#135 Texas-Arlington Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Texas-Arlington Mavericks
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #135
Conference Rank: #3 Sun Belt
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Texas-Arlington has not had much success during Coach Chris Ogden’s first two seasons leading the program. However, the Mavericks are set up nicely to have some success over the next two seasons. Last year UTA asked a lot of their underclassmen and many of them performed well. David Azore led the way, averaging 14.0 points, 3.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals as a sophomore. If Azore can continue that success and emerge as a leader of the team, this group will be knocking on the door of the postseason.
2019-20 Record: 14-18, 10-10
Coach: Chris Ogden
Coach Record: 31-34 at Texas-Arlington, 31-34 overall
Key Departed Players:
Brian Warren, Guard, 12.3 ppg
Jabari Narcis, Forward, 7.8 ppg
Radshad Davis, Forward, 8.5 ppg
TiAndre Jackson-Young, Forward, 5.4 ppg
Key Returning Players:
David Azore, Junior, Guard, 14.0 ppg
Sam Griffin, Sophomore, Guard, 9.4 ppg
Jordan Phillips, Junior, Forward, 6.3 ppg
Patrick Mwamba, Sophomore, Forward, 3.0 ppg
Nicolas Elame, Sophomore, Guard, 2.7 ppg
Davis Steelman, Senior, Guard, 1.5 ppg
Key New Players:
Carson Bischoff, Junior Guard, JC Transfer
Grayson Carter, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Georgetown
Fredelin De La Cruz, Junior, Forward, JC Transfer
Tre Jones, RS Freshman, Forward
Brandyn Talbot, Freshman, Guard/Forward
Shahada Wells, Junior, Guard, JC Transfer
Sam Griffin stepped onto campus as a freshman and immediately turned into the team’s best outside shooter. He hit a team-high 54 long balls and averaged an impressive 9.4 points per game. Junior forward Jordan Phillips will be asked to do more this season in an effort to help replace the production lost with the departures of Jabari Narcis and Radshad Davis. Phillips is a versatile 6-7 forward who can knock down some long balls, but he and sophomore Patrick Mwamba will have to improve their rebounding. Grayson Carter, a transfer from Georgetown, will add some much needed depth in the frontcourt. Carter barely saw the floor for the Hoyas as a freshman two years ago, but he has the skills and potential to be a big time player for the Mavericks. Junior college transfer Fredelin De La Cruz adds some more experience and a presence on the glass. The backcourt adds a couple junior college transfers as well, most notably Shahada Wells who was an NJCAA Division First-Team All-American last season after averaging 21.6 points and 6.0 assists. Coach Ogden has brought in the talent to win right now. If Texas-Arlington can finish near the top of the Sun Belt this season, they will likely enter 2021-2022 as the favorites to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.6 (194th in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.4 (150, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.5 (289, 11)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.2 (79, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.8 (119, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.0 (291, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.8 (59, 2)
Rebound Margin: -1.4 (249. 11)
Assists Per Game: 14.9 (35, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.2 (29, 2)