Thursday, December 26, 2013

Homecourt advantage and CPC

Been thinking of posting this feature for a while, and since UTA will go a couple of weeks between events, I figured now is as good a time as any.

One consistent theme in sports is home advantage. Whether the phrase contains field, court, track or whatever else, the idea is a team gets a boost being at home than if they played in the other team's home. A cursory look at the numbers for College Park Center suggests otherwise.

Since CPC opened in February of 2012, the men's basketball team is 15-9 (.625) at home. The women's team is 5-19 (.208). The volleyball team is 15-17 (.469). A little more context is in order to get a better grasp.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Two for one, basketballs wrap up non-conference play

It was a good Saturday for UT Arlington basketball. Both teams wrapped up the non-conference schedule with wins at College Park Center. In a long overdue post, I'll give my thoughts on the first section of the season.

On the men's side, the Mavericks wrapped up one of the toughest schedules in the entire Sun Belt. While the 5-7 record looks a bit rough, but a closer look at both who they played and how they lost gives hope to the team when Sun Belt play comes around.

Excluding the two wins against Dallas Baptist and Howard Payne (they don't count in the RPI ranking) the average RPI ranking - as of this morning - of the teams UTA played is 141. Three of the teams are in the top 25. With another in the top 50 and another in the top 100. Oklahoma rests at 19 had all they could handle from the Mavs. The two point UTA loss could have been a win. Texas-Austin sits at 28 and that should have been a UTA win.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Recognizing the football past

In previous posts, I have detailed how I am a UTA athletics fan primarily, regardless of sport. While I would like a football team to resume at UTA, I want it done right and not at the expense of any other sport. If we field a cross country team, I want to win it (as our men did this year in the Sun Belt). If we field a tennis team, I want to win it. If we field a Tiddlywinks team, yes, fund it at the level where we can win.

That said, it doesn't mean I don't want a team. I just can at least recognize the situation the University is in regarding money. But one thing the Athletic Department has done since I started showing interest is to seemingly distance itself from the football issue. Our Hall of Honor had many members, but that was about it. My feeling was always one of ambivalence towards it.

UTA used to have a solid football program. It was on its way to being a solid program again when the plug was pulled. I have never understood why what we had wasn't celebrated more.

Monday, December 2, 2013

How can 2-6 feel so good?

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday basically unplugged but now that it is over, I back in the blogging swing of things. In the meantime, I want to point you to a good fan site/blog, the Rusty Maverick, that does a good job of focusing on individual games. I recommend that if you are looking for that type of insight.

The Mavs men's basketball team recently completed a four-game road swing where they dropped every game, coupled with the previous home loss, UTA is on a five-game losing streak and is 2-6 on the year. Yet, I feel good. I'll analyze why.

As of Monday, UTA had one DI win against six losses. The combined record of all six teams is 31-12. Only Boise State had the outcome in hand early. UTA trailed Kentucky only eight at half and had an unfortunate break down to start the second. Otherwise, they were close for 30 total minutes. On Friday, the Mavs played one of their better games of the year against UT-Austin and probably should have won. I might air some grievances I have about the Horns in another post, but winning on the road is always a little more difficult. But sooner or later, if the program is to go where the coaches, admin and fans want it to go, they have to win those games. Excluding Kentucky and Boise State, the average margin of defeat was six and a quarter points in this losing streak. While defense has been subpar by our recent standards, the big problems has been the cold streak to start games.