Benford confirms, P.J. Hardwick to transfer

UNT head coach Tony Benford confirmed this afternoon that freshman guard P.J. Hardwick has elected to transfer.

Hardwick started 16 games last season while starter Chris Jones recovered from a broken foot.

Hardwick averaged 3.7 points a game and led UNT with 81 assists. He was the first recruit Benford signed after taking over the program following last season. He is the third player to transfer out of the program since the weeks leading up to last season. Trey Norris transferred out before the season started. Former Argyle standout Clarke Overlander also recently announced he is leaving the program.

The departure of Hardwick adds to what will be a summer of dramatic change for UNT. Tony Mitchell, UNT’s second-leading scorer at 13.0 points a game and leading rebounder at 8.5 per game, declared for the NBA draft after the season. Roger Franklin (11.7 points, 6.3 rebounds a game) was the leading player among four seniors who will also depart, a group that also included Niko Stojiljkovic (2.6 points, 2.4 rebounds). Jacob Holmen and Justin Patton missed the majority of their senior seasons due to injury.

Benford said that he anticipates six players returning from last season’s team. Of those six players, only four saw significant action. Former Denison standout T.J. Taylor sat out the season as a redshirt, while Brandan Walton played in just one game before breaking his foot and spending the year as a redshirt. Keith Coleman averaged 1.3 points and 1.6 rebounds in 8.5 minutes a game.

UNT does return its top scorer in Jordan Williams (14.2 points a game), Alzee Williams (11.1 points a game) and Jones (9.2 points a game)

UNT signed three high school players during the early signing period. The late period begins on April 17.

Benford said that UNT will have a full complement of 13 players next season.

Benford also said that the players who have left the program were in good academic standing.

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