ARLINGTON, Texas -- With just fewer than six weeks until the team’s season opener, the defending Sun Belt Conference champion UT Arlington men’s basketball team conducted its first official practice this morning at College Park Center.
Following an early morning strength and conditioning session, the team went through a spirited two-hour practice that provided an early glimpse at how the team would look this season. The session included all 18 rostered players, including graduate transfer center Johnny Hamilton.
“It was great to have all 18 guys who are a part of the team actually participate today,” said UTA head coach Scott Cross, who has led the Mavericks to the second-highest win total of any Division I program in Texas over the last two seasons. “We have a bigger roster than normal, which presents some challenges. But, it helps with making everyone more competitive and providing depth as the season goes on and guys get worn down. It also gives us options for various drills and helps ensure we will have numbers during the season in case of injuries.
“As expected, today was a little sloppy. I haven’t seen many first practices that weren’t. We threw a lot of stuff at the guys. We are making them think, making them run and do things they aren’t used to. Each day will get a little better. Our goal is to improve every day, so over the course of the season we will be where we need to be.”
Cross’ team is comprised of 11 players at 6-5 or taller, including a pair of 7-footers in Hamilton and senior Link Kabadyundi. UTA is the only Division I program in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex with one 7-foot player, much less two.
“We are very, very tall, long and athletic,” said Cross. “Combined with the toughness they showed during Boot Camp last week and the energy and enthusiasm they displayed this morning, I really like the makeup of this team. I think there are some very exciting things to watch with this team. The ceiling is very high.”
UTA will generally conduct five practice sessions during each of the next six weeks, leading up to its Nov. 11 season opener against Loyola Marymount. The Mavericks play a total of 15 home games, including six non-league contests. For a complete schedule, click here.
Season tickets are currently on sale online at UTATickets.com or by calling the UTA Box Office at (817) 272-9595. Season ticket renewals are due this week, while single game tickets are scheduled to go on sale this Friday. Single game parking passes are also available at a $2 per game discount from the College Park Center garage’s normal $10 cash price. Season parking passes are available for Maverick Club members.
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