<
>

North Texas adds Grambling State star

As a solid mid-major program, North Texas is expected to be in the hunt for its third NCAA tournament bid in the past six seasons.

Coach Johnny Jones plans on having former top-25 recruit Tony Mitchell in December after he enrolled in school last season as a non-qualifier. And the Mean Green might have added another key piece to the puzzle after signing transfer Justin Patton, who led Grambling State in scoring and rebounding as a junior and could become eligible immediately pending NCAA approval.

The 6-foot-7 Patton, who averaged 13.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, left a Grambling State program that is ineligible for the postseason due to Academic Progress Rate penalties.

"We are extremely excited to have him as an addition to the program," Jones said in a statement. "I expect him to be a solid contributor to the team."

Patton gives the Mean Green an established scorer at a time when the team has lost its top four scorers from last season and isn't expected to have the 6-foot-8 Mitchell eligible to play until December. Mitchell sat out a year due to academics, and he could eventually form one of the top mid-major frontcourts with Patton.

North Texas saw what Patton was all about last year when he scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against the team while with Grambling State.

"We were extremely fortunate," Jones told the Denton Record-Chronicle. "We had a scholarship available when we found [Patton] was looking to transfer."

Another player the Mean Green added this offseason is Oklahoma State transfer Roger Franklin, a 6-foot-5 guard and former top-100 recruit.

With that much talent flocking to North Texas, the Mean Green should continue to be a team to watch.