The hoopla surrounding the opening of UT Arlington's College Park Center has been replaced with just hoops.
And men's basketball is pretty good these days on Cooper Street.
The Mavericks enter tonight's home game with Texas State riding a 14-game winning streak -- the second-longest in the country behind Kentucky -- and atop the Southland Conference West Division standings at 10-0, three games ahead of UT San Antonio.
That's not to say things are perfect. Turnovers and poor defensive rebounding preoccupy the attention of any coach, including UTA's Scott Cross, who has expressed his angst to his team.
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"If you guys want a chance to go to the [NCAA] Tournament, we've got to rebound the ball defensively," was the coach's message after a victory Wednesday against Sam Houston State in which the Mavericks gave up 18 second-chance attempts.
"We're getting stops, playing great half-court defense, but you have got to finish it off," Cross said.
Before Wednesday, UTA gave up 12 offensive rebounds to UTSA and 12 to Texas State in San Marcos.
Cross said he was pleased with the team's renewed focus on ball-handling. The Mavericks had 23 turnovers in three consecutive games, against Houston Baptist, UTSA and Texas State.
That's equivalent to high blood pressure -- numbers that high lead to trouble.
On Wednesday against Sam Houston, the Mavericks had 15, a total too high for Cross but manageable, the coach said, considering UTA's up-tempo style.
Despite all of that, UTA is making good things happen -- namely winning games. The Mavericks are 18-5 and have clinched a spot in next month's SLC tournament in Katy.
"It's a big jigsaw puzzle," Cross said. "The good thing about these guys is if we're lacking in one area, they pick it up in another."
One piece of the puzzle is Kevin Butler, who has given the team boosts in defensive intensity and energy on the offensive glass.
The transfer from TCU, a "hard hat" guy, as Cross called him, is averaging almost 11 points per game and eight rebounds. He shares the team lead in steals with 34. Butler is a versatile player who can post up players or take them off the dribble, and he can make shots. He's a stopper on defense.
And he has the invaluable intangible of playing bigger than his 6-foot-5 frame, said Cross and senior teammate LaMarcus Reed.
"He makes such an impact because I'm playing him at small forward, but he rebounds like a post player," Cross said. "He might be one of the biggest reasons we've stepped up from last year."
Butler, a junior from Duncanville, had his best game in the biggest game, so far, with 21 points and eight rebounds in the College Park Center opener.
"He rebounds, he scraps, he guards, he scores, he does everything for us," said Reed, the team's leading scorer. "What you see in the games is how he practices. I haven't had a defender [in a game] guard me the way KB has this year in practice."
Butler is yet another reason why Cross believes the Mavericks will be a better rebounding team and extend their winning streak to 15 games heading into next week on the road against Stephen F. Austin and the bracket-busting game at Weber State.
"I look at my role as a rebounder and defender and a hard worker," Butler said. "We knew if we put in the effort and work, we could" have a streak like this.
"We don't want this to end. No let-ups."