Dallas Colleges: Texas-Arlington Mavericks

UTA, Dallas Baptist headed to Waco Regional

May, 28, 2012

UT-Arlington is back in the NCAA playoffs and headed to the Waco Regional after Monday's announcement of the 64-team tournament bracket. The Mavericks are the No. 3 seed and open the double-elimination regional against No. 2 seed Dallas Baptist on Friday at 1 p.m. at Baylor Ballpark.

No. 1 Baylor, the No. 4 national seed, faces No. 4 Oral Roberts in the other game at 6 p.m. The regional runs through June 4 at the latest with berths in a super regional on the line for the winner.

This the fifth trip to the NCAAs for UTA, which earned an automatic bid by sweeping four games in the Southland Conference tournament culminating with Saturday's championship. The Mavericks also reached the national playoffs in 2006, 2001, 1992 and 1990.

"I'm happy we got a No. 3 seed, I thought we deserved it," UT-Arlington coach Darin Thomas said during a selection show watching party Monday at Mavericks Bar and Grill. "We're playing some teams that we're familiar with. We're playing our best baseball, we've won seven in row, and couldn't have played any better in the conference tournament. I'm happy for our guys and won't have any trouble getting them ready to play."

The Mavericks (36-23) have faced Dallas Baptist twice this season, losing both games on May 1-2. UTA split two games against Baylor, with each team winning on its home field.

Ticket information will be available Tuesday.

1 p.m. – Game 1 (Dallas Baptist vs. UT Arlington)
6 p.m. – Game 2 (Baylor vs. Oral Roberts)
2 p.m. – Game 3 (Loser G1 vs. Loser G2)
7 p.m. – Game 4 (Winner G1 vs. Winner G2)
2 p.m. – Game 5 (Winner G3 vs. Loser G4)
7 p.m. – Game 6 (Winner G4 vs. Winner G5)
June 4th
6:30 p.m. – Game 7 (second game, if necessary)

UTA officially joining Sun Belt in '13

May, 24, 2012
DALLAS -- The University of Texas at Arlington will begin competing in the Sun Belt Conference, effective in July 2013.

The conference schools voted Wednesday in Sandestin, Fla., to accept Texas-Arlington as a non-football member. Subject to approval by the University of Texas System Board of Regents, the Mavericks would depart their longtime home in the Southland Conference to join the Florida-based league.

UTA doesn't have a football program.

The Sun Belt Conference is slated to have 12 members for the 2013-14 academic year, including 10 in football.

Denver is leaving this summer for the Western Athletic Conference, while North Texas and FIU will leave in the summer of 2013 for Conference USA. They'll be replaced by Texas State, Georgia State and UTA.

UTA basketball coach Cross signs 4-year deal

April, 17, 2012
The University of Texas at Arlington announced today that men's basketball coach Scott Cross has agreed to a four-year extension that will keep him at UTA through the 2015-16 season. Here's part of the school's release:
Cross led the 2011-12 Mavericks to a record-setting season as the Mavericks won the Southland Conference regular season title. His team posted school records in wins (24), consecutive wins (16) and conference wins (15). He also led the Mavericks to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) for just the second time in school history.

“We are pleased to announce that Coach Cross has agreed to an extension to stay at UT Arlington,” UT Arlington director of intercollegiate athletics Jim Baker said. “Scott has done an outstanding job of building the UT Arlington program over the last six years. We look forward to him continuing to lead the Mavericks in the years to come.”

Following the season, Cross was named the Southland Conference’s Coach of the Year and was also a National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District Coach of the Year.

“I want to thank UT Arlington president James Spaniolo and Jim Baker for their commitment to me and the Maverick Basketball program over the next several years,” Cross said. “UT Arlington is an exciting place to be right now with the opening of the College Park Center this past season and our move to the WAC and I appreciate the opportunity I have been given here as the head coach.”

Top-seeded UT-Arlington falls in Southland semifinals

March, 8, 2012

KATY, Texas -- Patrick Richard scored 20 points and Dontae Cannon had 18 as McNeese State knocked off top-seeded UT-Arlington, 92-72, Thursday night in the semifinals of the Southland Conference tournament.

The fourth-seeded Cowboys (17-14) advance to Saturday's championship game against third-seeded Lamar, which defeated Stephen F. Austin earlier Thursday.

Jeremie Mitchell added 17 points and Kevin Hardy had 11 for McNeese State, which shot 54 percent from the floor and hit 11 of 24 3-pointers. Richard and Cannon also had six assists apiece.

LaMarcus Reed scored 23 points and Bradley Gay had 13 for UT-Arlington (24-8), which set a school record for wins this season. The Mavericks shot just 37 percent and fell to 0-6 all-time against McNeese State in the conference tournament.

The Cowboys never trailed, opening up an 11-3 lead and going ahead 44-32 at the half. McNeese State led by as many as 28 late in the game.

UT-Arlington routs Nicholls St. in Southland quarterfinals

March, 7, 2012
KATY, Texas -- Bo Ingram hit five 3-pointers and scored 21 points as UT-Arlington blitzed Nicholls State, 96-48, in the Southland Conference quarterfinals Wednesday.

The top-seeded Mavericks (24-7) will face fourth-seeded McNeese State in the semifinals Thursday night.

LaMarcus Reed III scored 17 points, Bradley Gay 15 and Cameron Catlett 12 for Texas-Arlington, which shot 52 percent and hit 11 of 23 3-pointers. Jordan Reves grabbed 11 rebounds, and Shaquille White-Miller had six assists.

Jeremy Smith had team highs of 17 points and eight rebounds for the eighth-seeded Colonels (10-20). Dantrell Thomas added 15 points.
Nicholls State shot a tournament-record-low 23 percent, made only 4 of 35 3-pointers and was outrebounded 43-30.

The 48-point margin was the largest in tournament history.

The Mavericks held Nicholls State scoreless for 8:28 and rushed to an early 22-4 lead. A 12-0 spurt put them ahead 50-19 early in the second half.

UTA edges McNeese St. to claim Southland title

February, 22, 2012
LAKE CHARLES, La. -- LaMarcus Reed scored 28 points and Bo Ingram added 22 to lead UT-Arlington in a 93-89 win over McNeese State on Wednesday night, clinching the Southland Conference regular-season title.

The Mavericks (21-6, 13-0) shot 53.8 percent from the field (28 of 52), making 10 of 18 3-pointers. Reed led the way, going 6 for 9 from long range.

UT-Arlington made 90 percent (27 of 30) from the foul line, with Jordan Reves connecting on all 12 of his free throws.

The Mavericks never trailed and finished the first half with seven straight points to lead by 29, 53-24, at halftime.

Reed had 22 of his points in the first 20 minutes.

The Cowboys (15-11, 10-3) improved from 32-percent shooting (8 of 25) in the first half to 55.8 percent (24 of 42) in the second, but couldn't overcome the halftime deficit.

Jeremie Mitchell led McNeese State with 20 points.

UT-Arlington opens College Park Center with win

February, 1, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- To really appreciate basketball in sparkling College Park Center, a UT-Arlington fan only had to compare Wednesday night’s womens/mens grand opening doubleheader to games in their former home, Texas Hall.

An unscientific survey of a few of the near-capacity crowd attending: No comparison.

College Park Center is an eye-popping structure on the eastern edge of the campus. For a price tag of $78 million, UTA has an arena that seats 7,000 with every seat within shouting range of a referee.

Cowboys Stadium architect HKS Inc. did the design.

If UTA can draw near-capacity crowds like the one Wednesday, the Mavericks will have a real home-court advantage on their hands because it can get loud.

The Mavericks celebrated opening night by extending their school-record winning streak to 12 with a 67-66 victory over UT-San Antonio to retain their hold on first place in the Southland West. UTA improved to 16-5 and 8-0 in the conference. UTSA dropped to 14-8, 6-2.

“It was just a different feeling,’’ said LaMarcus Reed, who led UTA with 24 points. “That noise just goes through you. It was a big deal for us. It helped us a lot throughout the game.

“The first time I heard the crowd, it kind of surprised me. We feed off stuff like that.’’

The new digs come at a perfect time, with UTA joining the Western Athletic Conference in July.

Maybe the nicest thing about College Park Center’s debut is that it means decades of the Texas Hall basketball experiment are over. No matter how it sounded on the drawing board, placing a basketball court on the stage of an auditorium never really worked.

UTA president James D. Spaniolo got a big roar from the crowd between games when he said, “Some say our destiny is to play on a stage. Let them come to College Park!’’

Bob “Snake’’ LeGrand, UTA men’s basketball head coach for 11 seasons, vehemently denies ever trying to pass off TCU’s Daniel Meyer Coliseum as UTA’s facility in his recruiting days.

“How could I take them to another school and make them think it is UTA,’’ said LeGrand, Mavericks’ coach from 1976-87. “But I do remember chaining the doors at Texas Hall. Then when I came back with a recruit, I’d say, ‘Shoot, we can’t go in, it’s locked.’ ’’

LeGrand was in the first row behind the scorer’s table at College Park Center on opening night.

“This is long overdue,’’ LeGrand said. “I would have loved to have it in my day. When you think about it, with the campus UTA has, how have they not had something like this before now. And 7,000 is just the right size.’’

Arlington resident Kurt Koke brought his son to opening night. In the early 1980s, Koke was a member of a Hardin-Simmons basketball team that played against UTA at Texas Hall.

“I wouldn’t say it was the worst place we ever played, because we played in some pretty bad ones,’’ Koke said. “But I remember the locker rooms were musty. The fear as a player was that you were going to fall off the stage. It was a very strange shooting background, too.

“There’s no comparison with this place, like night and day,’’ Koke said as he glanced around College Park Center for the first time. “I had the opportunity to go a game at Duke and this is not all that much smaller than Cameron Indoor.’’

The arena will be utilized for concerts, stage events and commencement exercises.

The arena is the centerpiece of the a mixed-use, 20-plus acre project known as College Park Center that will include residential and retail development near downtown Arlington.

The first win in College Park Center will forever belong to the UTA women after a 51-40 win over UT-San Antonio.

“It’s a magical moment that is ours,’’ said UTA women’s coach Samantha Morrow. “All those people before us that waited and waited and now it is here.

“It is so loud during timeouts, I have to scream,’’ said Morrow. “I love it.’’

Texas administrator named UTA's new AD

December, 13, 2011
UT-Arlington announced Tuesday that Jim Baker has been named the school's athletics director.

Baker had served as Texas' associate athletic director for events and operations since 1991. He will be UTA's sixth AD when he begins his duties Feb. 1, replacing Pete Carlon.

UTA participates in 14 Division I sports and will join the WAC on July 1. The school is scheduled to open the $78 million College Park Center in February.

"We will look to Jim to advance the UT-Arlington program to even higher levels of regional and national competition." UTA president James D. Spaniolo said in a statement.

Baker earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. He began his career in athletics working at Ohio State and served in various positions at Florida from 1982 until he joined the staff at UT in 1991.

"We are in a great recruiting place and a great city with a remarkable partnership with the University," Baker said.