Mean Green Basketball Set For First Official Practice
North Texas Hosts Eureka College On Nov. 10
DENTON – Its been 198 days since Grant McCasland was officially named North Texas men’s basketball coach, and the new look Mean Green will take the court Friday for the first official practice of the 2017-18 season.
“The great thing about a new team is everyone gets a clean slate,” McCasland said. “Being allowed to work with our guys in the summer gives us a jumpstart this time of the year so we are not panicking like we have to get a lot done. The core values of who we are have been established.”
McCasland as a first-year head coach at Arkansas State doubled the Red Wolves’ win total from 10 to 20, he has a career winning percentage of 80 percent and has had seven postseason appearances.
“I am excited to start practices to keep moving our team forward,” McCasland said. “As a team we want to keep bringing energy and be consistent in everything we do by giving maximum effort. There will be tough days but that is where we can separate our team from average.”
Two of the four leading scorers from last season return in Conference USA all-freshman team honoree A.J. Lawson and Ryan Woolridge. The Mean Green have one senior in forward Shane Temara, who played in 30 games last season and led the team in rebounding at 4.6 per game.
Eight newcomers were brought into the mix, including four junior-college transfers. Guards Roosevelt Smart, Michael Miller and Jorden Duffy and forward Tope Arikawe are expected to contribute. Three freshmen were added to the roster in forward Zachary Simmons, Mark Tikhonenko and guard Umoja Gibson. The final newcomer is Arkansas State transfer Jahmiah Simmons, who will sit out the 2017-18 season.
Defense has been a point of emphasis in the first couple of months under McCasland, who teaches an aggressive approach. With no exhibitions, the Mean Green will have to use their time wisely in preparing for the season.
“I love our team, our staff, and I think we have the right ingredients to have a great season,” McCasland added.
North Texas will have 43 days to get ready for its season opener against Eureka College on Friday, Nov. 10, at 5 p.m. at the Super Pit.
Season tickets for Mean Green basketball are available at just $75 per person for general admission. To purchase tickets, visit the North Texas Ticket Office website.