ARLINGTON, Texas -- The second of the UT Arlington men's basketball team's annual 5-day preseason Boot Camp took place throughout Maverick Stadium today.
The players were separated into groups of three or four and competed in a timed exercise that consisted of each group running in tandem, carrying a 45-pound weight bar. The groups started at one end of the stadium, made their way up the ramps into the 12,000-seat stadium, up and down the stands, around the golf training area, up and down the visiting stands, back to the home side and around the track.
The entire exercise took a little less than 20 minutes and combined teamwork, endurance, strength and mental toughness - all attributes that personify the UTA basketball program.
"I think the guys are working hard, even though their bodies are probably hurting a little," said UTA head coach Scott Cross. "Today, I felt like everybody stuck together, pushed themselves outside their comfort zone and increased their endurance. They had a good time doing it, as well. They competed, worked together and had a great attitude."
One of the bright moments of the day was when senior forward Kevin Hervey jumped in and competed in the session's activity. The reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year has been slowly integrating into offseason training sessions as he undergoes rehab following a minor knee procedure over the summer.
"I am working my way into things," said Hervey, who is listed by most college basketball experts as one of the top forwards in the country. "If we didn't have boot camp, I would be able to practice fully. I am feeling good and don't want to overdo things too early. I am trying to approach every day like a professional, knowing that it is more important to remain fit and healthy over the entire season.
"Coach Cross and Roy (Rudewick) are working with me to do things the right way so I can be successful individually and we can be successful as a team."
Hervey also noted the performance of the program's newcomers during the preseason and the fact that book camp sets the tone for the rest of the year.
"The new guys are really handling things well," said Hervey. "There is no really great way to handle boot camp. It is a test of your manhood and I think they are standing up to the challenge.
"We are all ready for the start of the season, but we need to go through this week so we can be a tougher team in every single game we play. This is a tough week, a hard week. But, it makes us all tougher and more prepared for this season and beyond."
UTA opens the season on Saturday, Nov. 11 with a 7 p.m. homecoming contest against Loyola Marymount. The Mavericks play a total of 31 games prior to the March 7-11 Sun Belt Conference Championships in New Orleans.
The team's 15-game home schedule includes non-league games against Cal Poly, Florida Gulf Coast University, LMU, North Texas, Rice and UT Dallas. The Mavericks open Sun Belt play on Dec. 29 at Coastal Carolina before returning to Arlington for their league home opener against Troy on Jan. 4.
For ticket information, click here or call the UTA Box Office at (817) 272-9595. Season tickets are currently on sale. Single game tickets go on sale Oct. 6.
FOLLOW THE MAVS SOCIALLY
For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow UTA sports program online at UTAMavs.com or via any of several social media accounts on twitter @UTAMavs, Instagram @UTAMavs, Snapchat @UTAMavs and Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics. Follow the UTA men's basketball program @UTA_MBB on Twitter.
MBB: Hervey, Neal Star as Mavs Soar Past Panthers
MBB: #MavCity hosts Senior Day against Georgia State
MBB: Second-Half Run Leads Mavs Past Eagles
MBB: Mavericks host Georgia Southern Thursday night
MBB: Mavericks drop league game at Louisiana
MBB: UTA travels to league-leading Ragin' Cajuns