I will delve into this more in the paper and on the blog later today, but it looks like Kelvin Gaines will make his UNT debut tomorrow when the Mean Green takes on Stephen F. Austin.
Yes, UNT is still playing basketball. Hoops has become something of a forgotten sport in the wake of UNT’s breakout season in football — it is Texas, where football is king.
Gaines transferred to UNT from Cincinnati, where he missed a big chunk of his final year with a shoulder injury.
Gaines had a foot injury that required surgery shortly after he arrived at UNT.
The 6-foot-10 center has practiced the last three days and should see at least a little time against SFA.
Gaines is a big-time athlete who can rebound and block shots. UNT head coach Tony Benford also made a good point when I talked with him about Gaines on Friday.
Gaines played at the highest levels of college basketball at Cincinnati. He knows how to play. Benford said that sets good screens and just increases UNT’s toughness level and intensity by his presence alone.
UNT could use both when it faces SFA, which is a really good defensive team. That defensive prowess is one reason SFA is 8-2 and has won five straight.
Benford said UNT has only had its whole team available for practice three times this season.
UNT had won three straight — beating a pretty good Portland team on the road and then resuming is unofficial Southland Conference schedule with wins over Incarnate Word and Southeastern Louisiana. UNT was then drilled by BYU 97-67.
Benford and UNT’s players were not happy with how they performed in that game.
We will see how they respond tomorrow — when Gaines should be out there for the first time for UNT.