North Texas Mean Green men's basketball

The North Texas Mean Green men's basketball team represents the University of North Texas (UNT) in NCAA Division I college basketball, competing as a member of the American Athletic Conference.

North Texas Mean Green
2023–24 North Texas Mean Green men's basketball team
Head coachRoss Hodge (1st season)
ConferenceThe American
LocationDenton, Texas
ArenaThe Super Pit
(Capacity: 10,500)
NicknameMean Green
Student sectionMean Green Maniacs
ColorsGreen and white[1]
Home jersey
Team colours
Away jersey
Team colours

NCAA tournament round of 32
NCAA tournament appearances
1988, 2007, 2010, 2021
Conference tournament champions
Southland: 1988
Sun Belt: 2007, 2010
C-USA: 2021
Conference regular season champions
TIAA: 1922, 1923, 1926, 1927
Lone Star: 1938, 1942, 1943, 1948
Gulf Coast: 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954
Southland: 1988, 1989
Sun Belt: 2010
C-USA: 2020, 2022

For most of its history, the Mean Green have had patches of success, starting in the 1970s when the team received its first ever top-20 ranking under head coach Bill Blakeley as well as success in the late 1980s and early 1990s under head coach Jimmy Gales and then again in the mid to late 2000s under head coach Johnny Jones. Blakeley coached three consecutive 20-win seasons: 1975–76 (22-4); 1976–77 (21-6); 1977–78 (22-6). North Texas has appeared in the NCAA tournament on four occasions: 1988, 2007, 2010, and 2021, recording their first-ever tournament win in 2021. The Mean Green went on an especially strong run in the 2006–2010 era, with two tournament appearances, two conference championships, and posting more wins over this time period than any other Division I team in the state of Texas.[2]

The 2011–12 and 2012–13 teams featured the only 5-star recruit to play for North Texas in Tony Mitchell. In one season, he became the program's all-time leader in blocks.[3] Despite Mitchell being highly touted, his performance in his second year suffered and he ended up struggling under new head coach Tony Benford eventually falling to the 2nd round of the NBA draft.

On April 16, 2012, longtime head coach Johnny Jones was formally introduced as the next head coach of his alma mater LSU. His replacement, Tony Benford, was not able to capitalize on the program's momentum, resulting in a disappointing final year in the Sun Belt Conference and then more struggles in the Mean Green's new conference Conference USA.

Prior to 1973, the Mean Green played in the Ken Bahnsen Gym, nicknamed the Snake Pit. They now play in The Super Pit which derives its name from the Snake Pit.

Rivals edit

North Texas in action at UT Arlington

The Mean Green's major rivals within the American Athletic Conference include the UTSA Roadrunners and the SMU Mustangs..

Non-conference notable rivals include the University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks (games between the schools are well-attended due to geographic proximity and both schools being large universities) and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

Coaches edit

Years Coach
1916–1920 J.W. St. Clair
1920–1921 Theron Fouts
1921–1924 J.W. St. Clair
1924–1929 John Reid
1929–1933 Terrance Myracle
1933-35 Jack Sisco
1935–1959 Henry "Pete" Shands (1899-1983)
1959–1965 Charles Johnson
1965–1970 Dan Spika
1970–1971 Harry Miller
1971–1975 Gene Robbins
1975–1983 Bill Blakeley
1983–1986 Tommy Newman
1986–1993 Jimmy Gales
1993–1997 Tim Jankovich
1997–2001 Vic Trilli
2001–2012 Johnny Jones
2012–2017 Tony Benford
2017–2023 Grant McCasland
2023–present Ross Hodge

Postseason results edit

NCAA tournament results edit

The Mean Green have appeared in the NCAA tournament four times. Their combined record is 1–4.

Year Seed Round Opponent Result
1988 #15 First Round #2 North Carolina L 65–83
2007 #15 First Round #2 Memphis L 58–73
2010 #15 First Round #2 Kansas State L 62–82
2021 #13 First Round
Second Round
#4 Purdue
#5 Villanova
W 78–69
L 61–84

NIT results edit

The Mean Green have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) twice, winning it in 2023. Their combined record is 6–1.

Year Round Opponent Result
2022 First Round
Second Round
Texas State
W 67–63OT
L 69–71OT
2023 First Round
Second Round
Alcorn State
Sam Houston
Oklahoma State
W 69–53
W 75–55
W 65–59OT
W 56–54
W 68–61

CBI results edit

The Mean Green have appeared in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) once, winning it in 2018. Their record is 5–1.

Year Round Opponent Result
2018 First Round
Finals–Game 1
Finals–Game 2
Finals–Game 3
South Dakota
Jacksonville State
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
W 90–77
W 96–67
W 90–68
L 62–72
W 69–55
W 88–77

NAIA Tournament results edit

The Mean Green have appeared in the NAIA Tournament two times. Their record is 3–2.

Year Round Opponent Result
1938 First Round
Second Round
Delta State
W 31–29
L 39–48
1942 First Round
Second Round
York (NE)
W 60–37
W 51–49
L 41–45

Broadcasts edit

North Texas games are broadcast on the radio by the Mean Green Sports Network, part of Learfield IMG College on 88.1 KNTU and 95.3 KHYI. Former Texas Rangers and Dallas Mavericks announcer Dave Barnett does play by play, along with Hank Dickenson on color commentary.

Television broadcasts are carried by ESPN+, ESPN3, and C-USA TV.

Professional players edit

  • Jeremy Combs (born 1995), basketball player for Israeli team Hapoel Ramat Gan Givatayim
  • Chris Jones (born 1993), basketball player for Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Basketball Premier League
  • Mike Miller (born 1996), basketball player for the Bristol Flyers of the British Basketball League
  • Thomas Bell III (born 1998), basketball player for the Bristol Flyers of the British Basketball League
  • Zach Simmons (born 1999), basketball player for Vitoria BC of the Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol

References edit

  1. ^ "UNT Colors". Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  2. ^ "MEANGREENSPORTS.COM - University of North Texas Official Athletic Site University of North Texas Official Athletic Site - Men's Basketball".
  3. ^ "MEANGREENSPORTS.COM - University of North Texas Official Athletic Site University of North Texas Official Athletic Site - Men's Basketball".

External links edit