Follow-up thoughts on Hyder’s departure

Alexis Hyder

The UNT women’s basketball team lost one of its top players in forward Alexis Hyder recently. After two years, Hyder elected to transfer to another school to continue her career.

It’s a tough blow for UNT, one I haven’t had a chance to comment on until now.

First off, I really liked Hyder in what little dealings I had with her over the last couple of years. She was always polite, articulate and willing to talk. Being in the newspaper business, that goes a long way with me.

Hyder was also a heck of a player, one who averaged 11.3 points and 6.1 rebounds a game last season.

The immediate reaction by a lot of people has been to try to place blame. If one takes a look at the situation, that is really hard to do. Hyder was recruited by Karen Aston and ended up playing for Mike Petersen. Both are good people and good coaches. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

When I found out that Hyder was leaving the program, I couldn’t help but think back on a conversation I had with her along the way when she talked about her relationship with Jalie Mitchell. The former UNT assistant played a big role in Hyder playing for the Mean Green.

Mitchell followed Aston to Texas. I haven’t talked to Hyder. I don’t know if Mitchell’s departure played a role, but the thought crossed my mind. Hyder was also not the best fit for Petersen’s uptempo system.

Transfers are something of an epidemic in college basketball as well. There have been a few stories written over the last few years about the number of players transferring in men’s college basketball. The story isn’t any different in the women’s game. There are players transferring all the time.

UNT had, oh, a few on the roster at one point or another last year. To review: Hannah Christian (TCU), BreAnna Dawkins (Wichita State), Taylor Hooker (Tulsa) and Briesha Wynn (TCU) all spent time at other Division I schools before landing at UNT.

They have a saying in sports — “You win some. You lose some.”

The saying is supposed to be about games, but it also applies to players in the world of college basketball these days. UNT has had a couple players leave recently that it could have benefited from keeping, including Loryn Goodwin.

Looking back over the last decade, what has really hurt UNT is the who’s who list of great post players who have left. To review …

Amber Jackson – The leading rebounder in school history by a mile with 761 and fifth leading scorer with 1,388 points was booted by former head coach Shanice Stephens and missed the last four games of her senior year, including the conference tournament.

Jasmine Godbolt – The ninth-leading scorer in school history with 1,080 points didn’t play her senior season.

Mia Ajekwu – A third-team All-Sun Belt selection in 2006 and three-time member of the Dean’s List averaged 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds a game as a junior and helped lead UNT to a 19-9 record in 2005-06, the last time UNT finished with a winning record. You guessed it, she didn’t return and went to pharmacy school.

Now UNT has seen another big-time forward leave. Hyder was on pace to become only the third 1,500-point scorer in school history.

It’s a tough blow any way one slices it.

UNT will just have to hope it can adjust next season like so many other teams in college basketball.

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