaho State and lost at Santa Clara.
Meet the 2019-20 UNO men's basketball team
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