UNT's Jones asks for 'controlled passion'

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- North Texas coach Johnny Jones stepped into the middle of the Mean Green's locker room and asked what he called seconds later a crazy question.

"You guys ready?"

"Yessir," the UNT players said.

"Of course you are," Jones replied. He then told his team that they were supposed to be here, playing Troy for the Sun Belt championship in Summit Arena. They earned this opportunity with their commitment to each other and themselves, he said.

Jones kept his pregame speech simple. He told his team to play with a "controlled passion" and poise.

"The only thing I ask you to do is play with your head and play with your heart," Jones said, "and see where that leads you."