Mitchell, NT Nab SBC's Top Preseason Honors

DENTON, Texas – The North Texas men’s basketball team was tabbed to win the Sun Belt West Division and Tony Mitchell was named the league’s Preseason Player of the Year in the conference’s annual preseason poll.

Named a Preseason All-American by numerous national publications, Mitchell joined Kentucky’s Anthony Davis as the only freshmen in the country to average a double-double in 2011-12. In league-only games, Mitchell led the Sun Belt in scoring (15.9 PPG), rebounding (11.8 RPG), 3-point percentage (47.1), blocks (3.1 BPG), and was also second in field goal percentage (58.1).

“We are extremely proud of Tony Mitchell for this well-deserved honor,” said North Texas head coach Tony Benford. “He is a tremendous player who has been accountable and has done everything that’s been asked of him since I arrived on campus. Most importantly, he’s a great teammate and person. Tony, myself and everyone involved in the program looks forward to the challenges ahead of us this season.”

On top of Mitchell’s accolades, North Texas was the unanimous choice by the league’s coaches to win the West Division. Middle Tennessee, coming off a banner year that included 27 wins and a three-round trip into the NIT, garnered every first-place vote in the East Division, and had four players selected to the Preseason All-Sun Belt teams.

 “The Sun Belt is a great league full of accomplished coaches and talented players, and I really think it is one of the nation’s most underrated conferences,” Benford said. “There are a lot of difficult places to play at in this league. I believe that Middle Tennessee is as talented as anyone in the country, and they have a chance to be this year’s Murray State. The same could be said for South Alabama, Western Kentucky or any number of teams in this conference.”

The Mean Green has averaged 21 wins per season over the last six years, and returns its top seven scorers for 2012-13 – including Mitchell. NT has advanced to the Sun Belt Tournament finals in each of the last three years.

North Texas will open the 2012-13 season at Creighton on Nov. 9, followed by the NIT Season Tip-Off on Nov. 12-13 in Manhattan, Kan. Your first chance to see Mitchell and the Mean Green will be on Nov. 1 in exhibition action against East Central at the Super Pit.

2012-13 Men’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference

First Team
Will Neighbour (UALR, Jr., Forward)
Trey Finn (Arkansas State, Sr., Guard)
Marcos Knight (Middle Tennessee, Sr., Guard)  
Tony Mitchell (North Texas, So., Forward)
Augustine Rubit (South Alabama, Jr., Forward)

Second Team
Brandon Peterson (Arkansas State, Sr., Forward)
Greg Gantt (Florida Atlantic, Sr., Guard)
JT Sulton (Middle Tennessee, Sr., Forward)
Bruce Massey (Middle Tennessee, Sr., Guard)
George Fant (WKU, So., Forward)

Third Team
Marcus Hooten (Arkansas State, Sr., Guard)
Raymond Cintron (Middle Tennessee, Sr., Guard)
Javier Carter (South Alabama, Sr., Forward)
Freddie Goldstein (South Alabama, Sr., Guard)
T.J. Price (WKU, So., Guard)

2012-13 Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year
Tony Mitchell (North Texas, So., Forward)

2012-13 Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
First Place Votes in Parentheses

1. Middle Tennessee – 65 points (11)
2. South Alabama – 51 points
3. WKU – 47 points
4. Florida Atlantic – 29 points
5. Troy – 22 points
6. FIU – 17 points

1. North Texas – 55 points (11)
2. Arkansas State – 40 points
3. UALR – 33 points
4. Louisiana-Lafayette – 24 points
5. Louisiana-Monroe – 13 points

Sun Belt Network Television Package – 2012-13
Nov. 28 - UT Arlington at North Texas - 7 p.m. - TXA-21
Dec. 31 - North Texas at Middle Tennessee - 7 p.m. - ESPNU
Feb. 7 - WKU vs. North Texas - 7 p.m. - TXA-21
Feb 16 - North Texas at Troy - 7:30 p.m. - Sun Belt Network



North Texas Mean Green