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  1. It’ll be a sad day for LSU basketball when Jones’ tenure ends because he seemed the right man for his dream job when he was hired five years ago. A DeRidder native, he had been a key player for four seasons as Brown was building LSU into an SEC power and he was Brown’s assistant for 13 seasons. Jones got his head coaching chops at North Texas, where he took the Mean Green twice to the NCAA tournament before returning to Baton Rouge. His first LSU team showed significant progress on its was to 19 victories. His second team went to the NIT and won a game, his third went to the NCAA tournament. Then came the arrival of the No. 1 high-school player in the country — Ben Simmons — and the Tigers seemed likely to return to the NCAA tournament and maybe make some noise in it. But it never happened. The entire 2015-16 season was a letdown and the Tigers finished 19-14 and 11-7 in the SEC. The NCAA tournament had no interest in them and they had none in any other postseason tournament. And, as expected, Simmons left for the NBA after one season and Jones was left to compete with a much-less talented roster. That’s not always bad because often times in basketball less talented teams are able to produce a sum greater than their parts when more talented teams produce sums lesser than the sum of their parts. Remember Brown’s chicken pox team going to the Final Four and a team with Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Jackson and Stanley Roberts failing to get anywhere near it? But with much less talent than last year’s team, this year’s LSU team was an even bigger flop. The season is going to end this week, perhaps as early as Wednesday. And then it will be time to search for someone to replace Jones in a job that frankly isn’t all that attractive to coaches with skins on the wall. The end of this season will be a relief to anyone who has followed this team. But it will also be sad. read more: https://sportsnola.com/inevitable-end-johnny-jones-tenure-lsu-will-sad/
  2. Does anyone else find it amazing that both Tony Benford and Johnny Jones seem to be on the same trajectory right now? Even the articles about them seem to be from the same writer... LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones should be fired, but not now When mass apathy sets in, the writing is on the wall. There’s no conceivable way Alleva can bring back the man who is, at best, the second-worst basketball coach in the SEC today. It’s hard to believe anyone else is capable of missing the NCAA Tournament with the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, as Jones did last year with Ben Simmons. Just look at the list and tell me who you think Jones is capable of matching wits with. Perhaps there’s the guy he has actually beaten this year, Missouri’s Kim Anderson, but that’s about it. SEC programs are starting to take hoops seriously, as Alabama’s hire of one-time NBA Coach of the Year Avery Johnson demonstrates. LSU will only fall further behind with Jones in charge. Unfortunately, there’s no actual benefit to firing him before March. It gives LSU zero edge on its next coaching search and would only serve to make a dysfunctional team an even bigger nightmare that could haunt the program’s future chances by way of a potentially nosediving Academic Progress Rate. The one positive thing that can be said about Jones is that he handles things in a dignified manner, and that is how he should be allowed to go out. Knowing that this is the end of the road would allow him to teach important life lessons to his players about how to conduct themselves when facing adversity. read more:https://www.seccountry.com/lsu/.WIEhvQD7unA.facebook
  3. ...that as Benford heads into his last year of his contract with us, Johnny Jones may well become available after this season? LSU is losing to Vandy tonight and the LSU fans are looking for blood. I get a sense he may not be long for the world there.
  4. Shawn Forrest, a longtime assistant coach who was a key component in North Texas’ six-year run of unprecedented success in men’s basketball under Johnny Jones, is back in Texas. Texas-San Antonio announced today that Forrest has joined its staff under new head coach Steve Henson. Forrest was at UNT from 2008-12, right in the middle of the Mean Green’s run of six straight winning seasons that included two NCAA tournament berths and five 20-win campaigns from 2006-12. He helped recruit Tony Mitchell and Jordan Williams. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2016/05/monday-morning-notes-former-unt-assistant-to-utsa-unt-loses-one-to-smu.html/
  5. LSU with an 11 point lead with 5 min to go. Happy for JJ. Seems to have the Tigers headed in the right direction. Rick
  6. When Tony Benford arrived at North Texas in the spring of 2012, he was met with sky-high expectations of NCAA tournament bids and conference titles. That was part of the deal when the former Marquette assistant inherited a future NBA draft pick in Tony Mitchell, not to mention Jordan Williams and Alzee Williams, a pair of players now ranked in the top 20 when it comes to scoring in program history. UNT finished 12-20 in Benford’s first season before breaking even at 16-16 last year. That performance led athletic director Rick Villarreal to acknowledge that the Mean Green must improve and overcome some of the obstacles the program has faced, including competing at a higher level after moving to Conference USA last season. “Tony did a great job of recruiting this year,” Villarreal said earlier this year. “We are excited about the kids he is bringing in, but there is no doubt in his third year, regardless of being in Conference USA, we have to play better.” UNT ran off five straight 20-win seasons followed by an 18-win campaign under former coach Johnny Jones before he left for LSU following the 2011-12 season. The Mean Green haven’t posted a winning season since and are just 13-23 in conference play the last two years. Benford and his players say that they don’t feel any added pressure to break through, but realize that they have to start winning consistently. “We have to win games,” Benford said. “I appreciate Coach V. He’s right. We understand that. We are in it to win. That’s why I took this job. Everyone is in it to win. We are trending that way, and I believe we have made progress and are adding quality players.” Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20141114-mens-basketball-mean-green-look-to-get-back-to-winning-ways.ece
  7. I know that some on here are ready for Tony Benford to move on down the road after two seasons as head coach. You have the right to your opinion and so I am not questioning that. My question though is would you have raised the same issues in regards to Johnny Jones? In Johnny's first season 2001-02 he went 15-14 In his second season he went 7-21... it took Johnny 4 more seasons before he posted a winning record and led the team to an NCAA tournament bid. So my question is, if the same litmus test was given to Johnny that is being given to Benford by some of us -- ie consecutive losing seasons -- would we have fired a coach that would have taken us to the NCAA tournament and ultimately become a UNT Hall of Famer? Were the same people on here rattling their sabres about Benford doing the same thing towards Johnny when he won only 7 games in a season? I know some bring up the WKU firing of Ken McDonald and hiring of Ray Harper. I looked McDonald up online... it sure seems like there were other issues involved in that decision as he seemed to be having some off the court stuff from what I was reading...who really knows... WKU played it like it was for the good of the program and I am sure that it was but we haven't seen any issues with Benford off the court. Heck even Tony Mitchell has praised Benford...as a coach... Now the Oregon State Coach Robinson gets fired and is used as an example of program courage. He was 93-104 in six years at Oregon State with no NCAA tournament appearances for goodness sakes. That is a BCS school with millions of dollars for buyouts...they can't continue to keep him and keep their boosters satisfied. Again, he was there 6 years and we are using that as a comparison to a coach who has been here 2? To me that is an Apples and Oranges comparison. This is not to say that Benford is without fault because this is a business and you have to produce. He made a mistake on Keith Coleman -- there are others (Armani Flanigan comes to mind). He didn't come to this job with head coaching experience but then again neither did Johnny save an interim stint at Memphis. So like Johnny, he is learning on the job. The straw man argument is that Benford inherited a sweet 16 caliber team when Johnny left. And there is no doubt that Tony Mitchell is an EXTREMELY talented player and there was some talent on that team. But could it be that the chemistry on that squad was "off"? Could it be that the team was extremely overhyped? I think when you look at Tony Benford's mistakes the biggest one was hyping up that team as much as he did. But what did we expect him to do? Come in to a new job with extremely BIG coaching shoes to fill and play down expectations? And yes, UNT doesn't have a bunch of money to buy out contracts but I believe someone posted that Benford's buyout would be in the 300-500K range. Don't you think if we were absolutely convinced this coach was on a road to nowhere could we not pay that out? I think we could and would even though it is not an easy thing to do at UNT. Make no mistake, this year 3 is EXTREMELY important for Benford and if he lays an egg he will be hard pressed to keep his gig. With the exception of Jordan and Chris, it will be his team and he should be held 100% accountable for their performance. He has shown that he can still recruit. Combs from Dallas can play, Greg Wesley will be good and Muhammed Ahmed appears to be a good player as well. I'm interested to see who he lands with this last spot. It will be an entirely different looking team next year. So put me in the camp that wants to see what Benford will do in year 3 of this thing. If he falters, I will man up, admit I was wrong and join up with those who wanted him gone after year 2. GMG
  8. LSU forward Jordan Mickey, who played alongside Mudiay last season, hails from the suburb of Arlington and calmly laid out what the city’s best thought of SMU before Brown’s hiring . “A lot of people wasn’t looking to go there,” Mickey said Friday. Under different circumstances, maybe Mickey would under Brown’s tutelage instead of Jones, who still mines the Dallas area heavily after spending 12 seasons at North Texas. Yet the Tigers’ coach didn’t elaborate on the challenges of trying carve out a foothold at SMU, which has to contend with UNT and TCU inside its metro area and other in-state competitors from Texas, Baylor, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. “I only know about building at UNT,” Jones said. Read more: http://theadvocate.com/sports/8712660-128/lsu-on-the-road-for
  9. Watching JJ's LSU Tigers shoot just about as bad against Seton Hall as we did against UTA.
  10. BATON ROUGE - One day after LSU Assistant Men's Basketball Coach Shawn Forrest stepped down, questions have been raised as to why. He had only been an assistant coach for the Tigers for 40 days before leaving abruptly. Forrest said in a statement Monday, "I appreciate the opportunity given to me by Coach Jones and LSU. There are some personal matters that have taken a priority that I need to give immediate attention." Last month in a news release issued through email and posted on their website, LSUSports.net, a spokesperson for the athletic department wrote of Forrest's basketball and life accomplishments. One paragraph read, "Forrest received a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Arkansas Pine Bluff in 1998 and a Master's of Education from Troy [university] in 2000." But Troy University has no record Forrest ever completed the program. Read more: http://www.wbrz.com/news/resume-questions-arise-after-lsu-coach-s-resignation/
  11. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/archives/2012/05/benford-has-no-problem-releasi.html
  12. Read more: http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/7931989/a-look-coaching-hire-college-basketball
  13. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/archives/2012/05/where-the-john-odoh-issue-stan.html
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