It was a pretty big day in terms of news when it comes to UNT basketball yesterday with the Mean Green landing Vertail Vaughns, Karen Blair officially joining the Mike Petersen’s staff and the real zinger — Zach Peters visiting UNT today.
While we are waiting to see what happens with Peters, here are some thoughts on Vaughns.
I can see the concern with UNT lacking a lot of size at this point following the departure of Tony Mitchell and another forward who was a little on the small side in Roger Franklin, but going after and landing Vaughns was a solid move.
UNT really struggled to shoot the ball last season at 28.5 percent from 3-point range and could use another high-character, leadership kind of guy. UNT had a ton of those guys in the past in the Eric Tramiels of the world, but had a bit of a void there last year outside of Franklin.
Vaughns appears as if he can help address both concerns.
Vaughns shot 38.5 percent from beyond the arc and sank 99 treys in his career at George Mason, totals that rank eighth and 13th in school history, respectively. He is also a two-time Dean’s List honoree and was on the Colonial Athletic Association Commissioner’s list twice.
Adding Vaughns and bringing Brandan Walton back after a redshirt year will allow UNT to stretch opposing defenses. And don’t forget UNT still has another good shooter on the roster in Jordan Williams.
Tony Benford has talked since the end of the season about spreading the floor with shooters and having more playmakers on the floor.
UNT appears headed down the road to running a four-guard offense. Middle Tennessee was that type of team last year. You really need one agile, long forward to make that kind of system work. Otherwise you are going to get killed on the glass and in the paint defensively. Shawn Jones was that guy for the Blue Raiders last season. Greg Wesley and Armani Flannigan could be those types of players for UNT next year. Jones is 6-8, which is about the same height as Wesley and Flannigan.
What really struck me when I talked to Vaughns is that he felt like UNT’s players saw him as a potential leader heading into next season when he came to Denton on his official visit. That says a lot about him as a person and about the role he could play for UNT next season.
Throw in the fact that he is a local product from Mesquite and adding Vaughns seems like a good move, especially this late in the process for UNT.