New basketball coach toughens inside game
Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 21:10
As a former member of the University of North Texas Mean Green basketball squad, new assistant coach Kenneth Mangrum is working to toughen the Bearkats’ inside game.
Sam Houston State head coach Jason Hooten announced the addition of Mangrum to the Bearkats’ coaching staff in late September.
Hooten said Mangrum’s experience as a former collegiate player will help communicate with players while working in his new system.
“Anytime you were a good basketball player, guys, because they know you played at a high level, they look up to you,” Hooten said. “The toughness he brought as a player will really help in his coaching style with the guys.”
Mangrum said the success and traditions of the Bearkat basketball squad drew him to Huntsville. With team practices already underway, Mangrum said he wants to harden the Bearkats’ presence inside the paint.
“I was one of the hard nose players,” he said. “That toughness and grit, that ‘I’m going to come at you offensive and defensively,’ is what I’m working with.”
Junior center Michael Holyfield finished the 2012-13 season with 100 points with an average of 4.4 rebounds a game. The 6-foot-11-inch center has established himself as a strong inside blocker, but soft reeling in rebounds.
“[I’m] getting them a little lower and getting a base so they can’t be moved easily…not letting the defense get to them first, but them meeting the defense,” he said.
With 30 practice days available, Mangrum said he is continuing to build as a coach working with Hooten and players.
“As the players come in through the office every day, I get to know them a little more,” he said.
Mangrum averaged 6-points-per-game as a guard between 1998 and 2002, shooting a 50 percent average from the field. He built his reputation as a defensive specialist at UNT and was selected to the Indiana Hoosier Classic All-Tournament during his junior season.
Mangrum worked as a graduate assistant with the Mean Green staff after graduating with his bachelor’s degree in 2002. While studying for his master’s degree in kinesiology, Mangrum was an instructor in UNT’s kinesiology department.
The Bearkats’ 2013-14 season kicks off Nov. 8 against University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg.