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Who’s on first? A current rundown of UNT’s basketball roster


Harry
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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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I don't see Anefiok providing quality depth at SF

I think Eaglin is clearly at the highest risk of finding out he is going pro in the near future.

Mo is 6'5". Plenty of height and length to play the 3. He is a solid defender as well.

Todd will not be going pro and I think it's ridiculous when people on these boards use that term loosely. Mitchel left to go pro. Gaines left to go pro over seas. T.J. Is training to do the same. Holman waited til he graduated before training, but others decide it's worth it to leave early. Good for guys extending their basketball careers.

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Mo is 6'5". Plenty of height and length to play the 3. He is a solid defender as well.

Todd will not be going pro and I think it's ridiculous when people on these boards use that term loosely. Mitchel left to go pro. Gaines left to go pro over seas. T.J. Is training to do the same. Holman waited til he graduated before training, but others decide it's worth it to leave early. Good for guys extending their basketball careers.

Most would likely have been better off extending their basketball careers in college.

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Most would likely have been better off extending their basketball careers in college.

Holman and Franklin are having great careers overseas. TJ and Gaines are the only two players other than Mitchell who left to go pro. Gaines is still training I believe and TJ will find a place within a year I would think. It takes time. Holman trained and worked with his agent for almost two years before landing in Australia.

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I think it was a joke about how Benford probably encourages people to leave... i got it. i hate how shaky the program feels. Kids aren't going to be attracted to a program that feel unstable. the kids we get are the guys that likely have nowhere else to go. Even the Mexican American kid who played in Texas and has family around here decided to go to Portland as a better option. Not to down grade them because i am sure they are better off than us, but the only reason we would lose out on that kid is if he just cant see himself getting better here. Cant disagree with that.

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I think it was a joke about how Benford probably encourages people to leave... i got it. i hate how shaky the program feels. Kids aren't going to be attracted to a program that feel unstable. the kids we get are the guys that likely have nowhere else to go. Even the Mexican American kid who played in Texas and has family around here decided to go to Portland as a better option. Not to down grade them because i am sure they are better off than us, but the only reason we would lose out on that kid is if he just cant see himself getting better here. Cant disagree with that.

I get your point but there are two sides to the story here. Jeremy Combs was a huge pickup for Benford. Ditto Rickey Brice. So in some cases he lands good prospects and in other cases not. In general I've like the prospects Benford has signed unfortunately not all of them have worked out on the court for one reason or another.

There can be factors we are not aware of like

fiamily etc. There is no doubt they wanted the post kid and it did not work out which is disappointing.

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"Mo is 6'5". Plenty of height and length to play the 3. He is a solid defender as well."

Andrew, I think Aniefiok's natural position is as a 2 (or shooting guard). I respect your opinion and certainly understand the point you are making. In my view, however, I prefer to create match-up problems against the opponent throughout the game. We need to also defend taller and versatile 3's. There are times when going small (6-3 - 6-5) may help in stretches. I certainly would keep it to a minimum, based on the opponent.

For discussion sake, I've copied the wiki definition (which is probably for the pro and college game).

Shooting guard
The shooting guard, is also known as the two. Along with the small forward, is often referred to as a wing due to common positioning tactics. Besides being able to shoot the ball, shooting guards tend to have good ball handling skills and the ability to drive the ball to the net, often creating their own shots off the dribble. A versatile shooting guard will have good passing skills, allowing him to assume point guard responsibilities. In the NBA, shooting guards usually range from 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) to 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m).

Small forward
The small forward (SF) is known as the three position. The small forward position is considered to be perhaps the most versatile of the main five basketball positions. Versatility is key for small forwards due to the nature of their role, which resembles that of a power forward and more often that of a shooting guard. So this is why the small forward and shooting guard positions are often interchangeable and simply referred to as wings.

Small forwards have a variety of assets, such as quickness and strength inside. One common thread among all kinds of small forwards is an ability to "get to the line" and draw fouls by aggressively attempting (post up) plays, lay-ups, or slam dunks. As such, accurate foul shooting is a common skill for small forwards, many of whom record a large portion of their points from the foul line. Small forwards should be able to do a little bit of everything on the court, typically playing roles such as swingmen but also as point forwards and defensive specialists. In the NBA, small forwards usually range from 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) to 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 m).

A quick review of the past 2-3 CUSA All-Conference teams, as well as others, will show small forwards in the 6-6 - 6-8 range. Our more notable small forwards down though history have been at least 6-6. (Chris Davis, Jordan Williams, Fred Mitchell, Tony Worrell, Jesse Ratliff etc) They all were taller and hit the boards. I want to be competitive (and better) with our size and versatility in all positions. (Same with football) Aniefiok does have excellent size for the 2. (college) I prefer him there exclusively. (Mainly to take advantage of his height) I guess I have not seen enough of him doing the things necessary to warrant meaningful time at the 3.

Anyway, just my thoughts. And thanks for your contributions on the hoops side of things.

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"Mo is 6'5". Plenty of height and length to play the 3. He is a solid defender as well."

Andrew, I think Aniefiok's natural position is as a 2 (or shooting guard). I respect your opinion and certainly understand the point you are making. In my view, however, I prefer to create match-up problems against the opponent throughout the game. We need to also defend taller and versatile 3's. There are times when going small (6-3 - 6-5) may help in stretches. I certainly would keep it to a minimum, based on the opponent.

For discussion sake, I've copied the wiki definition (which is probably for the pro and college game).

Shooting guard

The shooting guard, is also known as the two. Along with the small forward, is often referred to as a wing due to common positioning tactics. Besides being able to shoot the ball, shooting guards tend to have good ball handling skills and the ability to drive the ball to the net, often creating their own shots off the dribble. A versatile shooting guard will have good passing skills, allowing him to assume point guard responsibilities. In the NBA, shooting guards usually range from 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) to 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m).

Small forward

The small forward (SF) is known as the three position. The small forward position is considered to be perhaps the most versatile of the main five basketball positions. Versatility is key for small forwards due to the nature of their role, which resembles that of a power forward and more often that of a shooting guard. So this is why the small forward and shooting guard positions are often interchangeable and simply referred to as wings.

Small forwards have a variety of assets, such as quickness and strength inside. One common thread among all kinds of small forwards is an ability to "get to the line" and draw fouls by aggressively attempting (post up) plays, lay-ups, or slam dunks. As such, accurate foul shooting is a common skill for small forwards, many of whom record a large portion of their points from the foul line. Small forwards should be able to do a little bit of everything on the court, typically playing roles such as swingmen but also as point forwards and defensive specialists. In the NBA, small forwards usually range from 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) to 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 m).

A quick review of the past 2-3 CUSA All-Conference teams, as well as others, will show small forwards in the 6-6 - 6-8 range. Our more notable small forwards down though history have been at least 6-6. (Chris Davis, Jordan Williams, Fred Mitchell, Tony Worrell, Jesse Ratliff etc) They all were taller and hit the boards. I want to be competitive (and better) with our size and versatility in all positions. (Same with football) Aniefiok does have excellent size for the 2. (college) I prefer him there exclusively. (Mainly to take advantage of his height) I guess I have not seen enough of him doing the things necessary to warrant meaningful time at the 3.

Anyway, just my thoughts. And thanks for your contributions on the hoops side of things.

This isn't the NBA. Most mid-major teams, in CUSA and across the country, start 3-guard lineups. Kids who are 6'6" or taller and legitimately have the shooting skills, ball handling skills, and agility to play on the perimeter then they'll usually have plenty of major conference offers.

If your three is 6'5" he's not going to get exposed for lack of size in this league. Maybe Mo won't be the first-team all-CUSA small forward, but thats just because he's not a first-team all-CUSA player. He's just about what you'd expect in a starting three in this conference, from a size and skill perspective but maybe better shooting than average.

Edited by BillySee58
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I think it was a joke about how Benford probably encourages people to leave... i got it. i hate how shaky the program feels. Kids aren't going to be attracted to a program that feel unstable. the kids we get are the guys that likely have nowhere else to go. Even the Mexican American kid who played in Texas and has family around here decided to go to Portland as a better option. Not to down grade them because i am sure they are better off than us, but the only reason we would lose out on that kid is if he just cant see himself getting better here. Cant disagree with that.

Approx. 715 (2015) transfers and still counting. - None from UNT

http://www.verbalcommits.com/transfers/2015

1,200 transfers (2013 & 2014).

http://collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/03/31/southern-illinois-loses-five-to-transfer-coach-rips-the-decisions/

Barreno would have been a decent backup to Brice. Only 1 other offer. He stated that he preferred a situation where the offense pounds the ball down low. I hope we don't see that kind of offense here anytime soon. UNT also didn't offer until his visit (offer of 4/17/15) Portland had an earlier offer on the table.

I'm for not renewing kids if they will not help us. The kids are better off going somewhere else where they can play. Just as alarming are the number of decommits. Benford has earned his share of criticism. Not getting a 6-11 kid, with 1 other offer, shouldn't be one of them. I'm sure the kid felt on his visit that he was part of a backup plan (or play B)

I know UNT is as close to home as it gets but please look around. (Like, everywhere)

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This isn't the NBA. Most mid-major teams, in CUSA and across the country, start 3-guard lineups. Kids who are 6'6" or taller and legitimately have the shooting skills, ball handling skills, and agility to play on the perimeter then they'll usually have plenty of major conference offers.

If your three is 6'5" he's not going to get exposed for lack of size in this league. Maybe Mo won't be the first-team all-CUSA small forward, but thats just because he's not a first-team all-CUSA player. He's just about what you'd expect in a starting three in this conference, from a size and skill perspective but maybe better shooting than average.

Billy, as I stated, "there are times when going small (6-3 - 6-5) may help in stretches. I certainly would keep it to a minimum, based on the opponent". Contrary to what you feel other CUSA and mid-majors do, we didn't start 3-guards last year (TJ Taylor, Maurice Aniefiok and Jordan Williams) and probably want in 15/16. Jordan was/is a legit small forward @ 6-6 or 6-7 and had played that position since middle school. If your starting center is a forward at 6-7, I (Cooley) wouldn't want 3 guards in my lineup. (As you stated, these guys aren't 1st team all-conference guys) The question being tossed around, is whether Mo Aniefiok is a small forward or not. Not whether its ok to play 3 guards in a lineup.

Mind you, we are coming off a 14-17 season (bottom half of CUSA), with the coach's job on the line The recruiting season is not over and hopefully the roster is not yet set. I (Cooley) don't go into a season content with a roster to just compete in CUSA. I (Cooley) think to upgrade the program, you must attempt to compete against P5's. Falling short, should at least keep you in the upper tier of your conference.

Dan McCarney, I'm convinced, is very content just competing against CUSA schools (and hitting 6). He has his 5 year extension in hand; which will take him off into retirement. Otherwise, why would you accept going into the fall (again) with Andrew McNulty in the mix as your top guy. Tony Benford, though he made his bed, has to produce. If my (Cooley) job is on the line, I can't afford to do what others may do. I (Cooley) have to figure out a way to do it better (i.e. recruiting, coaching etc) If not, it's the definition of insanity.

Edited by Cooley
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Approx. 715 (2015) transfers and still counting. - None from UNT

http://www.verbalcommits.com/transfers/2015

1,200 transfers (2013 & 2014).

http://collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/03/31/southern-illinois-loses-five-to-transfer-coach-rips-the-decisions/

Barreno would have been a decent backup to Brice. Only 1 other offer. He stated that he preferred a situation where the offense pounds the ball down low. I hope we don't see that kind of offense here anytime soon. UNT also didn't offer until his visit (offer of 4/17/15) Portland had an earlier offer on the table.

I'm for not renewing kids if they will not help us. The kids are better off going somewhere else where they can play. Just as alarming are the number of decommits. Benford has earned his share of criticism. Not getting a 6-11 kid, with 1 other offer, shouldn't be one of them. I'm sure the kid felt on his visit that he was part of a backup plan (or play B)

I know UNT is as close to home as it gets but please look around. (Like, everywhere)

Darn facts messing with people's bash Benford parties. If you want to knock UNT and/or Benford folks, at least get your facts right. Appreciate Cooley for his knowledge, his fairness in his criticisms and his factual posts. Guy knows basketball and "plays fair" with his criticisms when it feels it is appropriate to criticize.

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Forgive me if I'm confusing terminologies here, but aren't you guys kind of splitting hairs when it comes to the 2/3 in college basketball? I've always seen Jordan Williams listed as a G, but when you have two other guards (one a PG and the other some sort of 2 guard), doesn't that taller, third guard essentially become your 3 (i.e. small forward)? As far as the college game goes, it seems like the difference between a 2 and a 3 isn't necessarily all that significant if you're playing a three guard offense since essentially they're still both wings hanging around the perimeter. And, sure you could say that we don't really play three guards, but that just seems like semantics because most small forwards who truly have the athleticism to play the wing at even a pretty high D1 level are probably not going to be much taller than 6'5/6'6 anyway (unless you're Kentucky or someone of that ilk). Am I missing something here?

Now, I do see Cooley's point that replacing JW with someone new who possesses legitimate height and forward skills rather than sliding over Aniefiok from his current 2 guard spot could create some mismatch problems with a lot of back-courts. But, how likely are we really to find that type of player who is good enough to actually start by next season? If we do have to, even just sometimes, start Mo at the 3, at least there isn't really a significant difference in size between the two: Williams is listed at 6'6 202 and Aniefiok is 6'5 212.

Edited by Greendylan
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Forgive me if I'm confusing terminologies here, but aren't you guys kind of splitting hairs when it comes to the 2/3 in college basketball? I've always seen Jordan Williams listed as a G, but when you have two other guards (one a PG and the other some sort of 2 guard), doesn't that taller, third guard essentially become your 3 (i.e. small forward)? As far as the college game goes, it seems like the difference between a 2 and a 3 isn't necessarily all that significant if you're playing a three guard offense since essentially they're still both wings hanging around the perimeter. And, sure you could say that we don't really play three guards, but that just seems like semantics because most small forwards who truly have the athleticism to play the wing at even a pretty high D1 level are probably not going to be much taller than 6'5/6'6 anyway (unless you're Kentucky or someone of that ilk). Am I missing something here?

Now, I do see Cooley's point that replacing JW with someone new who possesses legitimate height and forward skills rather than sliding over Aniefiok from his current 2 guard spot could create some mismatch problems with a lot of back-courts. But, how likely are we really to find that type of player who is good enough to actually start by next season? If we do have to, even just sometimes, start Mo at the 3, at least there isn't really a significant difference in size between the two: Williams is listed at 6'6 202 and Aniefiok is 6'5 212.

I agree. I mean the mavs have rolled out Barrea, Harria, and Monte (all guards) in a line up. Jordan Williams was always listed as a shooting guard. Anefiok played the 3 a lot for us a last year, and Deandre Harris was listed by Vito as our starting small forward going into next season. With all of that I have no idea where we stand on what differentiates a 2 from a 3 haha

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I think the game has changed so much since the standard starting lineup of a point guard 1, shooting guard 2, small forward 3, power forward 4 and center 5, that those designations other than point guard are obsolete.

Now, with all the motion offenses; the game is usually played with a point and one front court player either called a center or forward usually depending on how tall he is. The other three positions are usually two that play on the wings and one primarily a front court player who can play both inside and out.

At NT, last year used a point, most often out of position Taylor, two wings (Harris, Antifiok, or Williams), inside, out player Voss and Combs primarily on the inside.

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