Retooled Mean Green Hoops Team Hosting Monday Exhibition
Williams, Voss Lead New-Look North Texas Basketball Team Into Monday's Exhibition Game
North Texas vs. Oklahoma City (2-0, SAC)
DENTON – Most college basketball pundits have forecasted North Texas to finish somewhere around eighth or ninth in Conference USA this season. The Mean Green locker room, however, sees things a little differently thanks to a revamped roster and a spirited offseason.
NT finished with 16 wins and a .500 record in 2013-14, marking a four-win improvement over the injury-plagued campaign of the year before. Last year’s squad was one of just 18 Mean Green teams in the 96-year history of the program to rack up at least 16 wins, and Jordan Williams and Colin Voss believe their squad is ready to take yet another step forward.
Williams already ranks 19th in school history with 1,045 career points, and with a standout senior campaign the “C-USA Player to Watch” could challenge the top 10 scorers in NT history. Voss led NT last year with 29 starts and ranked 14th among all C-USA players with a 49.5 percent shooting clip in league games.
“This year’s team just has a completely different mentality,” Voss said after a month’s worth of fast-paced practices. “Every player on the roster has made it their goal to get better every day, starting back in June with our first morning workout. We’re all on the same page.”
The roster Voss speaks of has been retooled in the offseason to match the talented guards and versatile forwards that North Texas saw across C-USA last year. Freshmen Greg White-Pittman, a Louisiana native, and Dallas’ Jeremy Combs led their respective states in scoring in high school, while big-man Muhammed Ahmed ads another JUCO All-American to NT’s ranks.
J-Mychal Reese transferred to North Texas after starting 25 games at point guard for Texas A&M over the last two seasons. The former top-100 recruit in the country has filed paperwork with the NCAA that, if approved, would make him immediately eligible to play for North Texas.
Should Reese not be able to play, head coach Tony Benford would turn to junior college transfers Todd Eaglin and Carrington Ward to run the point. Eaglin ranked third in the NJCAA last year with 7.6 assists per game, while Ward poured in 16 points per game en route to an All-Region XIV selection.
DeAndre Harris (medical) and Greg Wesley (redshirt) missed last season, but will provide an immediate impact for the Mean Green in 2014-15. Harris averaged 13.5 points as a freshman shooting guard at Tyler JC, and Wesley was the No. 9 recruit in Texas out of Arlington’s Seguin High School.
You will have two opportunities to see the new-look Mean Green in action this week. NT takes on Oklahoma City in an exhibition on Monday night at 7 p.m., and opens the 2014-15 campaign on Friday at 5 p.m. against Arkansas-Monticello.