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  1. This program is not devoid of talent. Woolridge is a legit PG and AJ is one of the better players in the conference. He certainly left something behind to build around.
  2. You know that weird feeling in your stomach when you know something isn’t right? Everything might seem okay Turns out, that was only the beginning of one of the worst campaigns in program history. Plagued by injuries, turnovers and poor offensive execution, the Mean Green finished the year 8-22 and said goodbye to head coach Tony Benford last weekend. I really do feel bad for Benford. He is an outstanding man. He took the time to get to know me this season, and I always enjoyed our chats in his office before and after interviews. Sadly, kindness does not win basketball games. Over the course of his five-year tenure, that was a recurring theme. Benford could never win the games that mattered. His teams, for whatever reason, always seemed to stumble, even when it looked like they were set up for success. Like this year. When this season began, Benford knew he had to win to save his job. The theme of the preseason press conference was “win now.” With a majority of his roster back, Benford thought he would have all the necessary puzzle pieces to string it together. He knew he had a preseason all-conference selection and a McDonald’s All-American ready to suit up for him. Then injuries came in and flipped the table, sending those same puzzle pieces flying. And while the injuries are unfortunate, Benford has no one to blame but himself. He put himself in this situation. In five years, none of his teams finished above the .500 mark. The Mean Green won only one conference tournament game under Benford and were a dismal 62-95 from 2012-2017. Over the years, Benford was given plenty of chances to make things work. But after five years with no real signs of progression on the court, the writing was on the wall. View Full Article
  3. 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
  4. ...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.
  5. https://jobs.unt.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/frameset/Frameset.jsp?time=1466457927307
  6. Thursday night and time for a quick lap around the bases as far as North Texas athletics goes. There have been a number of tidbits I have been meaning to get to that have stacked up in the last few days. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2016/05/thursday-night-notes-could-a-hoops-shakeup-be-coming-et-cetera.html/
  7. Syracuse, N.Y. — The evidence was there, sometimes hiding in plain sight. Chris Palombi Temara kept scrapbooks and dedicated a shelf to awards she'd won during her Syracuse women's basketball career. Unlocking details about her Orange Plus Hall-of-Fame career would have required initiative and curiosity from her three children, who professed to know nearly nothing about her athletic accomplishments. "She told us she played at Syracuse," Troy Temara, her youngest son, said. "That was pretty much the whole thing." "There's stuff all around the house. There's photo albums all around the house," Palombi Temara said. "You think any of them would ever open them? No. They don't open them. And I don't either." These days, Troy Temara and Shane Temara are beginning to grasp the significance of their mom's basketball influence. Last Wednesday, both young men signed letters of intent to play Division I college basketball. Troy, who will graduate from West Genesee with the Class of 2016, will attend George Mason University in the fall. His older brother, Shane, completed two years of junior college basketball and will play next season for North Texas. Two brothers playing Division I basketball is a rarity in Central New York. The Temara brothers can thank genetics and their own dedication to the game for the opportunity. Their mother, the former Christine Palombi, was a top 20 recruit when Syracuse University lured her to campus in 1981. At 6-foot-5, the left-handed West Genesee post player possessed a soft shooting touch and a knack for blocking shots. An All-Big East first team selection her senior season, she was inducted into the Orange Plus Hall of Fame in 1987. The highlight of her Orange career was the triple-double she posted against Georgetown on Jan. 13, 1984. In that game, Palombi scored 20 points, collected 18 rebounds and blocked 14 shots. "At that day and age, someone her size at 6-foot-5, most of the players were gawky and uncoordinated. But Chris wasn't. Chris was an athlete. She had so much potential coming in and when she got to Syracuse, she just blossomed," said former SU women's coach Barb Jacobs. "She just wanted to learn and be the best player she could be. She could jump, she could run, she had great hands and picked things up very quickly." After her Syracuse career ended, Palombi played professionally in Scotland, England, Spain and New Zealand. She spent three seasons in New Zealand, where in 1986 she met Mike Temara, who played rugby for the Auckland Maori. Palombi, on a whim, went with a couple basketball teammates to a birthday party for one of Temara's rugby teammates. The couple met at the party and in 1989, they married. The Temaras relocated to Central New York when Chris ended her professional playing career at age 28. They raised their three kids — Marie, Shane and Troy — first in Marcellus, then moved into the West Genesee School District in time for Shane to start high school. When the kids were little, their mom ("Mama Ice") taught them a variety of post moves in the family's driveway, where a basketball hoop was installed. On their own, the boys developed a fierce sibling rivalry. Soon, the driveway games moved to the Pine Grove fitness center's basketball court. read more: http://www.syracuse.com/sports/index.ssf/2016/04/west_genesees_temara_brothers_both_di_basketball_players_have_star_mom_to_thank.html
  8. What kind of season will RV need to see to extend Benford, which gets him an extension, as well? .500 or better? Top half finish in CUSA regular season? Remember, this isn't what you think he should accomplish to keep his job, its what RV thinks he needs to see to keep Benford as the coach? My guess is that he has to finish at .500 by the end of the regular season and needs to finish the regular season in the top half of CUSA, meaning 7th place or higher. If this is correct, can Benford somehow jump up that bar?
  9. How many games does Benford need to win in the 2016 C-USA tourney?
  10. @Cooley You have a well deserved reputation for your knowledge and understanding of basketball. I and others are interested in terms of your thoughts in regards to Tony Benford and this 2016 squad as well as future prospects?
  11. The men's team gave UTEP all they could handle. They forced Floyd to go with a hack a shack at the end and it worked as we missed 5 FT in the finals minutes despite having a 1-point lead with less than 5 in the game. This was at El Paso, which we all know is perhaps the toughest place to play in this league. Combs had a huge game, 20-point and 19 boards. Reese had 9 assists and only 2 turnovers. Katenda had 12 points and 9 boards. UTEP focused on shutting down Deckie Johnson who has been shooting lights out and they were successful but other guys stepped up. Ja'Michael Brown another true freshman has shown his abilities as well. It's one game, and yes it is possible this is a down year for UTEP. We have all had our fill of moral victories. I do think it is fair to point out UNT's performance and the fact that Jeremy Combs is a sophomore and he is already starting to show dominating performances in this league. Rickey Brice is young (true freshman) only playing 10 minutes at UTEP but he seems to be improving every game and is already a good shot blocker and defensive rebounder. There are a lot of games left to play this season, but it is encouraging to see the performances of some of these young players. If they can continue to gel and limit turnovers it could make for a very interesting finish to the season.
  12. DENTON -- The North Texas men’s basketball team will host Mississippi Valley State in a non-conference game on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 11:30 a.m. inside the Super Pit. Free admission will be available for all fans, students and faculty during the early morning contest starting at 11:30 a.m. North Texas snapped a seven game losing streak Monday night with an 18 point victory, 78-60, against Nicholls at the Super Pit. Four NT players were in double figures with sophomore Jeremy Combs leading the way with 19 points and eight rebounds. Junior Deckie Johnson set a new career high with 17 points and classmate J-Mychal Reese chipped in with 14 points, scoring in double figures for the eighth straight game. The Mean Green only committed nine turnovers and were stellar at the free throw line shooting 73.3 percent (22-for-30). Reese is leading the team in scoring at 14.7 points per game and Combs is second at 13.5. Johnson is third at 11.7 points per game and leads the team with 17 made three pointers. Freshman Ja’Michael Brown earned his third start of the season against Nicholls and is averaging 6.7 points per game and has dished out 31 assists. As a team, North Texas continues to be in the top 50 in field goal percentage sitting at 47.9 percent, which is 48th in the nation. The Mean Green have attempted 275 free throws on the season, which is 13th in the country amongst division one schools. NT will travel to Omaha, Neb. for a road contest at Creighton on Monday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. on Fox Sports One. About the Opponent: Mississippi Valley State •This will be second meeting between the teams after playing last season in the Super Pit. North Texas came away with a 67-52 win on Nov. 26, 2014 with former player Colin Voss scoring 10 points and grabbing eight rebounds. • Mississippi Valley State has lost 12 games in a row to start the season. The Delta Devils have played some quality opponents and lost a one point game at Air Force, 65-64, on Nov. 19. • MVSU has lost to big schools like Nebraska (L, 51-97), New Mexico State (L, 85-46), BYU (75-68) and Northwestern (L, 78-48). The Delta Devils haven’t played a home game yet going 0-11 on the road and 0-1 in neutral site games. • MVSU is led by junior Marcus Romain, a 6-2 guard from Brooklyn, N.Y., who is averaging 17.1 points per game. Romain has scored 137 points in eight games. Classmate Damian Young, a 6-3 guard from Grayson, Ga., is second on the team in scoring at 10.8 points per game. Junior forward Michael Matlock leads the team in rebounding with 5.4 boards per game.
  13. Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer @ReeceTapout15 Coming into Monday night’s contest against Nicholls State University, North Texas was riding a seven game losing streak, its longest dating back to 2002. But behind a career high performance from junior guard Deckie Johnson, the Mean Green found the win column. It was the first victory over a division one opponent this year and the first win in nearly a month of play. “I’ve never experienced anything like that, as a player or coach,” head coach Tony Benford said. “A streak that long. We felt like we gave some of those games away.” North Texas came out of the gates firing and outscored Nicholls State 41 to 22 in the first half. Junior guard J-Mychal Reese, who poured in 14 points in the win, said the team’s early success should be attributed to their aggressiveness. “We made it tough on them,” Reese said. “We didn’t let them get easy shots. That really helped us out.” Reese’s performance was his eighth straight game in double figures. Sophomore forward Jeremy Combs also poured in 19 points and eight rebounds, leading Benford to praise the entire team’s effort. View the full article
  14. UNT wins 3 or less games this football season and then wins 14 or less games this basketball season. Does Rick Villerreal final face any form of consequence? Who does UNT Fire? Mac? Benford? Both? This is the scenerio staring this university president dead in the face. What should happen is all three should be let go. Clean slate for the new AD to bring in his guys to transform the two biggest sports in a morbid athletic program. Does the will exist at this university do even contemplate such an endeavor?
  15. Jeff Luster has joined the UTSA staff as director of operations, effective immediately. Thompson’s staff consists of associate head coach Dan O’Dowd, assistants Robert Guster and Wai, plus Luster, who had been at North Texas the past five years as director of operations. read more: http://blog.mysanantonio.com/utsa/2015/08/wai-promoted-to-assistant-coach-in-utsa-mens-basketball/
  16. And speaking of UNT, the Mean Green weren’t mentioned in ESPN’s early preview. The Mean Green enter the 2015-16 season looking for their first winning campaign under Benford in his fourth season. UNT has some key players back, including Jeremy Combs and Maurice Anifiok and add Texas A&M transfer point guard J-Mychal Reese. The Mean Green have some talented players to work with, but will be a dark horse in the league race after finishing 14-17 last season. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/07/national-site-publishes-early-look-at-c-usa-hoops-league.html/
  17. UNT men’s basketball coach Tony Benford recently rounded out his coaching staff with the addition of director of operations Todd Shelton. We touched on Shelton joining the staff briefly earlier today. Here’s a link to the story that will be in tomorrow’s paper, where I had some time/space to delve a little more into Shelton’s background. The interesting aspect of the story is Shelton has some ties to UNT, mostly from Johnny Jones’ tenure with the Mean Green. Shelton drove up to Denton to ask in person if he could work one of Jones’ camps after he finished his playing career at Texas Wesleyan. Shelton also nearly took a grad assistant job at UNT before St. John’s came calling and offered to pay his tuition. Shelton’s brother Terry Shelton played at UNT during the Mean Green’s four-year run run as Sun Belt Conference champions from 2001-04. He didn’t play a lot, but he is in some of the old media guides in my files. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/06/benford-sees-shelton-as-a-home-run-hire-hoops-tidbits.html/
  18. UNT Head Coach Tony Benford had a 5-game moment-in-time last season, where he fielded an impressive squad and played winning basketball. In a little over two weeks, the Mean Green won 5 C-USA games against quality opponents including: UAB, Middle Tennessee, The two Florida schools on the road and Charlotte. Now Five games does not a season make but it did provide some hope. UNT fans seemed to start getting pretty excited heading to the conference tournament as I recall. What happened next was like the worst possible case scenario. Benford lost all momentum, losing the last four games of the season including a loss to UTSA (Thank you sir may I have another). So when people ask me how we are going to do in basketball this season, I typically try to dodge the question...you know change the subject? But if pressed, I would say it depends. Which Tony Benford team will show up this season?
  19. A set of sweeping rules changes in college basketball were approved today. The Associated Press covered the entire slate of adjustments in its story that came out this afternoon. Among the highlights … – The shot clock in the men’s game will drop from 35 to 30 seconds. – The women’s game will be played with four 10-minute quarters. – The restricted arc under the basket will be extended from three feet to four feet. – The number of timeouts and stoppages during games will also be cut down. The big fallout from the entire set of changes is a faster-paced game. Coaches knew this was coming for months. UNT men’s coach Tony Benford said over the last few weeks during UNT’s coaches caravans that he believes the changes will benefit his team. Benford has said throughout his tenure that he wants to play an up-tempo style and push the ball while still being a solid, defensive-oriented team. read more:http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/06/sweeping-college-basketball-rules-changes-voted-in.html/
  20. The UNT men’s basketball team added a couple of promising post prospects in the last couple of days in Khalil Fuller and Mike Thomas. The Mean Green also announced that they have parted ways with Muhammed Ahmed when they announced the addition of Fuller. It was a case of history repeating itself. UNT added Ahmed to fill the void left by the departure of Cincinnati transfer Kelvin Gaines, who also left the Mean Green with a year of eligibility remaining last summer. UNT has added six recruits since the end of last season, and that doesn’t even count the addition of J-Mychal Reese, who sat out last season after transferring from Texas A&M. Ever-changing rosters are somewhat of an epidemic in college basketball. UNT certainly hasn’t been immune, and that brings us to the “Who’s on first? report” where we attempt to answer the question — Who is on this team, anyway? Here’s the roster as it stands now: Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/06/the-unt-basketball-whos-on-first-report.html/
  21. I just left the Dallas Caravan and wanted to share a couple of thoughts. I also took a couple of pictures and will post them here in this thread later. Overall, it was a nice event. I would put the attendance at around 40+. They had Dave Barnett as MC and he introduced Rick Villarreal, as well as John Nitardy who is heading up the Mean Green Club. The coaches present were Danny Mac, Tony Benford, Jalie Mitchell and volleyball coach Andrew Palileo. RV spoke about some of the good things that happened last sports year and mentioned the SMU win at home being a highlight. Benford talked about how they were looking forward to this season and how J-Mychael Reese was going to be a difference maker. I talked to him prior to the start and he seems to be really pleased with his two upcoming additions. Jalie just really impressed me in person, she is young as a head coach but extremely wise beyond her years. She speaks and holds herself in a very impressive manner. She acknowledged that next year would be challenging, but when she recounted the players she is bringing up next season you can't help but be excited. Mac was vintage Mac...very funny lines, energetic. The guy should be a motivational speaker he really knows how to fire up a crowd. He spoke very highly of Assistant Coach Mike Simmonds who he expects to have a very competitive line next year despite losing 3-4 starters.I I also thought it was neat to have Georgio there. Dave Barnett said some nice things about his excitement about taking the job. I have to say, Dave is going to be really good. Overall, a nice venue and well run event that stayed on track time-wise. Hard not to get pumped up about the future when you hear these coaches. Appreciated the AD for putting together a 1st class event for us and hope that in future years more will take advantage of it.
  22. UNT is in the midst of an offseason makeover of its basketball roster. The process is one that every team goes through, and every team handles it differently. These days there is a whole lot more turnover in the college game. Bottom line — It’s not just UNT. The Indianapolis Star ran a pretty good story on it a while back. With that being said, UNT has undergone a pretty dramatic makeover that might not be done yet. To review … – UNT mutually agreed to part ways with talented, but often injured guard T.J. Taylor in the last few days. He was likely on his way out anyway as a graduating senior, but he did consider trying to get the NCAA to grant him an extra year of eligibility. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/04/whos-on-first-a-current-rundown-of-unts-basketball-roster.html/
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