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College Preview | Top 144 Previews | More Interviews

By Shawn Siegel

September 15th, 2006


UTA Head Coach Scott Cross


After eight years as an assistant coach, Scott Cross took over as Texas-Arlington's head coach last April.  Known as a good recruiter, Cross has a lot of work to do as the Mavericks lose their three leading scorers from last year's 14-16 team.


Scott CrossShawn Siegel (CHN): How does this year's schedule compare to recent seasons in terms of difficulty?

Steve Cross (SC): It might be a little more difficult because of all of our road games. We play at North Texas, at TCU, at UTPA, at Illinois State, at Western Illinois, at Oklahoma, at UC-Riverside, at Texas Southern, and at Texas in non-conference alone.



CHN: How will you deal with the losses of your graduating seniors?


Steve Cross (SC): It will be very hard to replace the outgoing seniors. Steven Thomas finished his career as the 2nd leading scorer & 4th leading rebounder in the history of the program. Jarrett Howell was an extremely, tough hard-nosed player that could really defend and score, and he was a great leader too. Both Steven and Jarrett were 2nd Team All-SLC. Brady Dawkins started almost every single game for us at the PG position last year. He is basketball IQ, court vision, passing, 3-pt shooting, and leadership will be tough to replace. Kenneth Henderson was the utility player that did a little bit of everything. He always guarded the opposing team’s best player, and he did a great job of rebounding and was a good leader too.



CHN: What will the strengths and weaknesses of this year’s team to be?

SC:  I think that our strength will be our inside players. We have three really good returning post players in Anthony Vereen, Jermaine Griffin, and Larry Posey. We also have a couple of extremely good 3-pt shooter in Rodrick Epps and Brandon Long. Our weaknesses lie in having no seniors on our team. We will definitely need one of our younger guys to emerge as a leader because we lost a lot of leadership last year.



CHN: Talk about one or two of your guys that stands out as being an unheralded leader and contributor?


SC: I think that Anthony Vereen might be that player. He really came on at the end of the season and was unstoppable down the stretch for us. Vereen finishes everything around the basket, is very skilled, and can really shoot the 15’. He told me that he has dropped some weight and is in the best shape of his life.

CHN: What should we expect out of the incoming players. Who will make the biggest impact?

 I think that all of our newcomers will have to play. Nobody sticks out in my mind as having the highest potential to make an impact. Roger Guignard is an unbelievable 3-pt shooter. He can handle the ball and doesn’t need much to get going. Tommy Moffitt is a blue collar player that just gets the job done. He can really score and rebound the basketball and should see some time at the SF. Matt Read is a very skilled & intelligent post player with the ability to knock down the 15’. Trey Parker is a long, athletic shot-blocker that should end up breaking the All-Time Shot Blocking record here at UTA.



CHN: Are you pretty well settled with your starting lineup? If not, what should be the biggest battle for a starting spot?

SC: I am completely open about our starting lineup. I would say that the biggest battles will occur at the SF position.


Realistically, what expectations have you placed on this team?


SC: I want to have a winning season and win more games than last year. I want us to improve each and every day as a team, and I want us to be playing our best basketball at the end of the season, so we can make a run at the SLC Tournament Championship.


CHN: Thanks coach.  Good luck.


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