UNT first day of hoops practice (video, notes, quotes)

I stopped by the opening day of basketball practice for the UNT men this afternoon and shot the video at the top of this post. I talked to Brandan Walton and Chris Jones about the start of practice.

I also talked to a Tony Benford for a story that will appear in tomorrow’s paper. I won’t give it all away, but here is the key quote:

“We are excited,” Benford said. “We have a great group of guys with character. We are all disappointed in last year. I’m accountable and take responsibility. It’s on me. [UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal] hired me to take this program to another level. We have some pieces in place to change the record we had last year.”

There is no denying that last year was disappointing, but Benford has stood up and taken his share of the blame. One has to admire him for doing that.

The bottom line is it doesn’t do UNT any good to go into any of the behind-the-scenes aspects of last year. UNT’s coaches and players are going to state the obvious and move on.

– UNT didn’t have a lot of outside shooting last year.

– Losing Jones and Walton was a killer.

– The Mean Green didn’t adjust well to losing future future UNT Hall of Fame coach Johnny Jones.

What matters now is how UNT moves on. Benford and the Mean Green’s players talked a little about that in the video in this blog and in what they told me that I used in tomorrow’s paper.

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