North Texas Daily

OPINION: Benford’s enthusiasm will create a spark for team

OPINION: Benford’s enthusiasm will create a spark for team

November 27
21:05 2012

Brett Medeiros / Staff Writer

The game against the University of Texas at Arlington is more than just a rivalry game for the men’s basketball team. Last season, the team was in many ways disgraced when it traveled to Arlington, and with the Mavericks visiting Denton today, revenge is on the team’s mind.

In the match last season, a basketball rarity ended UNT’s chance to win the match in the first half of the game. A 32-0 run by the Mavericks in the first half sealed the Mean Green’s fate, and the team was even down 55-18 at the half.

Watching practice earlier this week, the energy the Mean Green showed was through the roof, and it wasn’t just the players.

Head coach Tony Bedford has to be one of the highest-octane and hands-on coaches I have ever experienced, and in just an hour of practice Bedford could be seen huffing, puffing and wiping the sweat off his brow.

Even the injured senior guard Brandan Walton, who is out for the season with a broken foot, was one of the loudest and most outspoken players at the practice. Each and every player seems to have had one thing on his mind, and that is coming out victorious.

With the way the season has been going for UNT thus far, a win against UTA could propel the team to the level of excellence that the team has been advertised to play at.

For UNT, it will all start on the post providing the classic matchup of athleticism versus pure size. At 6 feet 10 inches, Keith Coleman is the tallest player on the Mean Green roster and, along with sophomore forward Tony Mitchell, would be instrumental to contain UTA center Stuart Lagerson, who stands in the post at 7 feet tall.

Containing Lagerson will prove to be key, and even keeping him out of post will help the offense dodge his size.

In the offseason, UNT and UTA have changed dramatically. Two of UTA’s top scorers are no longer with the team, and the Mean Green will have Mitchell eligible to play the game.

My prediction for the match is that this game will rival that of the 93-82 win over Texas Tech two seasons ago, where the energy in the Super Pit had the roof blown off, and the big win ended with fans rushing the court.

Quite simply, this team is pumped up, and if you would like to witness one of the biggest games of the season before the conference season starts up, I would recommend visiting the Super Pit tonight at 7:30 p.m.

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