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Men’s basketball: Friar no longer with basketball team

Profile image for By Brett Vito
By Brett Vito

Josh Friar, a forward from Humble Kingwood who was a member of North Texas’ 2013 signing class, has left the school and enrolled at Ranger College.

Friar arrived at UNT over the summer and worked out with the Mean Green before leaving the program.

“Josh is a good kid, was here this summer and worked hard, but we thought it was in the best interests of Josh and the program that he look at some other options,” UNT coach Tony Benford said. “We wish him the best. He needs to continue to mature on and off the court.”

Friar’s size at 6-8 and athleticism attracted the attention of several college coaches before he committed to UNT in September. UNT, Texas-Arlington, Long Island, New Orleans and Southern all offered Friar scholarships despite the fact he had very little experience playing on the high school level.

Friar played for the JV team at Kingwood as a freshman and sophomore before sitting out his junior season due to off-court issues.

Friar came off the bench for Kingwood as a senior and was part of a recruiting class that was ranked 28th nationally by at one point earlier this year. UNT has sent two players who contributed to that ranking to junior colleges since the end of last season.

UNT placed Oldsmar (Fla.) Christian center Tony Nunn at Odessa College this summer.

UNT filled those voids by signing Cincinnati transfer Kelvin Gaines and former Mississippi signee Maurice Aniefolk.

Those additions, along with the players UNT signed early, give Benford confidence in the team he has heading into the season. UNT also added George Washington transfer Vertrail Vaughns and Northern Oklahoma College forward Collin Voss.

“With this group, we have experience, guys who have been to the NCAA tournament and older guys,” Benford said. “I like our talent, but I also like that we have toughness and guys with leadership qualities.”

Friar and Nunn were expected to help the Mean Green in the frontcourt. Despite parting ways with both, Benford says UNT has the players it needs to be effective inside.

UNT lost its top two post players in Tony Mitchell, who was selected in the second round of NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons, and senior Roger Franklin after last season.

Benford expects center Keith Coleman to help fill that void after playing sparingly as a sophomore.

“We are pretty set,” Benford said. “We have a lot of options and are loaded inside. Keith is probably our most improved player since the end of last season with his work ethic and his performance in the weight room. He is a totally different kid from last year.”

Briefly ...

Benford expects to complete UNT’s schedule in the next few days and said the Mean Green’s slate likely will include more home games than in the last several seasons. UNT played 15 home games last season.