North Texas will host its annual preseason basketball event tomorrow at 7 p.m.
This season’s event will mirror the festivities of a year ago and pretty much what one sees around the college basketball world. There will be a 3-point shooting contest, a half-heart scrimmage and a dunk contest.
There isn’t a whole lot one can tell about much of anything from tipoff events, but they are typically a fun affair for fans.
With that being said, here’s what we will be looking for tomorrow.
1. Who’s on first? Or in this case at the point, on the wings, et cetera?
When we last left UNT basketball, Chris Jones was running the point, Alzee Williams was the Mean Green’s second-leading scorer, Brandan Walton and Vertrail Vaughns were key parts of the backcourt rotation and UNT really, really needed some help in the paint.
As far as the women’s team went, Alexis Hyder was on pace to become one of the leading scorers in school history, Laura McCoy was about the smallest rock of stability one could imagine, Briesha Wynn was a steady producer and pretty much everyone else’s knee resembled ground beef.
A lot has changed for both of these teams.
On the men’s side, UNT is hoping an influx of players, including J-Mychal Reese, Muhammed Ahmed and DeAndre Harris will help this team post its first winning season in Year Three under Tony Benford.
The UNT women are banking on a couple of newcomers and the return of the body bag squad (Candice Adams, Acheil Tac and BreAnna Dawkins for starters) of injured players to help the Mean Green break out and post its first winning season since the 2005-06 campaign.
I don’t think anyone has a clue what either of this teams will look like. There is a lot of hoping going on, but there are a whole lot of key players for both teams who have proven exactly bubkus on the Division I level.
Tomorrow could provide at least a small glimpse of what both of UNT’s teams have to work with.
2. Can anyone rebound for the UNT men?
UNT ranked 14th in rebounding margin last season during Conference USA play with a deficit of 2.9.
Jordan Williams, a 6-6 wing guard tied for 18th in C-USA in rebounds in conference play at 6.1 a game to lead UNT.
UNT doesn’t need to have a dominant rebounder with the style it plays, but there is little doubt the Mean Green need to improve overall.
UNT was outrebounded by 14 by UAB, 13 by UTEP and nine by Middle Tennessee last season. And those are just a couple of examples.
If UNT wants to make a move up in the conference this year, it’s going to have to improve. Does UNT have the horses to get it done, especially after jettisoning 6-10 forwards Kelvin Gaines and Keith Coleman, even though they weren’t particularly productive?
We could know more tomorrow.
3. Can anyone shoot the ball for the UNT women?
UNT women’s coach Mike Petersen named 3-point shooting as one of UNT’s biggest concerns this year. UNT lost not only McCoy, but also saw Janis Peterson leave after her junior year to go back to California. Those two players were UNT’s best 3-point shooters.
UNT will have to find someone to replace them, whether they are newcomers or are returning from the body bag squad.
4. Who complements Wynn offensively?
Petersen said he isn’t concerned with UNT’s ability to put the ball in the hole. Wynn can score. She averaged 11.3 points a game, but is the only player who averaged double figures who returns.
Acheil Tac has expanded her game offensively after putting up 8.3 points a game and BreAnna Dawkins averaged 6.5 points a game before being lost for the season with a bad knee injury.
We could see who will carry the scoring load this year.
In a side note …
— Curtis Hollis (@CurtisHollis_) October 23, 2014
Hollis, a small forward Mansfield Summit who is ranked No. 51 in the state in the Class of 2016 by TexasHoops.com, will be by UNT’s event tomorrow.
— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) October 23, 2014
And finally, Davion Freeman, a cornerback from Oklahoma UNT had shown some interest in who we talked to over the summer for our on-going UNT recruiting target series committed to Wyoming.