UT Arlington doesn’t have anybody on its active roster taller than 6-foot-8, but that hasn’t mattered when it comes to grabbing rebounds.
Despite a schedule loaded with college basketball factories, the Mavericks (6-2) are the best offensive rebounding team in the nation.
And it’s not even close.
It’s amazing how good of a rebounding team this team is.
UTA coach Scott Cross
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With 147 offensive rebounds in eight games, they’ve given themselves 22 more second chances than the next team in line, which is last year’s NCAA runner-up, Wisconsin. To call it unexpected would be an understatement.
“It’s amazing how good of a rebounding team this team is,” coach Scott Cross said.
The Mavericks will take that into El Paso for the final “money” game of the season when they play UTEP at 8:05 p.m. Saturday. Unlike the other three “money” games of $100,000, UTEP is paying $80,000.
The second-chance Mavericks have been driven by the development of Kevin Hervey, the Arlington Bowie grad who has morphed into a star in the first few weeks of the season. Not only does he lead the Mavericks with 17.6 points per game, but he has a knack for the rebound that few possess, bringing down an average of 10.6 per game.
NCAA team offensive rebounding leaders: 1. UT Arlington 2. USC 3. Valparaiso 4. USC Upstate 5. Michigan State
“He’s just got a nose for rebounding to be able to grab 15 rebounds is absolutely amazing,” Cross said. “He’s almost got a sixth sense, kind of like [Dennis] Rodman has on where to go and track down those rebounds.”
He’s garnered the attention of national media, including Fran Fraschilla, the coach-turned ESPN analyst, who made it a point to see him in person Thursday against North Texas, a 90-67 victory for UTA.
20 UT Arlington’s ranking in the Men’s Mid-Major Top 25
He’s been the centerpiece of a team that entered the Mid-Major Top 25 at No. 20, and the Mavericks have a chance to move up with a nice performance against the Miners (6-1), who enter Saturday’s game looking to bounce back from their first loss of the season.
A dynamic scoring duo paces the Miners’ offensive attack. Lee Moore and Earvin Morris combine for 33.2 points per game. Before a loss at New Mexico State on Wednesday, UTEP was off to its first 6-0 start in 15 years.
UTA men at UTEP
8:05 p.m. Saturday