Star players helped UNT coach deliver for a decade

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					6B                 Friday, March 4, 2011
                                                                                                COLLEGE BASKETBALL                                                                                                Denton Record-Chronicle

                                                                 Johnny Jones All-Decade Team
                                                          By Brett Vito/Staff Writer, photos from Denton Record-Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News files

                                                                               Johnny Jones by the numbers
               169                                         10                                        2                                        1                                     3-0                                   20.3
Jones has a record of 169-131 in            Number of seasons Jones has             NCAA tournament appearances. UNT        Sun Belt West Division titles under      UNT’s record against Big 12 oppo-       Free throws UNT made per game in
his tenure at UNT                           coached at UNT                          earned a spot in 2007 and 2010          Jones. UNT won in 2009-10                nents at home under Jones               2008-09 to lead the NCAA

Star players helped UNT coach deliver for a decade
  North Texas will reach a milestone                nament for just the                               One more win would give UNT an                 choices to whittle it down to five play-        play just three years for UNT after
this month when Johnny Jones closes                 second time in school                           unprecedented five straight 20-win               ers, or even six.                               transferring in from Arizona State, in
his first decade with the Mean Green.               history in 2007.                                seasons, a run Jones credits to those               Josh White hit the key shot to help          comparison to a four-year player like
  There is little doubt those 10 years              Three years later, the                          who have helped him along the way.               UNT beat Troy in the 2010 Sun Belt              Quincy Williams?
are one of the best eras in the history             Mean Green was                                    “We have gotten a great group of               Conference tournament final, but Eric              And what about Chris Davis,
of not only the basketball program,                 back in the Big                                 kids who have bought into our sys-               Tramiel was the tournament Most                 arguably the best player in school his-
but also the UNT athletic department                Dance.                                          tem,” Jones said. “The talent level, the         Outstanding Player that year. Calvin            tory, who played just two years for
as a whole.                                            UNT will aim for               Jones         experience, camaraderie among our                Watson had more to do with UNT get-             Jones?
  Jones took a program that had won                 its third berth in five                         guys and having stability with the staff         ting going in the first place than any-            There are no easy picks, but the fol-
just 20 games in the four seasons com-              seasons beginning Saturday when it              has helped us have success.”                     one when he led UNT to the 2007 Sun             lowing is the Denton Record-
bined before his arrival in 2001 and                faces Troy in the first round of the Sun          So just who are the best players               Belt tourney title.                             Chronicle’s team, selected by staff
turned it into a winner.                            Belt Conference tournament in Hot               UNT has featured in the Jones era?                  And how does one gauge the contri-           writer Brett Vito after consulting with
  UNT advanced to the NCAA tour-                    Springs, Ark.                                     For Jones, there are just too many             butions of George Odufuwa, who will             Jones:

                               CHRIS DAVIS
                                            Position: Guard                                Player of the decade                                                      Position: Guard
                                                                                                                                                                                               CALVIN WATSON
                                            Seasons: 1999-2003                                                                                                       Seasons: 2003-2007
                                            Notable: One of the greatest players                                                                                     Notable: Named the Most
                                            in UNT history spent his final two                                                                                       Outstanding Player of the Sun Belt
                                            seasons playing for Jones and was a                                                                                      tournament in 2007, when he led
                                            first-team All-Sun Belt selection in                                                                                     UNT to the title and the NCAA tour-
                                            both seasons ... Ranks second in                                                                                         nament ... Set the school record for
                                            program history with 2,238 points                                                                                        3-pointers with 208 ... Ranks 12th
                                            and led the Mean Green in scoring                                                                                        in UNT history with 1,253 points ...
                                            in all four of his seasons at UNT ...                                                                                    Named third-team All-Sun Belt in
                                            Davis also led the Mean Green in                                                                                         2007. ... Led UNT in scoring with
                                            both rebounds and assists in each                                                                                        15.7 points a game as a senior.
                                            of his seasons playing for Jones ...                                                                                     Jones on Watson: “Calvin worked
                                            Davis was inducted into the UNT                                                                                          hard. He wasn’t a good shooter
                                            Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.                                                                                           when he came in, but he developed
                                            Jones on Davis: “What impressed                                                                                          into one.”
                                            me about Chris is that late in his
                                            career he was willing to change
                                            while not knowing if it was going to                                                                                                                ERIC TRAMIEL
                                            bring success. He bought in. A lot                                                                                                                               Position: Forward
                                            of times scorers are one dimen-
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Seasons: 2009-2010
                                            sional. He led us in scoring,
                                            rebounding and assists at one                                                                                                                                    Notable: Named the Most
                                            point. He was a tremendous free                                                                                                                                  Outstanding Player of the 2010 Sun
                                            throw shooter and could play from                                                                                                                                Belt tournament, when he led UNT
                                            the one [point guard] to the four                                                                                                                                to the title and the NCAA tourna-
                                            [power forward].”                                                                                                                                                ment. ... Scored 20 points and
                                                                                                                                                                                                             grabbed 10 rebounds in win over
                                                                                                                 JOSH WHITE                                                                                  Troy in Sun Belt tourney title game
                        TRISTAN THOMPSON                                                                Position: Guard, Seasons: 2007-present                                                               ... Named third-team All-Sun Belt in
Position: Guard                                                                     North Texas was at a critical point in White enters the Sun Belt                                                         both his junior and senior seasons.
Seasons: 2007-present                                                               the tenure of head coach Johnny          Conference tournament on Saturday                                               Jones on Tramiel: “Eric had a pres-
                                                                                    Jones entering the 2007-08 sea-          having scored 1,614 points, a total                                             ence about himself and was a tena-
Notable: Thompson ranks seventh in                                                                                                                                                                           cious player on both ends of the
school history with 1,534 points and                                                son.                                     that ranks fourth in school history.
                                                                                    UNT advanced to the NCAA tourna-         The last time he played in the event,                                           floor. He played extremely hard. He
is five points short of moving into fifth                                                                                                                                                                    was just a winner.”
... Thompson was name to the All-                                                   ment just a few months before, but       he hit a runner in the lane in the
Sun Belt first team as a senior and                                                 had lost several of the key players      final seconds and scored UNT’s last
was a third-team selection in 2010                                                  who had made one of the best sea-        three points in a 66-63 win over Troy
... Thompson averaged 14.5 points a                                                 sons in school history possible,         that sent the Mean Green to the                                GEORGE ODUFUWA
game as a junior and helped lead                                                    including Sun Belt Conference tour-      NCAA tournament for the second          Position: Forward
UNT to the NCAA tournament ...                                                      nament Most Outstanding Player           time in the Jones era.                  Seasons: 2008-present
Ranks fourth in school history with                                                 Calvin Watson.                           White was a third-team All-Sun Belt     Notable: The leading rebounder in
484 free throws and fifth in 3-point-                                               The Mean Green kept right on rolling pick as a junior and was a second-          the Jones era ranks sixth in UNT his-
ers with 174. He has made 39.0 per-                                                 anyway, thanks largely to the arrival    team pick as a freshman when he         tory with 846 boards, despite play-
cent of his 3-point attempts and                                                    of point guard Josh White.               was also the league’s Freshman of       ing just three years with the Mean
81.2 percent of his free throws, totals                                             White scored 25 points in a monu-        the Year. He was an All-Sun Belt        Green after transferring from Arizona
that rank seventh and eighth in                                                     mental win over Oklahoma State in        tournament selection his junior         State. ... On track to average a dou-
school history, respectively. ... Been a                                            just his second home game and has year.                                          ble-double as a junior and senior ...
part of a record 83 wins at UNT.                                                    been terrific for the Mean Green ever White and teammate Tristan                 Second-team All-Sun Belt selection
Jones on Thompson: “Tristan’s a                                                     since.                                   Thompson have been a part of a          in 2010, when he was also an All-
prolific scorer. He has the ability to                                              “Josh has an ability that is special     school record 83 wins.                  Sun Belt tourney selection. ...
put the ball in the basket from all                                                 and necessary to have success. He        ”It means a lot,” White said of being   Scored 881 career points, just eight
areas on the floor. He can shoot it                                                 can create opportunities for others      the Johnny Jones All-Decade MVP.        short of top 30 in UNT history.
from the outside and has a knack                                                    as well as himself and can set the       “There have been a lot of great play-   Jones on Odufuwa: “George has the
for getting to the basket. He can                                                   tone for a game,” Jones said. “He        ers who have come through here like     ability to impact the game because
score in acrobatic ways and get to                                                  has that desire and passion that are George [Odufuwa], Calvin [Watson]           of his size, strength and quickness
the free-throw line.”                                                               necessary for success.”                  and Chris Davis.”                       defensively as well as offensively.”

                                                                                           HONORABLE MENTION
  LEONARD HOPKINS                              QUINCY WILLIAMS                          KENDRICK DAVIS                               RICH YOUNG                             ISAAC HINES                           KEITH WOODEN
Position: Guard                             Position: Forward                       Position: Guard                         Position: Guard                          Position: Point                         Position:
Seasons: 2001-                              Seasons: 2004-                          Seasons: 2005-                          Seasons: 2005-                           guard                                   Forward
2005                                        2008                                    2007                                    2007                                     Seasons: 2005-                          Seasons: 2007-
Notable: Ranks                              Notable: Ranks                          Notable:                                Notable: The                             2006                                    2008
10th in school                              26th in school                          Averaged 15.1                           ultimate team                            Notable: The                            Notable: One of
history with                                history with 909                        points a game in                        player of the                            best pure point                         the best big
1,340 points ...                            points and is                           two seasons                             Jones’ era.                              guard of the                            men of the
Second-team All-Sun Belt selection          also second in blocked shots with 98    after transferring from Arkansas. ...   Averaged 5.7 points, 4.6 rebounds,       Jones era ... Led UNT in assists with   Jones era averaged 9.2 points and
in both 2004 and 2005 when he               and 10th in rebounds with 691 ...       Second-team All-Sun Belt selection      1.2 steals and 1.0 blocked shots a       104 as a junior and tied for the        5.5 rebounds a game in 2006-07 ...
led UNT in scoring ... Averaged 18.1        One of the best big men in the Jones    in 2006, when he led UNT with an        game as a senior, when he helped         team lead with 68 as a senior ...       Wooden scored 16 points in a loss
points as a senior. ... Helped get          era helped lead UNT to the NCAA         average of 16.8 points a game. ...      lead UNT to 2007 NCAA tournament         Led team in steals twice and was        to Memphis in the first round of the
program rolling early in Jones’             tournament in 2007 ... Led UNT in       Helped lead UNT to the 2007 NCAA        ... Scored 15 points in title game of    UNT’s leader in rebounds as a junior    2007 NCAA tournament when UNT
tenure                                      rebounds as a junior and senior.        tournament.                             2007 Sun Belt tourney.                   with 6.4 per game.                      gave the Tigers a scare early on.

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