Tony Benford, with a resume as one of the nation’s most respected assistant coaches, becomes the 17th head coach of the North Texas men’s basketball team, and he has assembled an impressive and experienced staff consisting of assistant coaches Rob Evans, Bart Lundy and David Anwar.
Benford inherits a fully-stocked cupboard, a deep and talented roster that includes the top seven scorers from last season. Leading the way is NBA draft-lottery prospect 6-8 forward Tony Mitchell, who averaged a double-double in 2011-12.
For his first season, coach Benford has dramatically upgraded the Mean Green’s non-conference schedule, putting together a slate loaded with teams from the RPI Top 100 and 10 games against opponents that reached the NCAA Tournament or the NIT a year ago.
The five-game home non-conference schedule is highlighted by visits from Lehigh (December 20), which was just the sixth No. 15 seed to knock off a No. 2 seed when the Mountain Hawks (27-8) downed Duke, 75-70, in the opening round of last year’s NCAA Tournament, and UT-Arlington (November 28), which is coming off a 24-win season and NIT berth in 2011-12.
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