I went over to the Super Pit to cover Mike Petersen’s debut with the UNT women’s team tonight.
We’ll get to that in a minute.
First off, it’s hard to believe what went down tonight with the UNT men against Alabama-Huntsville, a Division II team. UNT somehow managed to lose 78-75 in the preseason NIT.
My phone has been blowing up with texts from multiple college assistants, guys who work at other papers and fans wanting to know what happened.
I didn’t go on the road trip, so I can’t say for sure. I do wonder about UNT’s comfort level in a new system and continuity in a time of change, though. The staff is new, the system is new and the lineup is a lot different with Chris Jones and Jordan Williams back.
UNT has put more emphasis on defense since Benford arrived. Nothing wrong with that. I do wonder about UNT finding its identity, though.
Transitions are never easy.
Tony Mitchell fouled out, but got just four shots and six free throws in 31 minutes. Jordan Williams had 26, but UNT’s guards continue to struggle overall. Chris Jones and Alzee Wiliams combined to go 4-for-21.
Keith Coleman who was supposed to be a big addition played just eight minutes and had two points and three rebounds. That could have been a matchup issue, but you do wonder.
UNT has to find a way to adjust.
Which brings us to the experts in that area, the UNT women’s team, which lost to Texas State 88-83 in its first game under Petersen, its third coach in three years.
We found out tonight that freshman Alexis Hyder is the real deal and that Braylah Blakely is in position to have a big year.
Hyder scored 18 points and Blakely had 16.
UNT has some good players, but it making the adjustment to playing under Petersen. It has the offensive part of the up-tempo system down. UNT got some great looks out of its halfcourt sets and scored more than enough points to win.
UNT just gave up way too much defensively. Texas State hit nine 3s, including one a Texas State player banked in from halfcourt at the halftime buzzer.
At the time, I couldn’t help but think, “Welcome to UNT,” coach.
Things like that just seem to happen to the Mean Green.
Little did I know that would be far from the toughest turn of events tonight.