As we’ve been looking at Sun Belt basketball schedules lately, we’ve seen some teams that will play several guarantee games on the road against schools we often hear about a lot in late March and April. Arkansas Little Rock might be playing the toughest non-conference schedule I’ve seen so far… Continue reading
Been about two weeks since I last posted…been busy with work and other stuff, but rest assured once the season starts, I’ll be posting recaps of just about every home game from my view in section 104.
Enough with concert reviews, although I did score tickets to see The Eagles in October. Another band I’ve always been a casual-at-best fan of, but a family member wanted to see them, so I said sure I’d go too.
But back to basketball:
To me, it’s always interesting to learn about other team’s gyms so before the season starts…so we’ll start with UA-LR.
Jack Stephens Center was built about 10 years ago, seats about 5600. One level of seats all the way around, scoreboards on the ends, a nice practice gym as well. Maybe it’s just me…but does the front entry remind anyone else of College Park Center at all?
The Trojans averaged 3,222 fans per game and had a 17-15 overall record, 11-9 SBC (including a 72-65 home win over Tulsa).
Article on StadiumJourney:
Remember last year at CPC…the opening game, the excitment…6000+ fans for a critical Southland matchup between two of the league’s top teams. CPC was really rockin’. A thrilling 1-point win. What a night.
Not sure tomorrow’s game will live up to last year’s contest, but we have a good chance at a win. Mavs have won 3 out their last 4 games and 5 of 8.
UTSA (5-17) is only 1-11 in the WAC…their only win a 78-75 victory at Seattle (7-15, 2-10 WAC). We won in San Antonio a month ago, 75-67.
UTSA features the WAC’s leading scorer, Kannon Burrage at 17.8PPG
Looking at some other numbers:
This season, UTSA averages about 65ppg vs. UTA’s 61, but on defense allows 73 a game while UTA only allows 60.
The really interesting statistic (to me anyway):
FG % defense…
UTA: 36% (1st in WAC by 3% — NMSU is 2nd at 39%),
UTSA: 48% (last in WAC, Texas State was 10th out of 11 WAC teams at 46%).
Anything can happen, but hopefully our Mavs can keep the momentum going. Go Mavs!
On Feb. 11 of last year Texas State visited a brand-new College Park Center, shot 29%FG and lost 73-53. A year later (ok…almost, it’s the 7th of February) the Bobcats visit Arlington again, shoot 22% and lose 75-50. So my prediction of UTA 71, Texas State 58 wasn’t that far off.
The UTA defense was strong tonight, not giving TSU many open looks and forcing a lot of turnovers. The Mavs contested everything the Bobcats hoisted up and for a team that likes to play fast, TSU was deep into the shot clock (:05-:10 left) before getting anything to hit the rim on a lot of their possessions.
UTA didn’t handle the ball great (TO: 23TSU, 22UTA) but many of those were later in the game for UTA. I think TSU had like 12TO with about 7:00 left in the first half. But what really helped the home team was that the 3s were falling for UTA tonight, 9-18 from outside. TSU was held to only 3-25 (12%).
The fast-paced game that usually occurs between these two teams didn’t really take shape until the second half. UTA got hot on a 14-5 run early in the second half with several nice possessions in a row and then the fouls starting piling up for both teams (49 free throw attempts in the second half (26TSU, 23UTA) compared to 11 combined for both teams in the first half). UTA gradually pulled away and won by 25.
Dr. Spaniolo was honored before the game, which was really nice since he’s probably the most responsible for the fine arena we get to enjoy hoops in. Also making an appearance tonight was the mid-range jumpshot, which came very naturally and often in the flow of the offense for UTA. Shaq, Drew and a few others knocking down several quick contested jumpers 10-18 feet out, a shot that’s had trouble falling this year at times.
Seems like this team is starting to gel and finding its offense again, and if we can get hot the final month of the season, could be interesting to see how the WAC tournament goes…
Overall, a good night for the Mavs. Next up: UTSA saturday.
It’ll be a big rivalry game tonight at the College Park Center between the offensively-challenged Mavs and the high-scoring Texas State University Bobcats. These games are always fun because TSU likes to play uptempo, and the Mavs can play fast but since they make teams work so hard for shots (Mavs are in the top 10 in the country in FG% defense), UTA sometimes tends to slow down this season. But generally, these games tend to be high scoring.
Mavs easily beat Texas State earlier this season in San Marcos and tonight should be no different. This hasn’t been a great UTA team at home (2-6), but even a 35-40% night from the field should be enough for a win. If the Mavs can take care of the ball, maybe get some threes to fall, it should be a nice 10-15pt. win for UTA.
Hopefully a big crowd will show up…the building is electric with 4000+ in the building (6100 or so for OU and it was LOUD), but CPC hasn’t been a huge home-court advantage with the usual crowds of 1200-1500 for most of the games this season.
Records: UTA 10-9, 5-5 vs. Texas State 7-16, 3-8
Prediction: UTA 71, Texas State 58