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

Mavs Travel To Carolinas For First Sun Belt Road Trip

BOONE, N.C. – The UT Arlington men's basketball team (4-11, 0-2 Sun Belt Conference) begins its first Sun Belt road swing of the season Thursday at 6 p.m. Central against Appalachian State (5-10, 0-2) with both teams looking to pick up their first league win of the young campaign.
 
FOLLOW ALONG
The contest will be streamed on the Mountaineers' App Vision by clicking here. The Voice Of The Mavericks Josh Sours will have the call on the radio at KEXB 620 AM and streaming via the TuneIn App and iHeartRadio. Furthermore, for updates and behind-the-scenes photos and videos from not only this game, but all season, be sure to follow @UTA_MBB on Twitter and @UTA_Hoops on Instagram.
 
TWEETABLES – 5 Things To Know In 260 Characters Or Less
1) Since joining the Sun Belt in 2013-14, UTA has won 56 league regular-season games, and is the only program to finish in the top 5 of the conference standings every year. Only Louisiana (63) and Georgia State (67) have more league wins in that time.
2) UTA also started last season 0-2 in Sun Belt play – with the second of those losses coming at Appalachian State – but finished league action 10-8 and reached the conference tournament final.
3) UTA ranks 22nd nationally and leads the Sun Belt in 3-point percentage defense (28.8). Georgia State and Georgia Southern each shot 38 percent (8-21) against the Mavs in the first two league games; only one opponent (Tulsa, 55.6) shot better than 38 percent from 3 in the non-conference.
4) The Mavs are the only team in the Sun Belt to have three players rank in the top 11 of the league in free-throw percentage: David Azore (3rd, 83.9), Brian Warren (9th, 78.1) and Edric Dennis (11th, 77.2).
5) Through UTA's first 15 games, head coach Chris Ogden has utilized 11 different starting lineups – believed to be the most such starting 5 combinations in the nation to this point.
 
ONE BIG THING
After playing the 7th-hardest non-conference schedule in the nation, UTA began Sun Belt play by facing the preseason top-2 teams in the league: Georgia State (1) and Georgia Southern (2). Half of UTA's first eight conference games this month will be against those two teams as the Mavs head to the Peach State in two weeks.
 
ESPN published an article last month detailing the toughest non-league schedules in the country this year, of which UTA ranked the aforementioned 7th-most difficult; click here to read the full article (note: ESPN+ subscription required).
 
UTA played an incredible seven Quadrant 1 (Home 1-30, Neutral 1-50, Away 1-75) non-conference opponents, based on the latest NET report (NCAA's new RPI). All seven of those came on the road, representing the most road non-league Quad 1 opponents any team in the nation has faced. Additionally, only one team (Oklahoma State, 8) has played more overall Quad 1 opponents than UTA, and two of those are against Big 12 foes.
 
Penn State and Cal State Fullerton both have also played seven Quad 1 opponents, but only three of Penn State's and six of Fullerton's came on the road.
 
ABOUT APPALACHIAN STATE
App State is 5-0 at home (3-0 vs. non-Division I teams) and 0-10 in road or neutral contests.
 
The Mountaineers average 82.5 points per game – which ranks 34th in the nation but just 3rd in the Sun Belt. It will be the second-straight opponent for UTA which resides in the top 35 of the country in scoring as Georgia Southern ranks 13th at 85.4.
 
Ronshad Shabazz leads that App State attack at 20.1 per outing – 4th-best in the Sun Belt. Justin Forrest is the only other Mountaineer averaging double-figure points at 15.8 per game. Isaac Johnson couldn't be closer at 9.9, and he also pulls down a team-best 8.7 rebounds per contest.
 
UTA leads the all-time series with App State, 8-2. One of those setbacks came last year in Boone, 80-76, as the Mavs started 0-2 in league play. However, UTA protected its home court later in the season to avenge that loss, and also knocked off the Mountaineers in the Sun Belt quarterfinals, 84-68.
 
THE FINAL TEST OF A TOUGH STRETCH
As part of UTA's gruelingly slate, the Mavs recently concluded a brutal stretch in which five of nine opponents played in the NCAA Tournament last year: Arkansas (L, 78-60; Nov. 23), Missouri (L, 65-45; Dec. 4), #8 Gonzaga (L, 89-55; Dec. 18), Texas (L, 76-56; Dec. 28) and Georgia State (L, 63-58; Jan. 3). Including UTRGV (College Basketball Invitational) and North Texas – the reigning CBI Champions who are receiving votes in the national polls – seven of those nine played in the postseason in 2018.
 
WINS ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR
Despite the tough schedule – especially on the road – in five of UTA's contests during its seven-game losing streak, it was a single-digit margin with less than 10 minutes remaining, with the lone exceptions being at Mizzou and at #8 Gonzaga.
 
Against Indiana, UTA got a 20-point 2nd-half deficit down to just one, 61-60, with 6 minutes remaining before falling 78-64. Versus Arkansas, the Mavs had it as a seven-point contest, 56-49, with 7 minutes left before falling 78-60. At Tulsa, it was a four-point game, 50-46, with 10 minutes showing before the Hurricane embarked on a 14-0 run over the next five minutes to put the game out of reach. Against UTRGV, UTA had the contest tied, 56-56, at the under-4 media timeout before the Vaqueros closed on an extended 20-9 run. And versus a North Texas team receiving votes in the national polls on Dec. 8, the Mavericks held a 54-44 lead with less than eight minutes remaining before falling, 63-61.
 
MILESTONE MARK
Brian Warren eclipsed 1,000 career points with a team-leading 12 at #8 Gonzaga on Dec. 18, and he enters Thursday's matchup with 1,048. In his first two collegiate seasons at Tyler Junior College, Warren tallied 842 points, and he has a team-best 206 this season in the junior's first year wearing the blue and orange.
 
ED'S RETURN
After missing the previous three games with a turf toe injury, UTA's current leading scorer in terms of points per game, Edric Dennis, (13.8 per game) returned at Gonzaga, scoring eight points in 26 minutes in his first action since coming out of the Tulsa game on Nov. 27. Dennis scored a season-high 23 points on a year-best six 3-pointers at Texas on Dec. 28.
 
UTA BIO BLASTS
0 Brian Warren: Has has been in double-figure points in all but three games (eight in two of those; 9 in the other) … pulled down a season-high five rebounds at Gonzaga.
2 DJ Bryant: Has at least one steal in every game this year except two … 22-23 (95.7 percent) from the free-throw line this year ... career-high six steals at Cal Poly, two shy of matching the single-game program record.
4 David Azore: 47-56 (83.9 percent) from the free-throw line this season … issued a career-high six assists at North Texas … 13 points versus Georgia State.
10 Radshad Davis: Passed out four assists at North Texas; he entered the game with five helpers all year … the 6-2 guard leads the team with 28 offensive rebounds.
13 Jabari Narcis: All seven points – his most versus a D-I team – and six of his seven rebounds at Indiana came in the 2nd half … six points, his 2nd-most this year, at Gonzaga.
20 Andres Ibarguen: After the missing the first six games of the year, the NCAA cleared him, and in his first two games with UTA – at Tulsa and versus UTRGV – the Mavericks outscored their first two D-I opponents of the year in the paint, and posted their two largest rebounding margins of the season: +14 at Tulsa, +19 against UTRGV ... career-high 23 points versus UTRGV to go along with a season-best 13 rebounds.
21 Pedro Castro: Scored a career-high eight points at Missouri (had 12 total career points entering the game).
22 TiAndre Jackson-Young: First three double-figure point games came in three-straight outings at North Texas (12), at Gonzaga (10) and at Cal Poly (18).
23 Patrick Mwamba: Returned at Arkansas from an ankle injury which caused him to miss most of the previous three games … pulled down a career-high nine rebounds at Mizzou (15 total career rebounds entering the game) … has multiple steals in five games.
 
ODE TO BOBBY
Chris Ogden coached his first-ever road game Nov. 20 at Assembly Hall, and as an ode to former legendary Indiana head coach Bobby Knight and the several connections the two have, Ogden wore a UTA-themed sweater on the sidelines. Ogden attended Knight's camp at IU when he was in 6th grade; his brother, Tanner, played for Knight at Texas Tech; Ogden and Knight's son, Pat, are extremely close friends.
 
KD SHOWS SUPPORT
Kevin Durant sat courtside next to the UTA bench on Nov. 16 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 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.
 
SIRI, WHO ATTENDED UTA PRACTICE ON DEC. 20?
While traveling to San Luis Obispo to face Cal Poly on Dec. 21, UTA practiced at Cal Berkeley on Dec. 20. Prior to the start of the practice, Siri co-founder Adam Cheyer spoke to the team. The entrepreneur and his son, Noah, watched practice, interacted with players and staff after practice and then remained longer to shoot around and engage further with the Mavs.
 
OGDEN'S HOMECOMING
The UTA game at Texas on Dec. 28 represented a homecoming for Ogden, who played for the Longhorns from 1999-2003, reaching the NCAA Tournament each season, including the Final Four as a senior captain. Following his playing career, he joined the UT staff where he remained for the next 12 seasons – the first as a student assistant coach, the next four as an administrative assistant and the final seven as an assistant coach. Ogden's wife, Katie, is a 2006 graduate of the UT School of Law, and she also holds an undergraduate degree from Texas where she served as the student body president from 2002-03.
 
Ogden became the first former Longhorn player to return to the Erwin Center as a visiting head coach since Harry Larrabee (played on the Texas varsity from 1971-72 to 1973-74 seasons) brought his Alaska-Anchorage team to Austin on Dec. 20, 1985.
 
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) UTA started the year 3-1; 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) 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.
4) 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.
5) UTA posted some solid early-season showings as the revamped Mavs already own victories over perennially-strong mid-major Northern Iowa and a UC Davis team which returns four starters from a Big West Regular Season Championship and NIT appearance.
6) Of the 960 points UTA has scored through its first 15 games this year, 903 (94 percent) are from players who did not play for the Mavs last season.
7) The 45 points UTA scored at Missouri on Dec. 4 were its fewest since tallying 44 at then-#1 Kentucky in 2014, and were tied for the 6th-fewest all-time in a road game.
8) UTA posted season highs in steals versus D-I opponents in consecutive December games: 10 at #8 Gonzaga and 12 at Cal Poly.
9) Tulsa (55.6 percent) is the only UTA opponent this year to shoot better than 38 percent from long range.
10) UTA's four non-conference wins will be the fewest in a season since recording three during the 2002-03 campaign; however, that team went on to finish 16-13 overall after going 13-7 in Southland Conference action.
 
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 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 6th-most wins of the 23 D-I schools in the state of Texas (entering games on Jan. 9; UTA was 2nd on the list entering this season):
 
1) Houston: 85-29
2) Stephen F. Austin: 82-32
    SMU: 82-30
4) Texas Tech: 78-39
5) Baylor: 77-39
6) UT Arlington: 76-44
7) Texas A&M: 72-44
8) TCU: 69-49
9) Texas A&M-Corpus Christi: 66-47
    Sam Houston State: 66-52
11) Texas Southern: 64-55
12) Texas State: 63-51
13) Texas: 61-55
14) Lamar: 57-54
15) North Texas: 54-61
16) Abilene Christian: 52-53
17) UTEP: 50-59
18) Rice: 49-65
19) UTSA: 47-68
20) Houston Baptist: 45-64
21) Incarnate Word: 42-59
      UTRGV: 42-70
23) Prairie View A&M: 40-73
 
NON-CONFERENCE STRENGTH
UTA played 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, seven 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
LOSS, 78-64 * | Nov. 20 @ Indiana | 16-15 | RV In National Polls At Time Of Game
LOSS, 78-60 ^ | Nov. 23 @ Arkansas | 23-12 | 34 | NCAA | RV In National Polls At Time Of Game
LOSS, 72-58 % | Nov. 27 @ Tulsa | 19-12 | 89
LOSS, 65-45 | Dec. 4 @ Missouri | 20-13 | 49 | NCAA | RV In 2018-19 Preseason Polls
LOSS, 63-61 | Dec. 8 @ North Texas | 20-18 | CBI Champions | RV In National Polls At Time Of Game
LOSS, 89-55 | Dec. 18 @ Gonzaga | 32-5 | 22 | NCAA | Sweet Sixteen | #8 In National Poll At Time Of Game
LOSS, 76-56 | Dec. 28 @ Texas | 19-15 | 52 | NCAA
 
* 1-Point Game With 6 Minutes Left | ^ 7-Point Game With 7 Minutes Left | % 4-Point Game With 10 Minutes Left
 
UTA's four 2018 NCAA Tournament opponents on its non-conference schedule put the Mavericks in top-flight competition. The only teams in the nation who played 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
12 – Maine
10 – Saint Mary's
7 – Fairfield
      UNLV
      UIC
6 – Bradley
      Davidson
      FAU
      Hartford
5 – UT Arlington (tied with 11 other teams)
 
As part of the foreign-born players, below are the teams with the most continents represented on their roster:
5 – Maine
      Virginia
4 – UT Arlington (tied with 16 other teams)
Continents Represented: North America, South America, Europe, Africa
 
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 when it travels to Coastal Carolina to battle the Chanticleers on Saturday at 1 p.m. Central.
 
CLEAR BAG POLICY
In an effort to enhance public safety and the fan experience, for all UTA men's and women's home games this season the College Park Center will implement a clear-bag policy. All purses, containers, backpacks or anything larger than a small clutch bag are prohibited, and items must be placed in a clear tote bag not to exceed 12" x 6" x 12". For more information, fans are encouraged to visit UTAMavs.com/BasketballGameday.
 
FOLLOW ALONG
To secure tickets for upcoming games and find out about additional gameday procedures, log on to UTATickets.com. Additionally, for updates, behind-the-scenes photos, videos and more engaging and personal content, be sure to follow the men's basketball program on Twitter (@UTA_MBB) and Instagram (@UTA_Hoops).
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