So this here serves as a) the preview post for NU's season opener against UT-Pan American as well as the game thread, because I'm lazy. Anyway, for the third straight season, Northwestern plays UT-Pan American. We often use UTPA as the butt of jokey things considering a) I've never heard of them in any non-NU non-conference basketball context and b) they're in the Great West conference. But the previous two tries were a brutal 53-44 win featuring 19 NU turnovers against a team that was 1-15 and last year's 77-71 squeaker against a team that would go 3-25 against D-I competition.
My point is, UT-Pan American is a very bad basketball team, but in two outings, NU has had trouble. Although we should take this win for granted, we totally shouldn't.
Obligatory stuff copy-pasted from last year's post:
First things first: What in the hell is Texas-Pan American, and why is it so damn Pan American?: I'm not really sure why it's so damn Pan American. It is i no way affiliated with Pan-American Airlines or the Pan-American Games, or the nation of Panama. Its a school in Edinburg, Texas, which is pretty damn much the closest to Mexico you can possibly be in the United States - think of San Antonio, then go about 225 miles south until you reach the 85-to-90 percent Hispanic Rio Grande Valley, and you'll be near Edinburg. So, hell if I know. Point is, they founded a college there, called it "Pan American College", then later decided to call it "University of Texas-Pan American" when it got taken over by the University of Texas. It makes no sense.
And while we're at it, what the hell is a Bronc?: A bronco is an untrained wild horse. You know, like the Denver Broncos? Or the Ford Bronco? Alright, take that, and just eliminate the o. That's it. It's the same thing. No word on why UT-PA chose to go with the shortened version that looks like you're leaving out a letter every time and not the one that everybody won't think is a typo. The sports teams at Rider University also go by the Broncs. They are also silly.
Are they good?: Just got done losing to DePaul by 20, so, nah. The team has a bright spot, hitting 38 percent of their threes, but had LITERALLY THE WORST three-point defense in the country last year, allowing opponents to shoot 41.6 percent from beyond the arc. They were 339th in the nation in overall defense, allowing 114.9 points per 100 possessions. They don't list their players' heights on the website, so who knows how tall they are?
Who they got?: Look out for 6-foot-3 guard Brandon Provost, who was second on the team in scoring last year with 12.5 points per game. The former Air Force player led the team with 16 points and an atypical eight boards while hitting all three of his threes - he shot 44 percent from three last year, so it wasn't a fluke.
Us and them: Northwestern is a dawesome 6-0 against UT-Pan American. Yes, this is Northwestern's seventh game against UT-Pan American.
Difference between the amount of times we've has been to the NCAA tournament and the amount of times they have: 0! As I mentioned last year, UTPA has a 1981 NIT invite and won the 1961 NAIA Championship - SUCK IT ROBERT MORRIS, NO NOT THAT ROBERT MORRIS THE ONE WE PLAYED LAST WEEK - but has never gone to the tourney. If they win the Great West, though, they could get that auto bid to the CIT!
Good names?: Senior guard Keiondre Arkwright and freshman guard Jaymeson Moten obviously stand out, but don't sleep on the team's only center, Enique Mason. He can be your heo baby.
Will the overly Hispanic dudes who did the free streaming webcast of last year's NU-UTPA game be here? I HOPE SO. I hope they made the trip to Big Ten powerhouse Northwestern - not sure how they'll react to not seeing Juice Thompson and his signature spin move.
Do we have it?: Yeah, we got it.
Anything to look for?: I'm interested to see Tre Demps, David Sobolewski, and Michael Turner make their debuts. I hope to see Luka Mirkovic not struggle against undersized opponents, considering he didn't do that last year and has hopefully put on some muscle since the last time we saw him. But basically, I just want to see NU get in and get out with an easy win.
Should NU win?: Yup!