Postseason hoops questions — Part I (Can the UNT men improve in the post?)

North Texas junior forward Colin Voss (33) drives to the basket in a loss to Southern Miss earlier this season. Voss will be one of UNT’s key returning forwards next season, when the Mean Green will aim to improve its production in the paint. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)

UNT finished off its postseason run in basketball this week on both the men’s and women’s sides.

Over the next few weeks, I will look at a few of the issues both teams face heading into the off-season, something I did a little of in the wake of the UNT men losing a tight game to Tulane in the second round yesterday.

In a side note, Rice coach Ben Braun is out after the Owls lost to UNT in an opening-round game:

We kick the series off with the UNT men, since their plight is the hot-button topic at the moment.

No. 1 — Can UNT improve in the post?

We mentioned the dilemma UNT faces after its loss yesterday.

UNT came into the season having to replace Tony Mitchell and Roger Franklin, who are in the NBA and Europe, respectively, and didn’t fare well.

To review: Mitchell (13.0 points, 8.5 rebounds) and Franklin (11.7 points, 6.3 rebounds) combined to average 24.7 points and 14.8 rebounds a game.

UNT essentially replaced that duo with Colin Voss (7.3 points, 5.8 rebounds), Keith Coleman (3.4 points, 3.0 rebounds), Armani Flannigan (2.4 points, 2.1 rebounds a game) and Kelvin Gaines (0.6 points, 1.5 rebounds).

Final tally, 13.7 points and 12.4 rebounds a game.

UNT just didn’t get a whole lot offensively out of its interior players.

Opponents could push out on UNT’as guards as a result.

UNT is hoping that Greg Wesley and Jeremy Combs, a couple of good forwards, can help the Mean Green improve next year. Wesley sat out this season and will be a freshman next year. Combs will be also be a freshman next season

The Mean Green will also look for help on the recruiting trail.

How UNT fares in improving its production in the paint will go a long way toward determining if the Mean Green can improve on a 16-16 finish.

UNT will hope for improved production out of its returning quartet — assuming they all come back — and hope that Wesley and Combs are as good as advertised.


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