UNT picked up another commitment under new head coach Tony Benford late this week when Anthony Norris decided to play for the Mean Green after one final year at Midland College.
What is interesting about Norris is that he is a player with a high ceiling, one he has yet to reach. Norris is 6-7 combo forward who can shoot the ball and play on the wing.
Those guys don’t grow on trees.
There is a reason Norris was committed to Memphis before he had a few bad months on the summer circuit and ended up back on the market.
By all accounts, Norris has a ton of talent, and he just so happens to be family friends with Benford and assistant coach Rob Evans. All three of from the basketball hotbed of Hobbs, N.M.
Benford will likely have six spots in his next recruiting class.
Taking Norris was about as big a no-brainer in recruiting as one is ever going to see.
What I found intriguing is that his story reminded me a lot of what we heard about Keith Coleman, the 6-9 forward UNT signed late. He has a high ceiling, a ton of physical talent and was on the street after a coaching change at Nebraska.
I saw Coleman in practice late last week. He reminded me a little of Jeffrey Simpson in the short (very short) time I saw UNT work out. He has all the size and physical talent you could possibly hope for in a late sign at UNT. He’s just really raw.
Two guys. One story.
The question is if UNT can develop both, although I am betting Norris looks a whole lot better on paper after a second year at Midland in a powerhouse JC league under a staff that has developed a lot of good players, including four committed to four-year schools the 2012 class.
The point is, UNT has taken a couple of project-type players to develop.
PJ Hardwick is about as polished a high school point guard one is going to find, but even he followed a similar path to the one traveled by Coleman and Norris in that he decommitted from Mississippi State after a coaching change.
One of the fun parts of following a new coaching staff is seeing how they go about their business. The circumstances had a lot to do with it in this case. UNT had to fill some holes in its roster quickly and had an inside connection with Norris. I just find it interesting to see that UNT did a whole lot of hustling in a short amount of time to land three players, including two who look like developmental players with high ceilings.
It might just be a coincidence, but it could also be an insight into what we will see in the future.