A Schedule for the Ages

20151230_211056_600The 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

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Mavs Defeat Little Rock, Take Sole Possession of 1st

award_ribbon_blue_1st_tThe Mavs continue to defend their home court, remaining undefeated at College Park Center this season and have been rewarded with sole possession of first place in the Sun Belt, now with a record of 19-6 and 9-3 league play.

How’d we get here? The 3-0 homestand started a week ago saturday on 2/4 in front a big afternoon crowd of 3483 (lower bowl mostly full, folks sitting in the upper level too). They were treated to an entertaining game against a much improved Texas State team that resulted in a 76-61 victory. Continue reading

Mavs Improve to 3-3 in Interesting Matchup of Styles

UTA (3-3) 80, Mount St. Mary’s (1-5) 71

20161123_205519bI’ll admit I was intrigued by this matchup for the last few days. UTA still trying to recapture the offensive flow and smooth ball movement that worked so well for them last year and overcoming the well-documented frequent second-half offensive lulls this season; Mount St. Mary’s plays an very uptempo offense with a trapping, pressing defense. I figured it would be Continue reading

Mavs Defeat Talented NAIA Opponent

UTA 88, University of St. Francis 67

Nothing really unexpected Monday night. Every team plays one or two of those games a year…a smaller opponent comes to your arena, the home team wins by 20 and gets to work20161121_201958aon some things offensively, the visitors get to play the biggest opponent they’ll likely face all year.

Like I said, nothing really unexpected but still fun basketball to watch.

It was a nice confidence builder for the Mavs,
who needed one after losing three halftime leads on the road to good opponents in as many games. The final score was 88-67 but felt much closer for most of the game.

St. Francis, an NAIA team playing in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, has some really good players that could play at the mid-major level. And they played a solid game and showed poise breaking through the

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Early Test Passed

UTAfireworks20131115_214857We’re back! Welcome to the RustyMaverick.com – 2016/2017 edition.

This season started with a great game at home.

Texas Southern, a team many are predicting to win the SWAC, gave UTA a good challenge but just couldn’t keep up with UTA’s uptempo offense in the first game of the season before a lower-bowl filling Homecoming crowd of 4,532, the ninth largest basketball crowd in College Park Center history.

Much has been written of UTA’s Continue reading

Hervey Scores 22 in 2nd Half, Mavs (11-2, 2-0) Win By 20

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The Mavs (11-2) have been nearly unbeatable all year, undefeated at home…so give Georgia Southern’s young team credit  (11-of-12 scholarship student-athletes who are freshmen, redshirt freshmen or sophomores), for doing their best to pull off a road upset. The Eagles (4-8) played an impressive first half, making 7 of their first 8 three point attempts and holding a 25-14 lead at one point.

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UTA Drains 11 3’s to Earn 10th Win in 12 Tries

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The story of the Mavs’ dream season has been well documented in the local and nation media…9 wins in 11 non-conference games thus far, victories against Ohio State, Memphis, UTEP, Rice and the OT defeat in Austin. Blowout wins over North Texas, Bradley, Grambling State. Kevin Hervey and Eric Neal averaging 17 points per game and 13 points per game respectively. A roster that is super-deep. Various rankings this season generally in the top 40 nationally. The Mavs lead the nation in rebounding at 44+ a game. Passing and assists that are becoming almost legendary, like something out of a video game.

– insert record needle scratch effect here –

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Another Dominating Win

UTA 90, North Texas 67
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Offensively, that was probably one our better games next to Rice, especially in that second half. [Hervey and Neal] in that second half were both awesome. They played the way I needed them to play. Both these guys are facilitators. They’re as good shooters as anybody, but they also make other guys better and they did that time and time again in the second half.
— UTA Coach Scott Cross

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