North Texas didn’t have its regular wireless network at the Super Pit going tonight during its annual tip-off event. I couldn’t blog live. Here is the story that will appear in the paper in the morning.
Shane Tamara leaped over teammate for a thunderous slam to capture the dunk contest and punctuate what both North Texas basketball coaches described as a successful debut Thursday at Mean Green Madness.
The annual event at the Super Pit served as the unofficial opening of UNT’s basketball season.
Well over a thousand UNT students filled the stands for the event that featured the introduction of both the men’s and women’s teams, scrimmages and a 3-point shootout in addition to the dunk contest.
“This is always great,” UNT men’s coach Tony Benford said. “We had a great crowd and great energy. It’s great for the fans to see us. They can see that we have a lot of talent. We can play small ball, big ball, can shoot and have athleticism.
“I really like this group. We have had 14 practices that have been very competitive. One of our strengths will be our depth.”
That depth was on display during the men’s scrimmage. Returners Rickey Brice Jr. and Allante Holston and newcomer Derail Green all scored eight points for the Black team in a 43-29 win over the Green in a scrimmage.
Freshman A.J. Lawson scored eight points to lead the Green, while Jeremy Combs added seven.
The UNT women also saw several newcomers shine in their scrimmage. The Green team beat the White 35-30 behind 11 points from Terriell Bradley and 10 from Grace Goodhart, a pair of sophomore transfers.
Micayla Buckner, another newcomer, tied veteran Candice Adams to lead the White team with 10 points.
“The event gives the fans a chance to see the girls, their faces and what we have to offer,” UNT women’s coach Jalie Mitchell said. “We had a good turnout tonight. Hopefully they will come back and support us at our games.”
Mitchell and Goodhart were big winners in two of the contests that were included in the event.
Goodhart won the women’s 3-point shooting contest and took on highly regarded SMU transfer Keith Frazier head-to-head for the overall title. Goodhart won the final by a 9-6 score.
UNT officials also invited fans, a few players and a members of the Mean Green women’s coaching staff to participate in a game of knockout.
Mitchell won, which wasn’t all that surprising. She a member of the UNT Athletic Hall of Fame, is the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,764 points and has her No. 44 jersey retired.
Both Mitchell and Benford spoke to the crowd and asked them to return for what they expect to be a successful season.
“I would like to think there is some excitement out there with our returners and transfers,” Mitchell said. “We will be exciting to watch once we come together as a team.”