Sunday leftovers 4-5

North Texas forward Thomas Bell, right, battles for a loose ball with Purdue's Aaron Wheeler during the Mean Green's NCAA tournament win at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Bell is returning for another year with the Mean Green.

It's Sunday night and time for the leftovers, that point where we pick back through the events of the weekend, reheat the good stuff -- and some of the bad -- while putting it all in perspective.

The big news of the last few days has been the UNT men's basketball team working through the process of figuring out who is staying and who is going after the Mean Green won the Conference USA tournament and beat Purdue in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

UNT looks like it reached the end of the line in that regard when forward Zachary Simmons signed with an agent, the next step in going pro, a bit of news that came down on Saturday.

The Mean Green did get some good news on Thursday when Thomas Bell announced he is coming back.

Seeing Simmons elect to move on wasn't much of a surprise. He has been at UNT for four years and accomplished quite a bit. 

Simmons indicated earlier this year that he was leaning toward going pro.

He'll go out on top with fellow senior Javion Hamlet, who declared for the NBA draft. Senior guard James Reese entered the transfer portal. He could elect to pull his name out and return for another year, but that seems like a long shot.

Simmons didn't have a whole lot to gain by coming back. He could have gotten marginally better with another year at UNT. A small jump wouldn't have improved his pro prospects much.

Bell returning makes a whole lot more sense. He spent time at two different junior colleges and showed tremendous growth over two seasons at UNT.

Bell has elite athleticism and could benefit from another year with the Mean Green. Depending on the way things unfold in terms of the players UNT brings in, he could be more of a focal point next season offensively.

The next thing to watch now for UNT is if Reese lands at a school higher up the college basketball food chain and where the Mean Green return to replenish their roster.

The other tidbit on the men's basketball front to come out this week is the school is hosting a celebration for the team on Thursday.

And in other news from around the world of the Mean Green ...

-- The UNT women's basketball team has picked up Jayleen Mallard, a transfer forward from South Alabama. The Mean Green lost Charlene Shepherd and Rochelle Lee to the transfer portal this season.  Mallard, who is 6-foot-2, averaged 8.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game this year and could help fill that void, as long as the NCAA approves the one-time transfer rule that would give players the chance to transfer once and be immediately eligible.

-- The news was not as good on the women's soccer front, where the Mean Green gave up a late goal at UTEP and would up with a 1-1 tie. UNT headed into the week knowing that if it won its last two games, it would be the No. 1 seed from C-USA's West Division in the conference tournament. UNT fell all the way to third behind Rice and Southern Miss with a 3-1-1 mark in league play.

-- The UNT softball team looked like it was in for a tough weekend when it dropped its first two games in a series with UAB but came back to win the final two games and split the series. UNT is 16-9 and will travel to Arkansas-Pine Bluff for a three-game series this week.

-- The UNT tennis team saw its four-match winning streak snapped when it fell at home to No. 49 Tulsa 4-2. Lucie Devier took down Martina Okalova, who is ranked No. 98 nationally, 7-5, 6-4.

Devier also teamed with Saki Oyama to beat Okalova and Vera Ploner, the nation's No. 26-ranked doubles team, 6-4. UNT won the doubles point, but lost four singles matches and couldn't pull off the upset.

-- And finally, the UNT track team competed at UTA, where it exceled in the throwing events. Jaleisa Shaffer won the shot put with a loss to 15.57 meters, increasing her school record.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.