2008 NCAA Tournament Capsule: Texas-Arlington
Texas Arlington Mavericks
Southland (21-11, 7-9)
Big Wins: 11/21 North Texas (72-64), 3/1 at Stephen F. Austin (75-65), 3/14 vs Sam Houston State (72-66)
Bad Losses: 1/10 at Central Arkansas (68-70), 2/16 McNeese State (69-74), 3/8 at Texas State (86-97)
Last NCAA Appearance: none
Coach: Scott Cross (First NCAA appearance)
Rog’er Guignard, Sophomore, Guard, 13.0 ppg, 2.8 apg
Rod Epps, Senior, Guard, 8.4 ppg, 2.6 apg
Tommy Moffitt, Sophomore, Forward, 5.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg
Larry Posey, Senior, Forward, 8.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Jermaine Griffin, Senior, Center, 12.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Cardell Hunter, Sophomore, Guard, 4.2 ppg, 2.9 apg
Jeremy Smith, Freshman, Guard, 3.0 ppg, 1.2 apg
Anthony Vereen, Junior, Forward, 13.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Trey Parker, Freshman, Forward, 2.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Why They Can Surprise:
The strength of Texas Arlington is in the frontcourt. Anthony Vereen, the team’s leading scorer, usually comes in off the bench and that goes to show how much talent the frontcourt actually has. The 6-7 forward has the strength to battle in the paint, but he is most effective getting to the basket. Like Vereen, Tommy Moffitt can stretch out the defense with his outside shooting. Those two will hit the glass effectively and have helped the Mavericks become one of the best rebounding teams in the Southland Conference, but it is the bigger bodies under the basket that help the most.
Larry Posey might only be 6-5, but he will use his 250 pound frame to pound in the paint. The senior has developed into a solid scoring threat under the basket and is a decent rebounder and defender. At 6-9, center Jermaine Griffin is the tallest player on the team. He averages 12.2 points per game and a team high 7.0 rebounds. On the defensive side of the floor, Griffin is a decent shot blocker and can make it difficult for the opponents to get into the paint.
Why They Can Disappoint:
With all the forwards who have the ball in their hands, it leads to some problems from the charity stripe. Vereen is a solid free-throw shooter, but the rest of the frontcourt is hovering around the 60 percent mark, or worse. UTA will need every point possible to pull off an upset and every free-throw will be very important. Every possession will be important as well and the Mavericks commit 17.4 turnovers per game.
Who To Watch:
Texas Arlington does have three perimeter players who can handle the ball, but they will have to do a better job of keeping the turnovers to a minimum. Rog’er Guignard is a superb scorer and knocks down about three shots from beyond the arc per contest. Rod Epps is a decent scoring threat, but his greatest asset is using his quickness to get to the basket and creating shots for his teammates. Cardell Hunter will not score like Guignard and Epps, but he is arguably the best passer on the team and will be on the floor when the Mavericks need another guard who can handle the ball.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.5 (85th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.1 (152, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.8 (26, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.7 (25, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.1 (202, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.7 (180, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.8 (273, 8)
Rebound Margin: 3.9 (52, 4)
Assists Per Game: 14.4 (101, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 17.4 (307, 6)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Memphis
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