Breaking news — UNT parts ways with Keith Coleman

North Texas center Keith Coleman (44) hangs over East Carolina junior guard Paris Roberts-Campbell during a game last season at the Super Pit. Coleman is leaving the program, coach Tony Benford confirmed on Wednesday. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)

The UNT men’s basketball program has parted ways with Keith Coleman, head coach Tony Benford confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

Benford said that Coleman violated team policies, leading to his departure.

Coleman, who would have been a senior in the fall, averaged 3.0 points and 3.4 rebounds a game last season.

“I would like to thank Keith for his contributions to our program and wish him luck in his future endeavors,” Benford said. “We have certain rules, regulations and standards here and expect everyone to abide by them.”

Coleman, a 6-foot-10 center, is the second post player to leave the team since the end of the season. Kelvin Gaines, another 6-foot-10 center, left the program to pursue a professional career, forgoing his final season of eligibility.

Armani Flannigan, a 6-foot-8 forward, will now be UNT’s tallest player scheduled to return next season.

UNT recently picked up a commitment from 6-foot-7 JUCO forward Muhammed Ahmed of Gillette College in Wyoming. UNT will also add 6-foot-6 forward Jeremy Combs and 6-foot-7 forward Greg Wesley, who sat out last season.

UNT finished 16-16 in its first season in Conference USA and struggled at times to compete in the paint. UNT averaged 2.9 fewer rebounds a game than its opponents in C-USA play and ranked 14th in rebounding margin in conference games.

Benford believes the changes UNT has made in its roster since the end of last season will help the Mean Green address its struggles on the glass, despite the departure of two of its post players.

Gaines averaged just 1.5 rebounds a game

“I like the way our roster shapes up,” Benford said. “We have guys who are 6-7 to 6-8. That is what you need in this league. We are going to have a post man on the roster, maybe two. We losing Gaines and Keith, but we are adding some guys who will give us a different look at that position. I want to play up-tempo, push the ball and spread the floor. The versatility we have will help us.”

The departure of Coleman will open up a spot on UNT’s roster. Benford said UNT is still actively recruiting and looking to upgrade its talent. The late signing period begins on April 16.

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