Telling UNT hoops stat and thoughts on a big visit weekend

Did a little math today while working on my advance for tomorrow’s UNT-FAU doubleheader (always dangerous).

I thought this tidbit was telling.

Head coach Tony Benford says that he wants Tony Mitchell to take at least 15 shots a game, a mark he has reached just four times this season.

Mitchell is averaging 21.5 points on 50 percent shooting in those games and has led UNT to a 3-1 mark. The Mean Green’s only loss when Mitchell shot 15 times came against 12th-ranked Creighton.

UNT is 1-3 when Mitchell scores less than 10 points, and that win was a 45-40 win over Southeastern Louisiana. The 45 points UNT scored was the Mean Green’s lowest total in a win since a 37-36 win over Air Force in 1963.

UNT has to find a way to get Mitchell the ball where he can get a good look. Mitchell is not a guy who forces bad shots. Outside of a couple of deep 3s, think about how many bad shots we have seen Mitchell take this year.

There aren’t many.

It’s up to UNT’s staff to get Mitchell shots in the halfcourt. That isn’t easy when everyone is doing everything they can to take him out of the game, especially when UNT has no outside shooting.

But that’s coaching.

On the football front, this is a huge weekend for UNT.

D.J. Dean, a nationally ranked cornerback who was committed to Utah, and JUCO tight end Chris Loving will be among the players in town.

Tanzel Smart, a big three-star defensive tackle considering UNT, will visit Tulane.

Depending on the way this weekend and next play out, this could end up being a solid class or one that leaves something to be desired, although some will declare it a success no matter what.

Dean and Smart would give a couple of more three-star players to count along with defensive back Chad Davis on the list of highly regarded recruits.

Loving and Smart would also fill huge needs.

If UNT loses a few of those key prospects to other schools (my list would include Dean, Smart and Loving, who is visiting Kansas State next weekend), it will be a whole lot tougher for the school to sell the fact that this is a top-notch group, especially when compared to the teams it will be competing against in Conference USA.

Stay tuned.

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