After a pair of losses to open up the tournament in Maui, Texas will try to make it three in a row on Saturday when they welcome the UT-Arlington Mavericks back to the Erwin Center for a game that will tip at 3:00 pm CT and be televised nationally on the Longhorn Network. The Longhorns won last season's meeting between the two teams 80-62, with Sheldon McClellon scoring 17 of his game-high 23 points before the half.
I wrote prior to last year's match up with UT-Arlington that I liked the Mavericks as an intermediate test for the Longhorns, and that UTA squad went on to roll through the Southland Conference with a 15-1 record. A year later, I like the match up with the Mavericks even more as a helpful test for this year's team, because they will challenge the hell out of us with hyper-aggressive perimeter defense, testing our ability to get into our offense.
The Mavericks aren't quite as talented and deep a team as they were last season, and if we're doing a good job with transition defense, UT-Arlington should struggle to score consistently in the halfcourt. This is a much easier test for Texas if Kabongo's playing, but it'll be a good game for this young group to play prior to heading up to NYC for the Jimmy V Classic.
Keys to the Game
Strong play in transition on both ends, protect the basketball, capitalize on our size advantage on the glass.
Texas 71 UT-Arlington 59