MBB Team Huddle 2018.19
Ellman Photography

Men's Basketball By: Jason MacBain (@JaBain)

UTA Heads On The Road For First Time, Faces Indiana Tuesday On BTN

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Facing a quick turnaround, the UT Arlington men's basketball team (3-1) embarks on its first road trip of the season as the Mavericks head to Indiana to battle the Hoosiers (3-1) Tuesday at 6 p.m. (7 p.m. local) for a game televised nationally on the Big Ten Network.
 
OPENING TIP
Both UTA and IU played on Sunday afternoon. The Hoosiers fell on a last-second free throw at Arkansas, 73-72, after missing a tip-in at the other end, and the Mavericks defeated 2018 NIT participant UC Davis, 68-59, at the College Park Center. It will be the third game in five days for UTA as the Mavericks also played on Friday against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
 
FOLLOW ALONG
The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network with Kevin Kugler and Stephen Bardo on the call. To find the Big Ten Network in your area, click here. Additionally, The Voice Of The Mavericks Josh Sours will have the call on the radio at KEXB 620 AM and via the TuneIn App and iHeartRadio. Furthermore, for updates and behind-the-scenes photos and videos all season, be sure to follow @UTA_MBB on Twitter and @UTA_Hoops on Instagram.
 
HARDWOOD SHOWCASE
The matchup is part of a multiple-team event (MTE) called the Hardwood Showcase, and features UTA, Indiana, Arkansas, Montana State, UC Davis and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Each team will play – or already has played – four others from the group of six this month. The Mavericks remain on the road to face Arkansas in Fayetteville on Friday, while Indiana stays at Assembly Hall to take on UC Davis.
 
GARNERING ATTENTION
Following its early-season statement win over Northern Iowa on Nov. 10, UTA picked up 10 votes in the College Insider Mid-Major Poll last Monday (this week's poll not released yet). UC Davis, which returns four starters from a 22-11 Big West Regular Season Championship team, was receiving 6 votes in the poll, and UTA took down the Aggies Sunday.
 
Indiana, meanwhile, is the second team out of the Associated Press Top 25 Poll this week with 74 votes. The Hoosiers dismissed then-#24 Marquette last Wednesday, 96-73, but couldn't convert a tip-in in the closing seconds of a tie game against Arkansas Sunday and then had a foul call go against them on the rebound, resulting in the aforementioned final winning free throw from Arkansas.
 
TWEETABLES – 5 Things To Know In Less Than 260 Characters
1) UTA is 1-9 all-time against current Big Ten teams. That lone win occurred exactly three years to the day of this year's matchup with Indiana – on Nov. 20, 2015, as the Mavericks went to Columbus and defeated Ohio State, 73-68.
2) UTA is off to a 3-1 start; four of the five times this decade that the Mavericks have commenced a season 3-1 it has resulted in a postseason and/or 20-win campaign.
3) Of the 299 points UTA has scored through its first four games this year, 266 (89 percent) are from players who did not play for the Mavs last season.
4) While UTA is shooting about the same percentage from the floor as its opponents this year (UTA: 41.3 percent; Opponents: 42.7 percent), the Mavs have taken advantage at the free-throw line (78.3 percent; Opponents: 63.8 percent).
5) UTA has posted three-straight 20-win seasons. In the 59-year history of the program, the Mavs have only had seven 20-win campaigns, and five of them have come in the last 10 years.
 
ABOUT THE HOOSIERS
IU won its first three games of the year going away before the setback at Arkansas on Sunday: 104-55 vs. Chicago State, 80-35 vs. Montana State and 96-73 vs. Marquette.
 
Romeo Langford – the unanimous Big Ten Preseason Freshman of the Year – leads the Hoosiers at 18.8 points per game, while Juwan Morgan is averaging 12.8 and a team-best 8.5 rebounds per outing. IU is averaging 88 points per game and holding its opponents to 59 points per outing and just 36-percent shooting from the floor and 20 percent from 3-point range.
 
Indiana was picked to finish 3rd in the Preseason Big Ten Poll behind only Michigan State and Michigan. The Hoosiers are one of college basketball's most storied programs, having won five NCAA Championships, reached eight Final Fours and claimed 22 Big Ten titles.
 
HOMECOMING
Bloomington is about an hour from Indianapolis – the hometown of UTA junior guard Brian Warren. The Tyler Junior College transfer has made an immediate impact with the Mavericks as he leads UTA in scoring (18.5) and assists (3.3). The guard is shooting 50 percent from the floor, 86.4 percent from the free-throw line and has posted game-high scoring performances in each of the last three contests: 19 vs. Northern Iowa, 26 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and 18 vs. UC Davis.
 
KD SHOWS SUPPORT
Kevin Durant sat courtside next to the UTA bench this past Friday at the College Park Center to watch the Mavericks take on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Durant – a nine-time NBA All-Star, 2014 NBA MVP and two-time NBA Champion with the Golden State Warriors – is close friends with first-year UTA head coach Chris Ogden dating back to their time at Texas. Ogden, who led the Longhorns to the 2003 Final Four as a captain, was an administrative assistant on the 2007-08 Texas squad – Durant's lone collegiate season with Texas.
 
RE-TWEETS
1) UTA opened its season with a 90-66 win on Nov. 6 over UT Tyler – the Mavericks' fifth-straight season-opening win and 12th in the last 13 years. The 90 points were the second-most in a season opener for UTA since 1994 (99 vs. East Texas Baptist in 2011).
2) The Mavericks went 21-13 overall last year (10-8 in the Sun Belt), finishing 112th in the RPI and reaching the Sun Belt Tournament Final for the first time in their five years in the league.
 
A WHOLE NEW CREW
UTA lost its top-9 scorers and only returns two letterwinners from last year's team (three total letterwinners; one did not play because of an injury in 2017-18), and just one of those two was a scholarship player (DJ Bryant). The Mavericks had eight seniors graduate and one junior who transferred which accounted for the top-9 scorers not returning in 2018-19.
 
UTA welcomed 12 talented, and in many cases experienced, newcomers at the start of the season. UTA returns just 3.2 percent of its points from a season ago – the lowest percentage of any team in the nation. The Mavericks also return only 4 percent of their rebounds and 11 percent of their assists from last year.
 
However, seven of those newcomers are junior transfers who have a proven record of success at the collegiate level previously. Those seven junior newcomers have combined to score 4,009 points, grab 1,788 rebounds and issue 749 assists over their first two years.
 
Least % of Points Returning From 2017-18
1) UT Arlington         3.2% (87 of 2,640)
2) Mount St. Mary's   4.4%
3) UNC Asheville       5.5%
4) Idaho                       6.9%
5) Oakland                  8.6%
6) Middle Tennessee  10.2%
7) Chattanooga           10.5%
8) Wichita State          12.1%
9) Duke                       13.8%
 
Least Career Points Returning (At Current School)
1) Mount St. Mary's   103
2) UT Arlington         130 (DJ Bryant: 85; Scott Muirhead: 41; Patrick Binzer: 4)
3) UNC Asheville       141
4) Chattanooga           241
5) Middle Tennessee  329
    Idaho                       329
 
Least Starts Returning From 2017-18
1) Idaho                       0
2) Mount St. Mary's   1
3) Wichita State          4
4) UNC Asheville       5
5) UT Arlington         7 (All DJ Bryant)
    Duke                       7
 
Fewest Returning Letterwinners
1 - Chattanooga
2 - UNC Asheville
2 - Drake
3 - UT Arlington
3 - Baylor
3 - Nicholls
3 - Duquesne
3 - Milwaukee
3 - Detroit Mercy
3 - Little Rock
 
Fewest Returning Minutes From 2017-18
1) Mount Saint Mary's           7%
2) UT Arlington                     7.9%
     UNC Asheville                  7.9%
4) Idaho                                   10.6%
5) Wichita State                      11.2%
6) Middle Tennessee               15.2%
7) Chattanooga                       15.24%
8) Oakland                              16.5%
9) Drake                                  17.4%
 
Teams With Zero Scholarship Seniors
Virginia
North Florida
UT Arlington
Duquesne
Cal State Northridge
 
ON THE RISE – 20-WIN SEASONS
UTA has posted seven 20-win seasons in its 59-year program history, but five of those have come in the last 10 years – including three in a row.
 
Year                Record            Postseason
2016-17           27-9                 NIT
2015-16           24-11               CIT
2011-12           24-9                 NIT
2017-18           21-13               ----
2007-08           21-12               NCAA
1990-91           20-9                 ----
1980-81           20-8                 NIT
 
MOST WINS IN TEXAS
Over the last 3+ seasons (2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19), UTA owns the 2nd-most wins of the 23 Division-I schools in the state of Texas:
 
1) Stephen F. Austin: 76-29
2) UT Arlington: 75-34
3) SMU: 74-28
4) Houston: 72-29
5) Baylor: 71-36
6) Texas A&M: 67-40
    Texas Tech: 67-37
8) Texas A&M-Corpus Christi: 63-40
9) Sam Houston State: 62-47
10) TCU: 60-48
11) Texas Southern: 58-51
12) Texas State: 54-49
      Texas: 54-50
14) Lamar: 51-50
15) UTEP: 46-53
16) Abilene Christian: 45-50
      Rice: 45-58
      North Texas: 45-60
19) Houston Baptist: 41-58
20) Incarnate Word: 40-53
21) UTSA: 39-64
22) Prairie View A&M: 37-65
23) UTRGV: 36-63
 
NON-CONFERENCE STRENGTH
UTA will play a challenging non-conference schedule to prepare for the Sun Belt slate. Of its 12 D-I non-league opponents, nine had a .500 or better record last year, six participated in the postseason in 2017-18 and five finished in the top 100 of the RPI (not including UC Davis which finished at 101).
 
Marquee Games (2017-18 Record | RPI | Postseason | Misc)
WIN, 74-65 | Nov. 10 vs. Northern Iowa | 16-16
WIN, 68-59 | Nov. 18 vs. UC Davis | 22-11 | 101 | NIT | Big West Regular Season Champions
Nov. 20 @ Indiana | 16-15 | RV In National Polls
Nov. 23 @ Arkansas | 23-12 | 34 | NCAA
Nov. 27 @ Tulsa | 19-12 | 89
Dec. 4 @ Missouri | 20-13 | 49 | NCAA | RV In 2018-19 Preseason Polls
Dec. 8 @ North Texas | 20-18 | CBI Champions
Dec. 18 @ Gonzaga | 32-5 | 22 | NCAA | Sweet Sixteen | #3 In National Polls
Dec. 28 @ Texas | 19-15 | 52 | NCAA | RV In National Polls
 
UTA's four 2018 NCAA Tournament opponents on its schedule puts the Mavericks in top-flight competition. The only teams in the nation who will play more than four teams which went to the NCAA Tournament last year in their 2018-19 non-conference schedule are: North Carolina (6), Florida (6), Kansas (5), Kentucky (5), Creighton (5), Northeastern (5) and Canisius (5).
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PLANT YOUR FLAG – 2018-19 UTA Men's Basketball Motto
"Plant Your Flag represents you being you. Being proud of where you came from and representing that – standing up for something. It doesn't matter what it is. Claim something. And then play for it."
Chris Ogden
 
As part of that 'Plant Your Flag' motto, UTA's roster features a diverse collection of individuals from all over the world:
 
Teams With The Most Foreign-Born Players
10 – Saint Mary's
7 – Fairfield
6 – Bradley
5 – UT Arlington
5 – TCU
5 – Virginia
3 – Creighton
 
As part of the foreign-born players, below are the teams with the most continents represented on their roster:
5 – Maine
5 – Virginia
4 – UT Arlington
4 – Bradley
4 – Illinois-Chicago
4 – UNLV
4 – Oklahoma
4 – Portland
4 – Sacramento State
4 – Tulane
4 – Utah State
 
From NBA Academy Africa To UTA
NBA Academies, a network of elite basketball training centers around the world, include educational development for top male and female prospects from outside the U.S. and mark the NBA's signature elite player development initiative. The initiative exposes elite prospects to NBA-level coaching, facilities and competition and provides a global framework for them to maximize their success.
 
Five NBA Academy graduates have committed to D-I schools, in addition to UTA freshman Patrick Mwamba (NBA Academy Africa):

Three men from The NBA Global Academy in Canberra, Australia:
- Francisco Caffaro (Argentina): Virginia
- Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (Cameroon): UNLV
- Francisco Farabello (Argentina): TCU (for 2019-20 school year)

One woman from the NBA Academies Women's Program camp in Mexico City:
- Karla Martinez (Mexico): University of San Diego

SUN BELT SUCCESS
Since joining the Sun Belt Conference for the 2013-14 season, UTA has finished no worse than 5th place in the regular-season standings in the 12-team league. In 2016-17, the Mavericks won their first-ever SBC Regular Season Championship, and last season they were the preseason favorites to repeat. This year, UTA – due largely to its large roster turnover – was predicted to finish 11th in the SBC.
 
Sun Belt Strategic Men's Basketball Scheduling Plan
With the goal of improving the NCAA Tournament seeding for the Sun Belt's automatic qualifier, in addition to enhancing the resume of other teams to secure at-large berths, the following changes have been implemented beginning in the 2019-20 season:
 
Sun Belt teams will reserve two dates in the non-conference portion of their schedule to play against peer conference opponents. Each team will have one home opponent and one away opponent from this scheduling alliance.
 
In the next major portion of the strategic plan is centered around a 20-game smart schedule. The conference will split into two divisions (East: Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, South Alabama and Troy; West: Little Rock, Arkansas State, Louisiana, ULM, UTA and Texas State). Each team will play a 16-game schedule with five home and five away games played against divisional opponents and three home and three away games against non-divisional opponents.  Based on the resulting standings of those 16 games, teams will then be placed in four pods - Pod A (#1, #2, #3), Pod B (#4, #5, #6), Pod C (#7, #8, #9) and Pod D (#10, #11, #12). Each team will play the other two pod members once home and once away for the final four games of the 20-game schedule. The regular season conference champion will be awarded based on the results of the full 20-game conference schedule.
 
NEXT UP
UTA remains on the road, flying to Fayetteville on Wednesday to take on Arkansas Friday night at 7 on SEC Network+.
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