North Texas Daily

2013 basketball schedules designed to be challenging

2013 basketball schedules designed to be challenging

2013 basketball schedules designed to be challenging
September 10
11:31 2013

Brett Medeiros / Senior Staff Writer

The move to Conference USA brings in-state rivals to all UNT athletic programs, but the Mean Green basketball teams also made it an emphasis to schedule key local rivals in their non-conference schedule.

Men’s Basketball

For the first time ever, the men’s team will take part in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic Tip-Off Showcase, a charity tournament that collaborates between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches to raise funds for cancer awareness.

One of the teams UNT will take on is tournament host University of Oklahoma, who lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year. UNT will also face off against the University of Idaho, the University of Columbia and the Universiy of Portland in a three-day span as part of the tournament.

Other standouts in the nonconference schedule include away games against Brigham Young University and the Texas A&M University, as well as the home opener against Nicholls State University.

“The non-conference schedule is going to be really difficult and it’s going to prepare us for the conference games,” senior guard Vertrail Vaughns said. “It’s going to get us ready for the long run.”

One notable game missing from the schedule is the annual match up against metroplex rival University of Texas-Arlington. UNT bought out the final year of its contract with the Mavericks because of other conflicts within its schedule, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, but may resume next year. The Mean Green held a 30-23 edge in the rivalry that dates back to when both teams were in the Southland Conference in the early ‘90s.

UNT opens up the 16 games of conference play against University of Southern Mississippi at the Super Pit. With last year’s conference champions, the University of Memphis, moving on to another conference, the toughest teams are projected to be Southern Mississippi and the University of Texas-El Paso. Each won double-digit conference games last year.

“I’m looking forward to all of the games and just winning one at a time and taking them one at a time,” head coach Tony Benford said. “We aren’t looking at any particular game and after the year we had last year we are just going to go one at a time. No excuses that’s our motto.”

Women’s Basketball

The women’s basketball team will travel to UT-Arlington for its annual match on Dec. 4, the third away game of the year.

The team’s non-conference schedule consists of five away games and eight games at home. Key matchups include Texas A&M University and Southern Methodist University at home, and the University of Denver and Oklahoma State University on the road.

“The level of competition of the games that we’re playing is really good,” head coach Mike Petersen said. “It will really test us and provide us with home games so the kids can get comfortable with the fans.”

UNT’s conference schedule will be a challenge. Nine of the 12 Conference USA teams finished the 2012-2013 season with at least seven wins

The Mean Green finished last year with a 10-10 conference record, but also played four more games because of the way the Sun Belt Conference is set up. In C-USA, teams play only 16 conference games.

“This schedule is going to give us a chance to prove ourselves because we play some pretty good teams,” senior guard Laura McCoy said. “Even though we are changing conferences, we know our system better than we ever had before. This is the first time since I’ve been here that we have had the same coach for two years in a row.”

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