Evans Excited For Homecoming, Big Matchup With Arkansas
Associate Head Coach Was On Razorbacks Bench On NT's Last Visit To Arkansas
North Texas (4-1, C-USA) vs. Arkansas (4-0, SEC)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Josh White, George Odufuwa and the rest of the Mean Green basketball team were starting to show their championship character when they strolled into Little Rock's Alltel Arena in January of 2010.
Fifteen thousand Arkansas fans and some of the SEC's top talent didn't faze North Texas that day, and NT went into the halftime break with a two-point lead. While the Hogs pulled out an 86-75 win, one Arkansas assistant coach left the arena pretty impressed with the little team from Denton.
Rob Evans, a former SEC Coach of the Year at 'Ole Miss, was an assistant coach for John Pelphrey's Arkansas squads from 2007-11, and he remembers the nightmare the Mean Green brought to Little Rock.
"That was a pretty good team North Texas brought up that year," Evans said. "I'll tell you this much, we were scared to death of them, and for good reason. That team had a lot of heart, and you knew they were on the verge of taking the next step."
Evans must be a pretty good eye for talent, because the next step for that squad was the Sun Belt regular season and tournament titles just a season later.
Fast forward to 2014, and Evans joins head coach Tony Benford in taking their Mean Green team to Fayetteville to take on the Hogs. Fifteen thousand more Razorback fans will fill Bud Walton Arena, and a new crop of thouroughbred SEC players will suit up for Arkansas. This trip marks Evans' first time back to Fayetteville for a basketball game since leaving the school in 2011, and all he wants from his team is to see the same intense, unfazed North Texas team he saw seven seasons ago.
"I'm very excited to go back to Walton Arena," Evans said. "The people at Arkansas were extremely welcoming to my wife and I, and I can't wait to see some of our old friends. Most of all, I'm ready to compete."