It wasn’t too long ago that one could make a pretty good argument that UNT was the dominant team in DFW college hoops. UNT had been to a couple of NCAA tournaments, picked up a few big nonconference wins over LSU and Texas Tech (granted, not national powers, but major conference teams) and been remarkably consistent.
It’s way too early to bury UNT after one tough year under new head coach Tony Benford.
But after today, it’s hard to not look across town with a wary eye at SMU (the school UNT fans love to hate).
SMU didn’t exactly tear it up this season. The Mustangs finished 15-17 on the year and in the basemen of Conference USA.
But there are a whole lot of really talented guys lining up to play for Larry Brown, a coach with some serious skins on the wall.
Brown landed the big fish today in Dallas area prospect Keith Frazier. Remember how big a deal it was for UNT to land Tony Mitchell. Well, Frazier is that type of player. And he isn’t the only highly regarded guy on the way. Illinois shooting guard Sterling Brown, Illinois power forward Ben Moore and JUCO center Yanick Moreira combine to form a pretty good class. Frazier and Brown are among the top 150 prospects nationally.
UNT was in on Frazier early before he really took off as a prospect and before Johnny Jones took off for LSU.
UNT had a terrible run of injuries in a down season, but still has a pretty good class going with a huge get in Greg Wesley to go along with two other solid gets in Tony Nunn and Josh Friar.
UNT and SMU don’t compete directly and don’t ever play.
But let’s be honest here. Having the best program in DFW is important. UNT was the top team for a good while and would certainly like to hang on to that distinction.
Seeing Frazier commit to SMU was a serious shot to UNT bouncing back from a bad season to retain that distinction.