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  1. As North Texas prepared for its CBI opener at South Dakota, Grant McCasland had a problem. The Mean Green were limping when they accepted the tournament invite, having lost seven of their last eight games. McCasland had a dynamic, slashing playmaker in sophomore point guard Ryan Woolridge but the court had shrunk around him. UNT had shot just 28.3 percent from three in the previous four games, and McCasland needed to create space for his lead guard. As the morning shoot around unfolded, junior guard Michael Miller missed shot after shot. McCasland couldn’t take his eyes off of him. “I saw him staring at me and I was thinking, ‘what’s going on?’” Miller said. What was going on was that McCasland had come up with an idea to fix his team’s sagging offense. The first-year UNT coach called over Jon Trilli, his Director of Basketball Operations, and bounced the idea of him. It was out there. Miller, who had made just three of his 23 three-point attempts, would be given the green light from deep against a tough Coyotes’ defense. And he’d have to shoot them with his right hand, which for most players would go unsaid. Except Miller was a left-handed shooter. Miller was told to switch to his normally non-dominant hand the rest of the shootaround. He immediately made six shots in a row, missed one and then made four more in succession. That’s when McCasland called him over. “I told Mike, ‘here’s the deal: I’m going to start you tonight and I want you to shoot eight three pointers and I don’t care if you make them,’” McCasland said. Miller didn’t hit the quota, but it paid off. That night, he scored 19 points and went 4-5 from three, more than doubling his season output from distance. It helped the Mean Green knock off a 26-win South Dakota team, and started them on the path to a CBI championship. read more: https://www.midmajormadness.com/2018/7/13/17551840/michael-miller-switch-hands-shooting-north-texas-unt-basketball-mean-green-mccasland-cbi-champions
  2. I like everyone am so thrilled about this major turnaround in men's basketball. The CBI has given us a glimpse of what could be an AMAZING future for the program. Here's my question, we know that we basically only lose Temara (who is not playing in the tourney) and we add the Russian (6-10) and Jahmiah Simmons (6-4) both listed as forwards. We know Umoja Gibson (shooting guard) will be back after his injury. We know Jalen Jackson the point guard out of SA is committed to the 2019 class. He is evidently the heir apparent to Woolridge. We also know that we OWE a ship to Draper period. He is so damn deserving... So assuming if through attrition or whatever, we have 1 or 2 (not likely) spots left to give, at what position would you think we need to land to best set ourselves up for the 2019 season? Should it be high school or juco or best available? Put yourself in Mac's shoes and let's try to predict what (if anything) he will do. PS - I am sure I am missing some details on the scholarship numbers etc here so feel free to correct as needed! GMG
  3. QUICK HITTERS Ryan Woolridge's nine assists gives him 205 dimes on the season. He is now just three assists shy of the tying Walter Johnson's single-season record of 208 in the 1976-77 season. UNT hit 14 3-pointers on the night to extend its single-season program record to 290 made 3-pointers on the season. The 14-for-20 performance marks the fourth-best three-point percentage in a game (73 percent) in program history. The 14 makes ties for the fifth-most in program history and is the most since December 2007. North Texas used some big runs to control the night, as a 14-2 run early on was capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Jorden Duffy and Michael Miller. Toward the end of the first half, UNT went on a 14-0 run over four-and-a-half minutes to build 42-20 lead. UNT opened game on 13-2 run, Jacksonville State didn't have first field goal until nearly six minutes into the game. At one point in the first half, UNT made 14 of 15 field goal attempts to help spur a 57-point first half in which UNT shot 70 percent from the field and made 10 of 14 shots from beyond the arc. The last time UNT scored 90 or more points against Division I opponents in three straight games was 1997-98. It marks first time since the 1990-91 season that UNT has beaten three straight Division I opponents by scoring 90 points or more. The win marks the Mean Green's third three-game (or more) winning streak of the season, which is the most since 2010-11, when there were also three such streaks. UNT had five players score in double figures - Roosevelt Smart, Jorden Duffy, DJ Draper, Zachary Simmons and Ryan Woolridge - marking the first time since an overtime loss to Western Kentucky on Feb. 15 that the Mean Green have had five or more players reach double figures. The Mean Green shot 71 percent from the charity stripe and are now 11-0 this season when shooting better than 70 percent from the foul line. Read more: http://www.meangreensports.com/sports/m-baskbl/recaps/032118aaa.html
  4. What do we need to do to make this first season a success under Grant McCasland? Especially on basically a home court?
  5. The boys are back in the saddle again! This show we talk about a bowl eligibility clenching win on the road against La. Tech in Ruston by a score of 24-23. UNT alums @Evan, @Harry and @BeyondTheGreen give their hot sports thoughts on the Homecoming return of Coach Darrell Dickey and the Mean Green's goal of capturing the Western Division Crown. Recruiting expert @TheReal_jayD joins us for his latest recruiting analysis and we dive into what could be a pretty exciting basketball season with fan favorite @BillySee58. Audio Link: GOMEANGREEN BARBERSHOP PODCAST #189
  6. Matt Brune | Staff Writer Winners. That’s what newly appointed head basketball coach Grant McCasland wants in the North Texas basketball program. It’s something McCasland did plenty of in his lone season at Arkansas State University last season, when he doubled the Red Wolves’ win total from 10 to 20 in just one year. He remains adamant that having players with experience winning is crucial to building a successful program. This has always been McCasland’s approach to recruiting. With a Division II national title under his belt and several trips to the Elite Eight, McCasland has the resume to back up his strategy. “The No. 1 need for us was to find guys that want to win and came from winning programs,” McCasland said. “After that, the key was getting guys that knew how to play and could shoot.” With the 2017 roster set, that’s exactly what McCasland got in his first recruiting class at North Texas. McCasland and his staff were able to lure in seven new players — four junior college transfers and three true freshmen. This approach allows them to pair the young talent of the three freshmen with the experience of the four transfers and the players coming back from last year’s squad. “We’re excited [about this freshman class],” associate head coach Ross Hodge said. “Zach Simmons ended up being the 16th best player in the state. I think Umoja [Gibson] was a top 25 player in the state. Both are really good kids.” The third piece to that freshman class puzzle is Mark Tikhonenko, a 6’10 Russian forward. View Full Article
  7. Just a few hours after being introduced as North Texas’ new men’s basketball head coach, Grant McCasland sat down with members of the media one-on-one. Sporting his new Mean Green colors and a smile on his face, he discussed the future of the program he is inheriting. On interest in the North Texas job. “Growing up in this area and in this state, North Texas was one university that had basketball success,” McCasland said. “I played tournaments at the Super Pit and watched several recruiting events at the Super Pit. I watched college games there. My knowledge was more of a fan. But you look at jobs down the road that fit something you would be interested in, I thought it would be a cool opportunity to coach basketball [at North Texas]. I never thought it would be a reality.” On his Texas roots. “This is home,” McCasland said. “This area is. There’s not a lot of opportunities to be a head coach and be this close to family. All of my immediate family is within an hour from here. That’s awesome. It’s unreal. My whole family was here today. That’s as good as it gets. That’s the way we want our program to be modeled after. People that love each other unconditionally but hold each other accountable and tell the truth. That atmosphere is what’s vital to being a successful basketball program.” On Wren Baker and President Neal Smatresk’s leadership “Ultimately it’s people who make the biggest difference,” McCasland said. “I think the leadership right now is as good as it gets for a basketball coach. It’s a unique opportunity to work for Smatresk, Baker and Jared Mosely. I’ve known Wren for a little while, but not really personally. He’s been at some great basketball institutions and he knows what it means to be successful. Smatresk, he knows basketball. He’s seen great basketball and we’ve had some great conversations as to what he envisions the program can be. He gave great insight and made me believe he knows what it takes to have a great basketball program.” Read more: http://ntdaily.com/north-texas-new-head-coach-grant-mccasland-dishes-on-his-texas-roots-style-of-play-and-his-message-to-fans/
  8. A-State had a 400K 5-year guaranteed deal on his desk. UNT landed him with a 5-year $600K guaranteed deal if you include the $500K buy-out. In total a $3.5 million dollar contract. This deal placed UNT at the #2 spot in all of C-USA in head coach basketball salaries. So, without a doubt, if you look at where our compensation is now, in the three main sports, there is no question that we are at the top of C-USA. What I am interested to learn is what the buy-out is on the new UNT contract.