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Late night hoops rewind: UNT 122, Eureka College 65

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Brett Vito, Staff Writer

Final: UNT 122, Eureka College 65

Where UNT stands: UNT improved to 1-0 after cruising to a win in its season-opener.

Now what?: UNT will face a huge test on Monday when it travels to Nebraska, which opens its season at home against Eastern Illinois on Saturday. 

Star of the day: Roosevelt Smart led six UNT players who scored in double figures with 21 points on 8 of 10 shooting in the Mean Green's win over Eureka College. 

Say what?

"The Super Pit was great.  It was a good crowd for an opener, the energy on our bench was great and we competed the way we need to in order to win games. What a fun atmosphere and way to start a season all the way around."

-- Grant McCasland, UNT's head coach on how his regular season debut with the Mean Green at the Super Pit transpired.

Our take: The big challenge Grant McCasland faces in his first season at UNT is making the school's fans care about basketball again.

UNT is a football-first school in a football-first state. It took Johnny Jones years of putting winning teams on the floor with good four-year players like Josh White and Tristan Thompson for the Mean Green to build a fan base.

McCasland is starting pretty much from scratch after UNT's disastrous five seasons under Tony Benford and took a key step in the right direction in a blowout win over Eureka College.

The game was one UNT needed to win and should have won, even though it was without Mike Miller, who was out with a minor injury. The Mean Green picked up the win it needed, but what was more important was the way UNT won.

The Mean Green played an exciting brand of basketball, looked like it had a plan of attack and carried that plan out.

McCasland also said all the right things after the game, when he talked about how he enjoyed his debut at UNT and praised the atmosphere at his debut, which we covered in our game story.