UNT knocked off East Central (Okla.) in an exhibition game at the Super Pit 90-49 tonight in front of 3,134 fans.
That is an amazing crowd for an exhibition game, by the way.
Before we get to the good stuff, here’s the information everyone is interested in — Keith Coleman did not play after essentially not taking care of his class work off the court (going to class, going to study hall, tutoring sessions, et cetera). Benford said he isn’t going to put up with that on his watch, and he shouldn’t.
Benford said Coleman will return to practice tomorrow, that he is a good guy and he should be fine going forward. UNT fans are just overly sensitive to that kind of thing these days after the Mean Green might have squandered an NCAA tourney bid last season when two key players (Chris Jones and Jordan Williams) didn’t make their grades in the first semester.
UNT is also without Justin Patton and Clarke Overlander, who are out with injuries. I mentioned that Patton is out two to four weeks with a knee injury earlier. Overlander is out a few days with a bad hamstring.
I did find it interesting that Benford said that Patton might be UNT’s best defender, even better than Alzee Williams. That’s saying something. Alzee is a great defender with a freakishly long wingspan.
The story of the night was UNT’s depth. UNT had nine guys score, including five who finished in double figures. That might have had something to do with the level of competition, but UNT is really, really deep, especially for a Sun Belt team. You add in the three guys who didn’t play and UNT’s roster looks even better.
UNT’s players talked about how that depth will keep them fresh and help this team overcome injuries. Benford talked about how it will help him keep everyone on their toes. If someone isn’t playing well, UNT will have options on the bench.
Jordan Williams had a great game with 20 points and 10 rebounds. I wonder if he isn’t going to be a huge difference-maker for UNT this year. UNT has post guys. It has shooters. What it was missing last year are guys who can score off the bounce. That is what Williams and Chris Jones can provide.