The much awaited UT Arlington coaching debut of former Tennessee and Texas Tech assistant coach Chris Ogden went very well Tuesday night at College Park Center in UT Arlington’s season opener.
As I’ve written many times before, season openers can be ugly turnover-plagued contests but this game was surprisingly December-like. The ongoing storyline for UTA this season will be the fact that only one current Maverick saw major minutes in the rotation last season. Continue reading →
UTA 58, Northern Iowa 62
Just a quick late-night post…In a game that was being billed by many basketball fans as one of the best matchups around the country tonight, the Mavs’ mediocre shooting continued and UTA saw a 9-point lead with about 9 minutes left disappear to lose their second game of the season. The game wasn’t an offensive masterpiece for either team, but it was game of runs by each team, and UTA came up just a little short tonight. Northern Iowa (7-2 with quality wins over UNLV, SMU) was ranked 26 in RPI going into the game, UTA was in the mid-30’s. UTA held UNI scoreless for about two minutes in the closing minutes of the game, but a furious Maverick rally of their own wasn’t quite enough to overcome a late 7-point UNI lead. Continue reading →
UT Arlington (6-1) 69, Rice (2-5) 49
Since my last post a couple of games ago (although I had a lengthy and somewhat interesting analysis of the BYU win that my browser and/or blog software didn’t publish correctly), the Mavs went to Provo and beat a good-but-not-great BYU team by double-digits, lost by one point to a (in my opinion, anyway) sweet-sixteen Alabama team, defeated two teams in New York on the road and defeated Div. III UT-Dallas at home in a game without Kevin Hervey and Link Kabadyundi.
The Rice Owls entered tonight’s game with an RPI around 280 and a record of 2-4 with wins over Northwestern State and the University of St. Thomas, a NAIA school in Houston. The Owls jumped out to an 8-0 lead on a couple of quick threes but UTA went on a run and built a 15-8 lead and never looked back. Continue reading →
A large homecoming crowd of 4,379 didn’t have a lot to cheer about in the first half. But a second half comeback gave the Mavs an 85-80 win in their season opener.
The Mavs, coming off a historic 27-win season and a convincing exhibition win over Oklahoma, found themselves trailing much of the night (LMU lead for 33:17). Opening games are often less than perfect from an offensive execution standpoint, and tonight was no exception. Give credit to Loyola-Marymount, they came in and played a solid game defensively and nearly pulled off a huge road upset win against UTA.
After 20:00, the Mavs’ defense looked a little sluggish at times and LMU’s zone defense proved to be very effective. Hence, the Mavs were down 41-36 after shooting a respectable 44% FG but shooting a mere 4-13 from outside and losing the battle of the boards. LMU outrebounded the Mavs 39-29 for the game.
Hoops season is almost here. In the meantime, we have an interesting World Series to look forward to. I’m a Rangers fan, but have also been a big Astros fan since I was kid. I’ve got a lot of family in the Houston area, and even got to see a game at Astrodome in the 1980s, before the football remodel that knocked out the famous outfield scoreboards. But here they are for you to enjoy:
I finally renewed my season tickets the other day–so stoked for basketball at College Park Center this season! This is also good time to discuss several recent roster updates heading into the 17-18 season.
The Mavs added three players over the summer: one to help us this year at center, two others to bolster an already very deep back court.
The 2017-2018 UT Arlington basketball schedule was released recently, and all I can say is that it’s the best single-year home overall schedule that I can ever recall the Mavs putting together. It’s loaded with winnable games against well-known teams at home and on the road that should generate some buzz at the arena’s box office and help the Mavs’ chances for the postseason via strength of schedule and potential RPI ranking.
Mid-major scheduling is never easy: big schools pays mid-majors up to $100,000 to play on the road, and mid-majors with considerable smaller athletics budgets usually scheduling other mid-major or smaller-conference schools to fill out their home slates. In other words, a school’s relative position on the basketball food chain largely determines who it plays on the road––and who it is able to host. And when you win consistently, big schools with big paycheck generally (and understandably) avoid you. The Star Telegram wrote a good piece a couple of weeks ago about UTA’s scheduling difficulties, and this article from 2010 is quite interesting and still very relevant seven years later. You may even recall last year’s non-conference schedule that Texas Southern had to endure, playing in Arlington at 7:00 on a saturday night and then appearing for a lunchtime game in Delaware less than 24 hours later. So, a good strategy for top-50 RPI schools like UTA is to line up home-and-home series with other successful mid-major schools in similar situations. And for the upcoming season, this strategy appears to have worked to perfection.
Over the years, UTA has welcomed well-known non-conference teams like TCU, Air Force, Oral Roberts, Lamar and New Mexico to the stage at Texas Hall. More recently, the Mavs have hosted some impressive squads like Oklahoma and Boise State in College Park’s Center first full home season.
Our fans and players will appreciate that we have some very good home games against quality opponents. Playing in College Park Center gives us a significant home court advantage, especially with the enthusiasm we experienced in last year’s NIT run.
–UTA head coach Scott Cross