Roundtable: where North Texas stands in year two of C-USA

Roundtable: where North Texas stands in year two of C-USA

March 31
22:16 2015

Editor’s Note: The North Texas Daily sports staff analyzed the progress of North Texas athletics in year two of the Conference USA era. Look for more roundtables such as this one on various sports throughout the semester.

Alex Lessard / Staff Writer

Although North Texas athletics hasn’t seen the success it has hoped for since joining Conference USA in 2013, many of its major programs still have reason to believe a bright future lies ahead. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that recent seasons across the board have been disappointments.

Winning records have been hard to come by for Mean Green athletics in the past two seasons. However, athletic director Rick Villarreal and his staff have hired great leaders to change the culture of athletics at North Texas, including head football coach Dan McCarney and head tennis coach Sujay Lama. With the exception of women’s basketball, every program has stuck with one head coach since leaving the Sun Belt Conference, which is a sign that Villarreal is confident the Mean Green will continue to steadily improve in the near future.

The Mean Green won two men’s basketball conference titles and four football titles in the Sun Belt, but has failed to do so in the past two seasons. In order for North Texas to take the next step, the football or men’s basketball teams need to have a stellar season. An elite year from one of the two highest grossing NCAA sports can help North Texas gain national attention, which can lead to increased interest from recruits across the country, especially with the help of a star athlete.

Volleyball enjoyed a winning record last semester, while soccer still has never had a losing season. Those two sports, soccer in particular, continue to have the same sustained success that the other sports are still searching for.

Numerous seniors across all sports will certainly be missed in upcoming seasons. With the help of strong recruiting classes and unconditional support from students and alumni, North Texas will continue to make strides to become a powerhouse in C-USA.

Torie Mosley / Intern Writer

The North Texas second athletic year in the C-USA has been mediocre to say the very least. The football, softball and both basketball teams have disappointed the Mean Green nation, but there are some signs of hope.

The football team underperformed after coming into the season with high expectations, going 4-8. The hope is that new recruits and talent can help the team get back to where it was in 2013-2014.

The softball team had a great year last year, but struggled to start this season. The team ended up winning seven straight and looked to be turning things around, but have since lost four straight and sit at 14-18.

Although softball doesn’t own a great record at the moment, the team still owns the nation’s fifth best defense. With a little help on the offensive end, the Mean Green should bring more victories back to Lovelace stadium in no time.

The basketball squads both played with a lot of hustle through out the season defensively but didn’t come through with enough scoring to have successful records. The men’s team finished 14-17 with an 8-10 conference record, and exited the C-USA tournament with a dreadful 82-54 loss to Rice University. Meanwhile, the women went 5-24 and struggled on offense the entire season.

Other sports like soccer, volleyball, cross country and tennis have had success lately, but overall it has been a mixed bag for North Texas athletics.

Reece Waddell / Staff Writer

North Texas is wrapping up its second full season in C-USA after switching from the Sun Belt Conference in 2013.

The good: the 2013-2014 Mean Green football season was one of the most successful in recent memory, with the team going 9-4 and winning the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The 2013-2014 Mean Green softball team, under first year head coach Tracey Kee, enjoyed its winningest season in program history, posting a 31-22 record before bowing out in the C-USA tournament to the University of Tulsa. The Mean Green soccer team even reached the C-USA finals twice in the last two seasons.

But, things haven’t been all that great lately. The 2014-2015 Mean Green football season was a big disappointment, going 4-8 after the previous season’s bowl victory.

The Mean Green women’s basketball team is in disarray, especially after mutually parting ways with head coach Mike Petersen. The team only went 5-24 last season and failed to qualify for the C-USA tournament.

The men’s basketball team has been average the past two seasons, posting 16-16 and 14-17 records, respectively. There is concern about losing seniors Jordan Williams, Colin Voss and T.J. Taylor, but head coach Tony Benford has remained adamant that new recruits will immediately fill those voids.

North Texas is a Division I school but, unfortunately, is unable to attract big name recruits because it is primarily a second choice for many students. If teams wish to reel in more big name recruits, they must win on a regular basis. Easier said than done, but it’s the harsh truth. No one will come to a program that does not win.

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