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Texas Basketball: Longhorns Host UT-Arlington

Game 06: UT-Arlington Mavericks (4-2) vs Texas Longhorns (5-2)Tuesday, December 6, 2011 · 7:00 p.m. CT

Frank Erwin Center · Austin, TX

TV: LHN (Carter Blackburn & Reid Gettys) · Radio: 1300 AM / 98.1 FM

Ken Pom Projection: 80-66 Texas (71 Tempo)

A few quick thoughts prior to tonight's game against UT-Arlington. The Mavericks are the best mid-major (I'm excluding Temple from that category) left on the schedule, and the only squad that I think could pull off a win. UT-A's frontcourt is highlighted by 6-10 Jordan Reves, who is solid on the glass, does a good job protecting the rim on defense, and skilled enough offensively to get you in foul trouble. Kevin Butler and Brandon Edwards aren't big, but both are very active and athletic, they defend well, and they're comfortable running the floor. Edwards really gets after it on the glass, while Butler plays more like a wing-forward hybrid and can extend the defense and hit a jumper if you let him.

On the perimeter 6-5 LaMarcus Reed is their top offensive weapon, while 6-3 Cameron Catlett does a nice job running the show from the point. The Mavericks aren't a great outside shooting team, but unlike a lot of teams they know what a good shot looks like, and they're content to penetrate and run offense to get a look inside. About that penetration: we'll be tested to play good defense without fouling tonight, as UT-A does as good a job as anyone in getting to the line. Against most squads I think an up-tempo game favors us, but I think the Mavericks will be comfortable in an open court game.

This is an experienced, versatile team that I expect to win the Southland Conference this year, and I like the match up as a nice intermediate test for us prior to our game with Temple on the 17th. Turnovers are the key to the game in my mind, and if we avoid a sloppy contest and do another good job of team rebounding I like our talent edge to wear them down. Prediction: Texas 81, UT-Arlington 71