Friday afternoon basketball notes (Benford talks future, McCoy video)

It’s getting to the end of the season and thus some questions about the future of both the UNT men’s and women’s basketball programs, both in the short and long term.

Both teams will play Tuesday in the opening round of the Conference USA tournament in El Paso. The UNT men will play Rice, while the women will face Louisiana Tech.

The video at the top of this file is a quick chat with Laura McCoy about the conference tournament.

The future beyond that event came up after the UNT men’s game last night. The Mean Green played pretty well, but fell to Tulsa 79-68. It’s been a rough go for UNT this season. UNT is 15-15 on the year and in danger of posting back-to-back losing season for the first time since the 2002-03 and 2003-04 campaigns if it can’t beat Rice in the opening round of the conference tournament.

UNT head coach Tony Benford expressed confidence in UNT improving next season, largely due to the return of a few key guards and what he sees as the Mean Green’s potential to improve its post play.

UNT ranks 14th out of 16 teams in C-USA in rebounding margin at minus-2.9 in league play and isn’t getting much production from its post players. The quartet of Colin Voss, Keith Coleman, Kelvin Gaines and Armani Flannigan combined for four points and seven rebounds in 44 minutes last night.

Benford expressed confidence in freshman Greg Wesley, who is sitting out this year, and high school signee Jeremy Combs to improve UNT’s production.

“We will have an experienced team year,” Benford said. “I like our guards. With T.J. [Taylor], C.J. [Chris Jones], Jordan [Williams] and Maurice [Aniefiok] coming back, we will be better. We added some quality guards. Greg Wesley is a really good player who will add a dimension we don’t have right now. Jeremy Combs will be ready to play right away and can rebound. Those two guys can score inside. We are recruiting and need to add a couple of more pieces.

“I think we could be really good next year.”

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