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Baker will wait to evaluate Tony Benford.


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from  Brett Vito's Mean Green Blog

Baker will wait until the end of the season to evaluate men’s basketball coach Tony Benford.

Benford is coming off a 12-20 season and has finished at .500 or under in all four seasons of his tenure after taking over a program that had strung together six straight winning seasons under Johnny Jones, who led the Mean Green to two NCAA tournaments in that span.

Benford is 54-73 at UNT.

“Tony has a strong reputation and I want to step in and see what I can do to help him be successful,” Baker said. “After the end of the season, we will sit down and evaluate what we need to do going forward.”

http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2016/08/wren-baker-press-conference-highlights.html/

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1 hour ago, oldguystudent said:

Honestly, what do you expect him to do?  Come in with guns ablaze and a scorched earth kill 'em all mentality?  It's August.  Fire Benford today, and there would be no basketball coach.  Not that that would necessarily be worse, but for appearance purposes, it would be.

Expect or like?

I'd like for him to say something less obfuscating and/or can Benford.

Expect, well I expect him to fire Benford at the first opportunity.

I know WB has a ton of work in front of him, but I expect to see some changes sooner rather than later. Maybe his judgment is that he can't do anything about Benford at this time in the year. I don't like it and if he leaves standing the other deadwood in the department by the end of basketball season then we may have been sold a monorail...

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Wren is in the perfect situation with Benford.  No one expects him to do anything about basketball right now.  I promise you Wren couldn't have named the NT basketball coach 30 days ago.  So, let this season play out and if Benford is successful, give him a 1 or 2 year extension.  But not a 5 year deal as was done with Coach MaC.  If Benford has another terrible season, cut him loose and bring in a guy Wren likes. 

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4 hours ago, greenjoe said:

Wren is in the perfect situation with Benford.  No one expects him to do anything about basketball right now.  I promise you Wren couldn't have named the NT basketball coach 30 days ago.  So, let this season play out and if Benford is successful, give him a 1 or 2 year extension.  But not a 5 year deal as was done with Coach MaC.  If Benford has another terrible season, cut him loose and bring in a guy Wren likes. 

Outside of a sweet 16 appearance, Benford should be canned immediately after the last game of the season. Hopefully before.

This is Benford. Count on a high of 14 wins this year...

Edited by UNT90
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On 8/4/2016 at 5:02 PM, UNT90 said:

Outside of a sweet 16 appearance, Benford should be canned immediately after the last game of the season. Hopefully before.

This is Benford. Count on a high of 14 wins this year...

You really think if he made a Conference championship regular season run, followed by a CUSA Tournament Title, Followed by the 4th EVER appearance in UNT history that he should be fired?  I am NOT excusing the piss poor product he produced for 4 years, following the Taj Mahal of Mid Majors JJ created before LSU came and scooped him up.  However, to say that making a run in the tournament unless its Sweet 16 deserves to be fired for would be on the crazy side.   Seeing as how we have never won a single tournament game.  Granted, in 2007 we lost by 15 to a Memphis squad who didn't lose until the Elite 8.  

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16 minutes ago, GMG24 said:

You really think if he made a Conference championship regular season run, followed by a CUSA Tournament Title, Followed by the 4th EVER appearance in UNT history that he should be fired?  I am NOT excusing the piss poor product he produced for 4 years, following the Taj Mahal of Mid Majors JJ created before LSU came and scooped him up.  However, to say that making a run in the tournament unless its Sweet 16 deserves to be fired for would be on the crazy side.   Seeing as how we have never won a single tournament game.  Granted, in 2007 we lost by 15 to a Memphis squad who didn't lose until the Elite 8.  

Yes. That's EXACTLY what I'm saying.

But you won't have to worry, because he won't go over .500 this year. 

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10 hours ago, UNT90 said:

Yes. That's EXACTLY what I'm saying.

But you won't have to worry, because he won't go over .500 this year. 

Look don't get me wrong, I doubt it happens to in fact I'm very certain it won't.  BUT, in the event that it does I think a serious conversation should take place.  That's all I'm saying. 

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3 hours ago, GMG24 said:

Look don't get me wrong, I doubt it happens to in fact I'm very certain it won't.  BUT, in the event that it does I think a serious conversation should take place.  That's all I'm saying. 

I don't, so why even put that hypothetical out there?

I hope he is gone be February. 

Edited by UNT90
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1 hour ago, UNT90 said:

I don't, so why even put that hypothetical out there?

And then you said this ...

1 hour ago, UNT90 said:

I hope he is gone be February. 

Dismissing one person's hypothetical to supplant your own.

WB is going to run the department how he wants. He may be gone in February, it may be in March after the CUSA tournament is over. No one really knows.

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4 hours ago, UNTFan23 said:

And then you said this ...

Dismissing one person's hypothetical to supplant your own.

WB is going to run the department how he wants. He may be gone in February, it may be in March after the CUSA tournament is over. No one really knows.

That wasn't a hypothetical, that was a personal wish, hope, dream. 

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18 hours ago, djohnnie said:

Hoping for a good season for the men's basketball program. Benford or not, I want success

for the green. Go get em boys!

GMG

Yes NT and the team are a lot more important than the coach.  I think there are more than a few, fans or prior fans, that are so tied up in their displeasure with Benford, that they actually don't want the team to perform well.   

I think this team has a very good chance to be good this year.  I don't think it is a given that NT will have a new coach in 2017.  It would certainly be a surprise, but good players can win without an exceptional or even an average bench coach.   

Edited by GrandGreen
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17 hours ago, GrandGreen said:

Yes NT and the team are a lot more important than the coach.  I think there are more than a few, fans or prior fans, that are so tied up in their displeasure with Benford, that they actually don't want the team to perform well.   

I think this team has a very good chance to be good this year.  I don't think it is a given that NT will have a new coach in 2017.  It would certainly be a surprise, but good players can win without an exceptional or even an average bench coach.   

Nope. I just know from watching a full season two rows behind UNT's bench that Tony Benford is an awful basketball coach. Irregardless of the level of conpetition.

Make him a high school coach and he would be terrible.

You think this team can be good because of the players on the team? Well, sadly Benford has already proved to us that he can't win with a talented roster. 

Why do you think that would change? Just straight out blind optimism? 

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1 hour ago, UNT90 said:

Nope. I just know from watching a full season two rows behind UNT's bench that Tony Benford is an awful basketball coach. Irregardless of the level of conpetition.

Make him a high school coach and he would be terrible.

You think this team can be good because of the players on the team? Well, sadly Benford has already proved to us that he can't win with a talented roster. 

Why do you think that would change? Just straight out blind optimism? 

Actually, I didn't quit watching the team after two years; which I have already stated he did a horrible coaching job.   His coaching has improved and anybody who bothered to watch would agree with that.   Unlike Trilli for example, he has improved on the job.  

I have already stated that I would have terminated Benford after each of his four seasons.   However, that didn't happen.  If you take Mitchell out of the conversation, I believe this team can be compared favorable with the talent of Benford's first year.   

Mitchell didn't have anywhere close to the senior season that most expected, to what extent that was due to an inexperienced over his head coach can be debated.   Not many anywhere or any time can match Mitchell's physical talents.  

To directly answer your question.  Benford may not still be a good coach, but he is much better than his first two years.   He was a horrible bench coach and was not even good at his forte, recruiting in the beginning.    Now he is recruiting as well has anyone at NT since the MVC area with the exception of a couple of Jones years.  Combs is not in Mitchell's league in physical talent, but he is a much better ball player.  Add in proven CUSA plus players such as Reese and Johnson and some potential high level sophomores in Brown, Brice, Holston and Fuller.   Brices' potential is sky high and Brown was good enough to start as a freshman.    Add in the newcomers which includes a very promising freshman in Lawson and a transfer that should be an elite CUSA player in Frazier.    

So there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.   There is also a big reason to believe like you and many others, that Benford just can't get it done.  A positive is that NT was fairly good at home in the last conference season that signals some progress.    They were horrible on the road, and that will be a big hurdle to climb.

Overall, I see a team that will have a winning record and one that could do a lot better if the right pieces mesh, including more consistent and competent coaching.    

 

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24 minutes ago, GrandGreen said:

Actually, I didn't quit watching the team after two years; which I have already stated he did a horrible coaching job.   His coaching has improved and anybody who bothered to watch would agree with that.   Unlike Trilli for example, he has improved on the job.  

I have already stated that I would have terminated Benford after each of his four seasons.   However, that didn't happen.  If you take Mitchell out of the conversation, I believe this team can be compared favorable with the talent of Benford's first year.   

Mitchell didn't have anywhere close to the senior season that most expected, to what extent that was due to an inexperienced over his head coach can be debated.   Not many anywhere or any time can match Mitchell's physical talents.  

To directly answer your question.  Benford may not still be a good coach, but he is much better than his first two years.   He was a horrible bench coach and was not even good at his forte, recruiting in the beginning.    Now he is recruiting as well has anyone at NT since the MVC area with the exception of a couple of Jones years.  Combs is not in Mitchell's league in physical talent, but he is a much better ball player.  Add in proven CUSA plus players such as Reese and Johnson and some potential high level sophomores in Brown, Brice, Holston and Fuller.   Brices' potential is sky high and Brown was good enough to start as a freshman.    Add in the newcomers which includes a very promising freshman in Lawson and a transfer that should be an elite CUSA player in Frazier.    

So there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.   There is also a big reason to believe like you and many others, that Benford just can't get it done.  A positive is that NT was fairly good at home in the last conference season that signals some progress.    They were horrible on the road, and that will be a big hurdle to climb.

Overall, I see a team that will have a winning record and one that could do a lot better if the right pieces mesh, including more consistent and competent coaching.    

 

We disagree about Bryce's potential, but you can't teach height. 

Also, doesn't Frazier have to sit out this season as a transfer? 

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1 hour ago, UNT90 said:

We disagree about Bryce's potential, but you can't teach height. 

Also, doesn't Frazier have to sit out this season as a transfer? 

Not unusual for big men to develop late, but he showed more in his first year than a bunch of NT 6'10 recruits ever produced.   Has good feet, can block shots, and has a decent offensive game.   Bryce improves his defense a little and cuts down his fouls, he can be very valuable.    If he progresses more than that, he could quickly become a game changer.

Frazier becomes eligible in the second semester, he's here only for one semester.   Not a situation I like, but he could be the difference in conference play.    

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12 minutes ago, GrandGreen said:

Not unusual for big men to develop late, but he showed more in his first year than a bunch of NT 6'10 recruits ever produced.   Has good feet, can block shots, and has a decent offensive game.   Bryce improves his defense a little and cuts down his fouls, he can be very valuable.    If he progresses more than that, he could quickly become a game changer.

Frazier becomes eligible in the second semester, he's here only for one semester.   Not a situation I like, but he could be the difference in conference play.    

That's right. Forgot he transferred at mid semester.

A 7' (or 6'10" or whatever his real height is) player is valuable if he is explosive off his feet and can rebound and protect the rim. Who cares about offense. From the HS tapes and the one college game in which I witnessed Bryce play, he seems to lack the explosiveness needed at the college level. 

You've seen him more than I, so I hope you are right.

Edited by UNT90
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19 hours ago, GrandGreen said:

potential high level sophomores in Brown, Brice, Holston and Fuller.

Transfer Ryan Woolridge  from San Diego joins at mid semester as well.   6-7 Derail Green, who originally signed with Wichita State is another guy who could help.  And Shane Temara the 6-9 transfer from Angelina should get some minutes.  To me, these three guys and of course Frazier will either make or break this season for Benford.  Remember, it wasn't our starters that were the issue last year, it was the bench or lack thereof.

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18 hours ago, GrandGreen said:

Not unusual for big men to develop late, but he showed more in his first year than a bunch of NT 6'10 recruits ever produced.   Has good feet, can block shots, and has a decent offensive game.   Bryce improves his defense a little and cuts down his fouls, he can be very valuable.    If he progresses more than that, he could quickly become a game changer.

Frazier becomes eligible in the second semester, he's here only for one semester.   Not a situation I like, but he could be the difference in conference play.    

Brice's footwork is just so-so. The good news is I think he will improve that considerably. I hope he gets much better at defensive positioning as well. Those two things hurt him the most last season, but that's not unusual for freshman bigs. 

He really seems to love being here and playing here and that's a huge add to the fun.

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39 minutes ago, Army of Dad said:

Brice's footwork is just so-so. The good news is I think he will improve that considerably. I hope he gets much better at defensive positioning as well. Those two things hurt him the most last season, but that's not unusual for freshman bigs. 

He really seems to love being here and playing here and that's a huge add to the fun.

If he and fuller can lose weight they would be able to play more minutes.  What surprised me about Brice is he is already a pretty formidable shot blocker and can play offense.  The problem is he can't hand with an aggressive big.  They need to make him cover Combs in practice every chance they can.  I agree with @Army of Dad Brice will improve.  How much remains to be seen but wow he has potential.

What I think people miss is how good Combs could be this year if he can remain healthy.  He might well be the best player in the league if you factor in all he can do.

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1 hour ago, Army of Dad said:

Brice's footwork is just so-so. The good news is I think he will improve that considerably. I hope he gets much better at defensive positioning as well. Those two things hurt him the most last season, but that's not unusual for freshman bigs. 

He really seems to love being here and playing here and that's a huge add to the fun.

For a 7'1 freshman, I stand by my opinion that his footwork is pretty darn good.   He would not have had the blocks he had if it were not.   He picks up way too many fouls but I believe that is more do to inexperience than talent.  

I do definitely agree that the love of the game that he displays is very encouraging.   

I was really disappointed with Brice based on the HS all star game, he looked out of shape, raw, timid, not caring and frankly lazy.   This wasn't the player that showed up at NT.     Seven foot players don't end up at NT, if they don't have faults.  However, Benford had to have beat out a lot of competition for Brice.  

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1 minute ago, GrandGreen said:

For a 7'1 freshman, I stand by my opinion that his footwork is pretty darn good.   He would not have had the blocks he had if it were not.   He picks up way too many fouls but I believe that is more do to inexperience than talent.  

I do definitely agree that the love of the game that he displays is very encouraging.   

I was really disappointed with Brice based on the HS all star game, he looked out of shape, raw, timid, not caring and frankly lazy.   This wasn't the player that showed up at NT.     Seven foot players don't end up at NT, if they don't have faults.  However, Benford had to have beat out a lot of competition for Brice.  

I see his fouls mostly coming from positioning and footwork (which kind of is inexperience) more than anything. He had some bad fouls last year that a more experienced player typically avoids, but those seemed the exception rather than the rule to me.

I think his good block numbers come from being 7' and will improve based on his natural talent developing.

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