9 Quick Thoughts After UTA – Arkansas

Arkansas is a big team that shot the 3 well in the first half, played at a really fast pace and hit some key shots to keep the momentum going in their favor most of the night. They also seemed to have a pretty good halfcourt game as well. My guess is that they’ll be in the top 3-4 in the SEC when the season is over.

It was a tough game for the Mavs, but next opponent is an 0-2 Tulsa team on Friday that has lost to TCU and South Carolina. Should be a good game. I think the Mavs win.

Other quick thoughts:

  1. That being said, the Mavs held the Razorbacks scoreless for 6 minutes or so last night late in the game. The Mavs are creating a lot of turnovers this year and this is probably some of the quickest-reacting defense I’ve seen UTA play in a long time, at least in the College Park Center era. Every opposing pass recipient has a UTA defender or two covering them instantly. The Mav zone defense has been very effective at times and most shots are getting challenged. A lot of opposing point guards are going to have long nights against the UTA defense this year.
  2. I’m not one to comment much on officiating because I know it’s a tough job, but I’m not opposed to the theory that mid-major teams tend to be whistled a lot when playing at famous gyms in the southeastern United States. I sorta had the impression that charging was not really being called very much in college hoops the last year or two, with most of the fouls usually being called on defenders…but we saw it several times against us last night.
  3. See previous bullet. David Azore’s early fouls kept him out of the game for much of the first half last night. I’d like to see that game played again, where David has a chance to play 22-25 minutes and score 20. Mavs probably win by 5-8 points. I remember games where Kevin Hervey, Eric Neal or Jorge Bilbao would get a couple of questionable early fouls in years past, and it totally changes the game. It’s just hard to beat good teams with a top scorer out of your lineup due to foul trouble.
  4. Fredelin De La Cruz has been impressive at center. He’s averaging 6+ rebounds and 8 points on 55% shooting while playing 16 minutes a game. UTA has played against at least two teams with good size inside (Oklahoma State, Arkansas) and he has shown a very strong one-on-one offensive game in the paint, and is a big, tough presence on the boards. He also knocked down a three. I think he will have a quite a few double-double games this season.
  5. Shahada Wells is an elite scorer. 17+ points a game, 51% FG, 50% 3PT. Remind anyone else of former Mav Marquez Haynes?
  6. Free throws: .638 for the season, opponents are shooting .623. Hopefully that can go up a little bit because 2 of the 3 losses have been close this year, and especially as we learned last year, many of the conference games are very close, and every point counts.
  7. 3-point shooting seems doesn’t seem to be a major strength so far (yes, I know, the season’s just beginning). UTA currently averaging just under 7 made a game (.307). Hopefully that improves. The Mavs finished 11th in the conference last year at .310.
  8. Shot selection? Are the Mavs maybe trying to do a little much individually at times, forcing some threes early in the shot clock when another pass might be the better option? The Mavs have a lot of great scorers on the roster, and once the offense really gets going, there will be some 85-point scoring nights this season.
  9. Freshman guard Brandon Talbot had two threes that were basically halfway down but somehow bounced back out last night. If those go in, it’s a one-or-two possession game in the final 5 minutes or so.

By the Numbers – Compared with Sun Belt Conference Teams

Here are some early-season stats to show how the Mavs compare so far to fellow conference schools.

KEEP IN MIND that some (or most) of the schools have likely played much weaker schedules (OSU-LA Tech-NW State-Arkansas is a difficult first four games). Wondering if any conference teams have played a tougher schedule?

Stats for Non-Conference Games through Wednesday 12/2/20:

Offense – Points For

TeamGamesW-LPoints Per Game
1.Coastal Carolina11-0117
2.Georgia State32-199
9.UT Arlington41-369.8
11.Arkansas State30-357

Defense – Points Against

TeamGamesPoints AgainstAvg./Game
1.App State316254.0
8.UT Arlington429473.5
11.Georgia State326688.7

Field Goal Percent

TeamGames FG MadeFG AttemptedFG Percent
1.Coastal Carolina14262.677
2.Georgia Southern273130.562
9.UT Arlington4104267.390
11.Troy239115.339

3-Point Shooting Percent

TeamGames3 PT Made3 PT AttemptedPercent
1.Coastal Carolina11525.600
2.South Alabama43881.461
10.UT Arlington42788.307
11.Louisiana21043.233

Free Throws

TeamGFT MadeFT AttemptedPct
1.App State34552.865
7.UT Arlington44469.638
11.Georgia Southern22753.509

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