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  1. UNT announced the addition of Maurice Aniefiok today. One quick fix I made in the story here in the last few minutes — Aniefiok actually picked up his two-year degree at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. As far as my thoughts on the addition of the 6-5 wing, it’s well beyond what one could reasonably expect at this point of the summer. Aniefiok was good enough coming out of prep school to land at Ole Miss and play in the SEC. He didn’t play a lot for the Rebels and left. He spent some time at Collin County, was briefly committed to Tulsa and somehow made a stop in Iowa somewhere along the way. The bottom line is the guy can clearly play. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/07/tuesday-late-night-basketball-tidbits-thoughts.html/
  2. UNT is in the market for a new assistant coach after Bart Lundy, one of the original members of Tony Benford’s staff, left to take over as the head coach at Queens College. It was a great move for Lundy, who was looking to take a job closer to where his children live for part of the year. The departure of Lundy put UNT in the market for an assistant coach. Tony Benford likely knew for some time that there was a good chance Lundy would be headed back to where he started his career as a head coach. Benford said he was well into the process when Lundy left. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/07/unt-changing-assistants-at-key-point-in-recruiting-cycle.html/
  3. Bart Lundy turned down one opportunity to become a head coach again this offseason to stay with longtime friend Tony Benford at North Texas. The second chance Lundy received was far too tempting for him and his family to pass up. Lundy confirmed Monday night that he will be named the head coach at Queens, a Division II school in Charlotte, N.C., this week. Lundy launched his career as a head coach at Queens in 1998 and posted a 115-41 record in five seasons before jumping to Division I High Point. Lundy has four children ages 8 to 16 who live part time in High Point, N.C., which is just over an hour’s drive from Charlotte. Lundy turned down a chance to become the head coach at Clayton State in Morrow, Ga., just a few weeks ago. “It had to be the right fit,” Lundy said. “I was less concerned about coaching in Division I or Division II than I was in getting closer to my boys. I worked for the president and the athletic director at Queens.” Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20130701-men-s-basketball-lundy-to-leave-unt-to-become-head-coach.ece
  4. Ill tell you this much. UNT is going to look good coming off the bus and in the layup line next year. UNT has added not only Gaines, but Collin Voss (a former DI tight end recruit), Armani Flannigan (who is supposed to be a Tony Mitchell level dunk artist) and Josh Friar (another big guy who looks the part). And dont forget Keith Coleman, another huge guy. What will be interesting to see is if all that physical talent translates to the court and into wins. And in a side note, dont count out the possibility of UNT continuing to turn its roster over. Benford said publicly that he wanted to bring in another wing player. It wouldnt surprise me if somehow Maurice Aniefiok, a former Ole Miss wing who spent last season at Collin County Community College and was briefly committed to Tulsa finds his way on to the roster by the beginning of the season. If he does, that will mean another returning player will be gone. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/06/unt-basketball-notes-more-on-gaines-and-another-potential-target.html/
  5. Following the addition of Kelvin Gaines to UNT’s roster yesterday, I started taking a look at the Mean Green’s roster for next season and doing the math. UNT has six scholarship players set to return: Keith Coleman, Chris Jones, Jordan Williams, T.J. Taylor, Alzee Williams and Brandan Walton. To that group UNT has added: Kelvin Gaines, Vertrail Vaughns, Collin Voss, Armani Flannigan, Tony Nunn, Josh Friar and Greg Wesley. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/06/looking-at-unts-hoops-roster-benford-everyone-will-be-back.html/
  6. Kelvin Gaines, a 6-10 center who has spent the last three years at Cincinnati, will likely visit UNT this weekend, multiple sources close to the situation said late this week. Gaines redshirted his first season at Cincinnati and then playing sparingly the last two years. He is set to graduate in just three years and could be looking for another school where he can continue his career. A Cincinnati spokesman declined comment when asked about Gaines’ status with the program. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/05/cincinnati-center-likely-visiting-unt-this-weekend.html/
  7. The focus when it comes to the UNT mens basketball team over the last few days has been the final spot on the roster and the comings and goings of a few prospects, including Cincinnati center Kelvin Gaines and former Alabama State signee Egi Gjikondi. Theres a bit more going on around the program, including the rapid rise up the draft board of Tony Mitchell. The Blazers worked out Mitchell this week. The Oregonian has a short story and video interview it posted yesterday. Its looking more and more like Mitchell might end up being a lottery pick, which UNT head coach Tony Benford predicted weeks ago. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/05/friday-afternoon-basketball-notes-4.html/
  8. The following is a recap from North Texas Head Coach Tony Benford’s speech at the UNT Coaches Caravan stop held at the Royal Oaks Country Club in Dallas, Texas on May 7th, 2013. After an introduction from UNT Athletic Director Rick Villarreal: Benford said that he appreciated “Coach V’s” support but after a long meeting today he told RV, I’m a big guy – of course I need to drop some pounds and I’m working on that (audience laughter) – but no, what I said was coach, I can take care of myself -I’m a big boy and I’ve been doing this a long time and I know what it takes to win and what I have to do to get this program to the level that we aspire to be at. He personally thanked Ernie Kuehne (called him the Godfather of North Texas basketball) and Julie (wife of David) Anderson from Texas Capital Bank who helped to set up the event to the applause of the crowd. He said he appreciated everyone's support and would do his very best to build a program they could be proud of. On the new Ernie Kuehne practice facility: The facility is phenomenal, what Mr. Kuhne and others have done for us is unbelievable from a recruiting standpoint. We have a building that we can sell. The one thing I tell recruits all the time is we are going to invest in them, not only as a person but also on the court in terms of their game. With the new practice facility – there’s no excuses. With the facilities we have and the new Jumbotron and some other things that we’re doing there are no excuses. We have a phenomenal institution – we just have to get the word out and we’re doing that. read more:
  9. I checked in yesterday with the UNT men’s basketball team’s staff and then caught up with a university spokesman today. Baring a huge surprise, UNT will stand pat with its recruiting class as the signing period comes to an end today. UNT was really hoping that Zach Peters would sign and provide the team another option and some experience in the post. That plan fell through when the 6-foot-9 forward committed to Arizona. As I mentioned yesterday, there are still options out there for UNT. There are high school players who could be added late like Kedrick Hogans was in August several years ago. There are also several transfers sitting out there on the market. UNT has already picked up one transfer in Vertrail Vaughns, a George Mason transfer guard, who Tony Benford and the rest of the staff are really excited about. So what does UNT have as we hit the end of the signing period? Here’s a look: Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/05/looks-like-the-unt-men-will-stand-pat-for-now-with-recruiting-class.html/
  10. Taking into account the signings thusfar (Voss, Armani, Vaughns) who we lost and who we have coming back and the new conference do you see the record better or worse in 2013-14?
  11. The more Vertrail Vaughns thought about all that North Texas has to offer over the last few days, the more coming home to the Dallas-Fort Worth area made sense. The former Mesquite standout spent four seasons at George Mason and enjoyed some great times at that school before deciding to transfer for his senior year. The 6-foot-2-inch guard had plenty of suitors, but none could offer what UNT could in terms of both his basketball future and his personal life. Vaughns committed to UNT on Wednesday. “My gut feeling led me there,” Vaughns said of UNT. “I liked it there and it gives me a chance to be close to my family. I feel like it will be a nice environment.” Vaughns averaged 5.0 points in 15.3 minutes per game off the bench last season. He started all 33 games for the Patriots as a sophomore in the 2011-12 campaign, when he averaged 8.8 points. Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20130502-basketball-notebook-george-mason-guard-commits-to-unt.ece
  12. Although head coach Tony Benford and the men’s basketball team didn’t have the year they wanted, Benford always made sure to maintain a strong relationship with the athletes. Whether it was Benford having his team over to his house for a pre-game dinner or the daily check-ins with his players, he made sure his team was well-rounded so it could function well on the court. “He wants to see us succeed in life,” senior guard Roger Franklin said. “Not just in the classroom, or not just on the basketball court. He’s preparing us to be not boys in the world, but men.” As a child, Benford’s father served two tours in Vietnam as a sergeant in the Army, and wasn’t around much for his son. “A lot of the coaches I had were like father figures to me because they were always around,” Benford said. In high school Benford played for head coach Ralph Tasker at Hobbs High School in Hobbs, N.M., and aspired to be like him one day. “He cared about us,” Benford said. “He didn’t care black, white, brown, he cared about kids and making a difference in the lives of kids. It was a family atmosphere, he invested in our lives.” Read more: http://wordpress1.cws.unt.edu/?p=4119
  13. I made a couple of calls over the last few days to try to get in touch with former George Mason and Mesquite guard Vertrail Vaughns. Vaughns spent four years at George Mason, including a redshirt year, and is looking to transfer for his final season of eligibility. He visited UNT over the same weekend that the Mean Green landed Central Wyoming forward Armani Flannigan and Northern Oklahoma College forward Colin Voss. Flannigan and Voss have already signed with UNT (more on that later). Vaughns in still out there. I talked to Mesquite coach Brian Curts, who coached Vaughns when he was in high school. I have yet to get a call back from Vaughns. Curts said four schools are in play at the moment UNT, Auburn, Maryland and Florida Atlantic. Curts said that Vaughns will visit Maryland if he hasnt already since the school isnt too far from George Mason. He will also visit Auburn. There are quite a few schools that are interested, Curts said. He is looking at those four, but is willing to talk to others. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/04/thursday-night-basketball-notes-ventrail-vaughns-update-benford-on-voss.html/
  14. Ray Harper and Western Kentucky basketball may have a shot at landing junior college big man Kevin Thomas. Originally a Texas signee, Thomas spent the 2012-13 season at Palm Beach State Community College in Lake Worth, Fla. Tuesday, the Canadian recruiting website Northpolehoops.com reported that Thomas has trimmed his choices to WKU, North Texas, Troy and St. Bonaventure. Originally from Ajax, Ontario, Thomas did not qualify academically for Texas. He played the 2010-11 season at Christian Faith Center Academy in Creedmoor, N.C., where he averaged 11.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Read more: http://www.bgdailynews.com/sports/juco-thomas-tabs-wku-in-final-four/article_b50db514-ad91-5cdc-a1ff-2d55380d73b7.html
  15. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/04/tony-benford-video-on-camp-for-special-needs-adults-highlights.html/
  16. P.J. Hardwick, a freshman guard who started 17 games this season, has elected to leave North Texas and transfer to another school. UNT men’s coach Tony Benford confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Hardwick would not return to UNT for his sophomore season. “P.J. has decided to make a move for an opportunity at a better role,” Benford said. “I talked to him and his dad, and he is going to transfer. We wish him the best and appreciate the contributions he made this year. He’s a good kid and a hard worker.” Hardwick averaged 3.7 points per game and led UNT with 81 assists in his only season with the Mean Green. He became UNT’s starter at point guard when Chris Jones broke his foot in a loss to Western Kentucky on Dec. 29. “I want to thank the University of North Texas, because it has been a blessing to play here,” Hardwick said in a statement. “I want to thank my teammates and the entire coaching staff, and I wish them nothing but the best.” Hardwick was the first recruit Benford signed after taking over the program following the 2011-12 season. He is the third player to leave the program since the fall. Trey Norris transferred to South Dakota before the season started. Former Argyle standout Clarke Overlander announced March 27 that he also is leaving the program. “We want to keep all the kids who sign,” Benford said. “Having players transfer is part of it. I signed several kids at Marquette who left. When I was at Nebraska and Arizona State, we had players transfer. Sometimes things don’t work out. Kids are not satisfied with their role or their playing time. The program goes on. We will sign quality players.” Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20130410-notebook-hardwick-wont-return-for-mean-green.ece
  17. UNT head coach Tony Benford confirmed this afternoon that freshman guard P.J. Hardwick has elected to transfer. Hardwick started 16 games last season while starter Chris Jones recovered from a broken foot. Hardwick averaged 3.7 points a game and led UNT with 81 assists. He was the first recruit Benford signed after taking over the program following last season. He is the third player to transfer out of the program since the weeks leading up to last season. Trey Norris transferred out before the season started. Former Argyle standout Clarke Overlander also recently announced he is leaving the program. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/04/benford-confirms-p-j-hardwick-to-transfer.html/
  18. On Friday the University of Texas at Austin will play host to the N.C.A.A. mens basketball tournament for the first time in eight years. But what you may not see on the court at the Frank Erwin Center is a single team from Texas. That includes U.T. Under N.C.A.A. rules, host teams dont play at their own arena, but the 16-17 Longhorns wont be in the tournament at all this season, breaking a streak of 14 consecutive appearances for head coach Rick Barnes. (Before the seasons final home game against Baylor, Mike Finger, who covers the team for The San Antonio Express-News, was reading the Wikipedia entry for the College Basketball Invitational, a third-tier consolation tournament that nobody in Austin ever had to know about before.) It isnt just the Horns. Baylor, which fell one win short of the Final Four in both 2010 and 2012, lost nine of its last 13 games this season, making it a longshot for the field of 68. Texas A&M finished 11th in its first season as a member of the 14-team Southeastern Conference. Even North Texas, a preseason favorite to win the Sun Belt behind a potential N.B.A. lottery draft pick, Tony Mitchell, went 12-20. As recently as 2010, Texas tied an N.C.A.A. record for the most teams from a single state in the tournament with seven: U.T., Baylor, Texas A&M, North Texas, Houston, the University of Texas at El Paso and Sam Houston State. This season, barring any conference tournament surprises, its hopes are pinned entirely on Stephen F. Austin, which was favored to win the Southland Conference tournament Saturday night in Katy. If the Lumberjacks fell short, Texas could be absent from March Madness for the first time since 1977, when the term March Madness didnt yet exist. Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/sports/march-madness-time-and-texas-may-not-get-to-play.html
  19. While this season as a whole can’t be chalked up to anything close to good, the Mean Green have won 4 out of their last 6 games and just beat the #2 seed in the Sun Belt Tournament by 14 points. Head Coach Tony Benford said after the game that “I wouldn’t want to play us, I’m going to take 4 suits”. Benford believes that his team is dangerous going into the tournament and with the return of point guard Chris Jones they are healthier than they have been in quite some time. The whole team is pushing forward with the mentality that they can beat anyone and should take it one game at a time. Many players spoke about their confidence going into the tournament. Coach Tony Benford “I wouldn’t want to play us, I’ll be honest with you. When you have guys like Tony and Roger who have been in that championship game, Chris Jones and the way Jordan is playing right now….were going to take it one game at a time” Read more: http://sportdfw.com/2013/03/03/north-texas-coach-tony-benford-im-going-to-take-four-suits/
  20. This year, there have been 77 games missed by five of the Aggies’ top players — and 105 if you count Jardine, who would’ve played this season if not for a career-ending foot surgery. It’s hard to imagine a team in the country more beset by physical afflictions. "It’s been a strange one," said coach Stew Morrill, now in his 27th year as a head coach. "I’ve never seen anything like it in all the years I’ve been in coaching, that’s for sure." A perusal of a USA Today list of injuries across the Division I landscape reveals that Utah State is in a rather exclusive category of teams ravaged by health issues. Putting aside programs with suspended or ineligible players, there are really only two that compare. North Texas coach Tony Benford, for example, might have a legitimate claim for most injury-prone team in America. His Mean Green Eagles have lost 78 games and five players this year. It’s hard to forget the ill omen that kicked off the year, when his 3-point sharpshooter Brandan Walton broke his foot on an early possession against Creighton. Since then, it’s unfolded into a 12-19 season for a program that was expected to win its division in the Sun Belt Conference. Read more: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/55963997-77/aggies-state-season-butterfield.html.csp
  21. Brady said at his postgame news conference that he believed Benford acted inappropriately. “I’m certainly not going to let someone in our building curse at me, which he did, and anybody sitting at the scorer’s table will verify that,” Brady said. Benford disputed Brady’s version of the events. “What he said is false,” Benford said. “I never cursed him. I have been doing this for 22 years and always act professionally.” UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal has reviewed the situation and said he would take appropriate action. read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/unt-mean-green/20130204-unt-basketball-coach-tony-benford-denies-cursing-at-arkansas-state-coach.ece
  22. Both Jacob Holmen and Chris Jones have visited with team doctors in the last few days. UNT received good news on one player and is waiting for word on the second. UNT point guard Chris Jones, who broke his foot in a loss to Western Kentucky on Dec. 29, is recovering nicely. He is off crutches and is now just walking around in a boot. What UNT has yet to determine is if he will recover the point he can play late this season. The hope is that he can be back in time for the Sun Belt Conference tournament. It would be a huge boost for UNT is Jones does make it back. The sophomore is averaging 10.2 points and 5.0 assists a game. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/01/unt-mens-basketball-injury-update.html/
  23. Fake Tony Benford Ok, which one of you is behind this? Pretty darn funny in my opinion.
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