UT Arlington (1-0) 84, UT Dallas 50
Helped by good debut games by several Mavericks including Jordan Phillips and Sam Griffin, UTA’s offense showed signs of mid-season form by the end of tonight’s 2019-2020 opener against a good UT Dallas team tonight on the UT Arlington campus. UT Dallas won 25 games and went to the Div. III national tournament last year.
UTA held the UT Dallas Comets to 25% shooting in the first half and 36% in the second, and forced 13 turnovers to get some easy baskets, including a couple of nice dunks. The Mavericks offense did a good job of protecting the ball, turning it over only 10 teams against a tight Comet defense.
The Mavs’ point guard play and overall ball movement was good, especially for the first game of the season. Opening games can be a little rough offensively and often have a lot of fouls as defenders catch up to shooters, but this seemed more like a game you’d see a month or two into the season. UTA had 25 assists on the night, with many players making the extra pass and creating a lot of open shots.
3-point shooting was good tonight, with the Mavs connecting on 10-of-20 in the second half tonight for a total of 15, third-most in program history. Tiandre Jackson-Young was 5 of 8, Patrick Mwamba was 1 of 2, and freshman Sam Griffin was 4 of 7 from outside. The Mavs were not a great 3 point shooting team last year (their .303% was 338th in the nation in 2018-2019), so tonight’s performance was very encouraging.
Some quick overall impressions from the game:
- Great play from the point guards. Griffin was 4 of 7 from outside and moved the ball around the offensive end very efficiently, getting good passes to open shooters. Impressive first game at the Division I level. Will be fun to watch his game develop the next 4 years. Brian Warren had a tough shooting night, going 1 of 5 for 3 points but had 7 assists.
- Arkansas transfer Jordan Phillips was 5-8 from the field and made 6 of 9 free throws for what seemed like an effortless 17 points tonight in his first game for UTA. With his size, strength, defensive ability and ability to score from outside or get to the basket with authority, he is going to create some serious matchup problems for opposing defenses.
- Redshirt freshman guard McKade Marquis played about 7 minutes, entering the game in the 2nd half. He was 1-4 from outside with two assists.
- Transfer forward Coleman Sparling had 5 rebounds, challenged some shots and overall played good defense, especially around the paint, in 11 minutes. He could be big on the boards for UTA this year.
- Ayoub Nouhi was only 1-6 from the field but has the size and quickness to defend nearly every position on the floor. He had 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 19 minutes.
- Freshman guard Nicolas Elame played 12 minutes and had a steal and an assist.
- The 3=point line is a little further back this year, and offensive rebounds reset the shot clock to 20 seconds, which should keep the action moving at a fast pace
- There is now a Nestle chocolate concession stand on the north side of the arena (on the Mavericks’ bench end of the court–behind section 104 or 105 or so maybe?). It looked really yummy!
Again, hard to tell if we’re going to win 20 games after 40 minutes against a good Div. III opponent, but the Mavs roster is a little taller this year and for the most part the entire team players–including the new players–seemed very comfortable in Coach Ogden’s offense. Last year the Mavs primarily attacked the basket in the halfcourt on offense, but if the threes can fall a little more often, this offense has the potential score a lot of points in a variety of ways. The defense created a lot of easy baskets tonight, something the Mavs were very good at last year. The tweet below is a good example:
A very talented and tall Tulsa team visits College Park Center Saturday at 7 PM for homecoming. Homecoming is always a fun time with a big crowd. The Golden Hurricane is of the better teams we’ll play all year and a tough test for just the second game of the season.